eco friendly and socially responsible candle

Today’s wedding vendor interview is with Bright Endeavors, an eco friendly and socially responsible candle company based in Chicago, Illinois! Enjoy:

Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

Bright Endeavors is a social enterprise that employs young moms, ages 16-24 to hand craft sustainable soy candles with 100% of proceeds going back to the program. Based in Chicago, Bright Endeavors uses locally produced, non-genetically-modified soy wax for their candles; all fragrances are pthalate-free and we use cotton-core, paraffin-free wicks. The program also uses recycled glass containers. We offer a paid, transitional job training program in order to create employment opportunities that allow young moms to open doors to a successful future.

Read the full post after the cut!

young woman making candles

How did you get into the business?

Bright Endeavors was founded in 2007 by 2 women entrepreneurs. Drawing from private and non-private sector experience, our team believes that lifelong transformation is possible when, in addition to classroom training, lessons are presented in real-life situations.

eco friendly and socially responsible candle

What’s your favorite part of the job?

One of the best parts of the job is working on a team where everyone has very unique skill sets, but somehow we come to together and are able to collaborate and work towards a singular goal.

 

If you could pick one unique product or service offering, which would be your favorite, and why?

Bright Endeavors also offers an eco-friendly candle rental program for Chicagoland couples. We provide our votive candles for your wedding and return to reclaim the glass and refill, redirecting these votives from the landfill.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to others just getting started in your field?

If others want to get involved in social enterprise, we recommend learning from other companies who are doing similar work. Those that have first hand experience always have the best advice to give.

young woman making candles

What are your hobbies or non-work-related activities?

As a team, we enjoy going out to eat together. Fortunately, Chicago has some great restaurants and many of them are close to where we work! Tacos are definitely a group favorite.

Any great stories from working with a client?

We have a lot of great stories from working with our young moms. One of them is about Olivia, a young mom who was homeless at the time she came for support. She was recently hired by our parent nonprofit New Moms to work on the front lines of service by connecting other young moms to the supports at New Moms. You can read more of her story on our website.

eco friendly, socially responsible candles

What makes you different from others in your field?

Our job traning program! Bright Endeavors 12 week paid, transitional job training program provides the guidance and job skills young moms need to secure quality employment and begin on a path towards professional success. With a mix of classroom and hands on job training, the participants set goals and better equip themselves to provide for their families. Since 2015, Bright Endeavors has placed young moms in 153 new jobs and on average, graduates that gain employment increase their monthly cash income by 450%.

Are there any trends that you absolutely love or would love to see brides leave behind?

Weddings can be a great way to share about a nonprofit or other local organization that a couple is passionate about. Donating the leftover food to a homeless shelter, purchasing decor from companies that give back or recycling a lot of the items can be a meaningful way to personalize the wedding while raising awareness to a social cause.

These young women make eco friendly, socially responsible candlesAll Photos By: Genevieve Lauren Photography

What tips or advice can you give to couples who are in the midst of planning their big day?

Make sure to check out blogs like WeddingLovely for inspiration and ideas.

Great, thanks for sharing! For more information about Bright Endeavors, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile.

Do you have any questions or comments for Bright Endeavors? Add them to the comments below!


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