Spring 2023 Newsletter
Spring is here, and the RE + NEW + ALL studio is full of the fresh, flowery springtime candle scents you know and love, like Hibiscus, Citrus Basil, and Lemongrass Sandalwood.
Of course, you know there’s more than candles cooking here. Our candlemakers stir up their dreams, pour out their hopes, and light their path to a better tomorrow with each package of fragrant joy they send your way.
So, naturally, we’re thrilled to share all the ways RE + NEW + ALL artisans are spreading their wings. Read on for candlemaker kudos, a salute to volunteers and moms, plus get the heads up on our spring candle sale—and get ready to stock up and save on your fav fall scents!
If you’re a longtime RE + NEW + ALL fan, then you know Leah, one of our original candlemakers. Her smiling face lit up many of our social media posts. She always enjoyed helping promote the candles and sharing her healing journey.
Well, Leah is taking her survivor story and oratory skills to new heights and pursuing a career path as an advocate and educational speaker on trafficking! She launched this new chapter of her life in January as the featured survivor speaker at The WellHouse gala in Alabama.
Leah invited RE + NEW + ALL’s founder, Lee Howard, to the gala as a guest, and she spoke about her time in our studio at the event. Plus, January was Human Trafficking Awareness Month, so the timing of her talk was ideal.
We couldn’t be more proud of Leah as she steps into this new role. It’s truly the perfect path for her because she’s such a gifted speaker and so passionate about raising awareness around the issue of human trafficking.
And it’s a thrill to continue walking alongside her as she builds her brand and grows her visibility to speak at more events. It’s another way we show our candlemakers that they’ll always be part of the RE + NEW + ALL family. We will cheer them on and support them and their dreams however we can.
Remember, you’re helping support our alumni artisans with your candle purchases. You’re very much a part of their journey and story. Your support allows them to dream big and reach for the stars. And Leah’s star is shining brighter each day!
Back in the studio, we have to celebrate Pam, a candlemaker since September. Pam recently moved into the pouring position, a job she absolutely loves. Why is this such a big deal? For starters, there’s a specific technique for pouring candles, and while everyone gets trained to do it, not everyone can do it regularly.
But more importantly, this was a huge win for Pam personally. She’d been afraid to pour and resisted even attempting to do it because of how hot the wax was—and because she was sure she’d mess it up. She didn’t believe she could do it.
Eventually, we encouraged her to try pouring just one candle. Guess what happened? She did so well that she poured candles the rest of the day! Since then, every time she comes into the studio, she asks, “Do we get to pour candles today?”
Our hearts are so full for Pam and this major milestone. She’s been through a lot of pain in life. For years, people told her she wouldn’t amount to anything or be able to succeed due to specific life challenges. Now, just by pouring candles, she’s shown herself how capable she is, and it’s done wonders for her confidence.
After successfully pouring her first candle, we asked her how it made her feel. “I feel good,” she said. “I feel real good.” As she should.
Oh, and did we mention Pam just celebrated her 60th birthday in January? You better believe we celebrated that milestone, too, making sure she knows how loved she is!
Healing beyond our Studio Walls
In our winter newsletter, we shared that Lee recently began her clinicals to earn her master’s degree. She’s offering therapy onsite at Clare’s House, a refuge for women transitioning out of homelessness.
Clare’s House is also one of RE + NEW + ALL’s partners, and our current candlemakers are from their program. Those not working in our studio are getting one-on-one therapy with Lee.
When Lee started her clinicals there, several women asked if they could also come work at the studio. Lee became even more aware of the great need for these women to locate employment opportunities.
Unfortunately, finding work is a common obstacle among people rebuilding their lives after living on the street. They struggle to find jobs that can accommodate their unique needs since some have disabilities or mental and emotional challenges.
These women face the stigma of being seen as lazy when the truth is they have a powerful desire to work. They want to feel a sense of purpose and provide value to the world. They want to have hope: hope that they matter and hope for their future.
RE + NEW + ALL is able to provide that hope for women, and we only wish we were big enough to employ more of them. Our hope is to continue growing the business so more women can join the candlemaking team.
You can help us by spreading the word about our candles. The more fans we have and candles we sell, the more employment we can offer. But for now, thanks to you, we can offer some hope through therapy and give these women a chance to feel seen, heard, and cared about.
Volunteer Appreciation (and a Shoutout to Moms)
April is National Volunteer Month, and we absolutely want to take this opportunity to shower our volunteers with love and appreciation!
Between running the candle studio, taking on clinicals, and being a mom to her 9-month-old son Neff, Lee has a full plate. And she couldn’t do it without the generous assistance of volunteers who help care for Neff sometimes while she’s working. What a gift they are. It truly takes a village, and we’re so grateful for them.
And on days when Neff joins Lee in the studio, our candlemakers enjoy doting on him. Some don’t currently have custody of their children, and being separated from them is difficult. It’s healing for them to experience and offer positive affirmations of motherhood. And it’s beautiful to witness.
So while Mother’s Day is still a few days away, we want to send some extra love to all the moms out there right now, especially single moms.
Being a mom isn’t easy. Kids have a lot of needs. Daycare is expensive, and very few have volunteers to help them. Like those who are homeless, sometimes people make assumptions about single moms or moms who struggle financially.
We want to acknowledge that we know these moms are trying to provide for their kids. They may end up in hard situations where, not knowing what to do, they make decisions that lead to having to give up custody.
But none of that means they don’t love their kids deeply or don’t care about being good mothers. It’s so important to look beyond their situation and see their humanity, their challenges, and their desire to find ways to be better parents.
To the moms who scramble daily to care for their kids, to the moms who are missing their children, and to the moms who are working hard to rebuild and strengthen their families, we see you and the love you have for your children. You deserve kindness and encouragement, not judgment.
We know you’re showing up daily to try and be a light for your children. And we hold you all in our hearts on your motherhood journey, whatever that looks like right now. Let’s keep lifting one another up so both moms and kids can live their best and brightest lives.
We hope the stories we share in these newsletters bring a smile to your face, fill your heart, and add some spring to your step. It’s a privilege to have you along as our candlemakers continue their healing journey. They succeed because of your support.
Thank you, as always, for being part of the RE + NEW + ALL community. Enjoy the beauty of this season of renewal!