Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Karma Boost: Thistle Farms Needs You!

Posted By on Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 2:58 PM

For those of you trying to conduct your holiday shopping without selling too much of your soul (and income) to big box retailers in the process, consider the following public service announcement on behalf of Thistle Farms.

From Venture Nashville Connections:

Magdalene/Thistle Farms is a social enterprise serving women who are healing from violence, addiction and-or prostitution; it aims to earn its way in the world by producing and marketing its Thistle Farms-branded line of bath and skin-care products.

It needs to double its sales as rapidly as possible, in order, among other things, to begin buying raw materials in greater volumes and marketing its products more broadly. Its topline from operations is roughly $1.2 million annually.

Founded by Rev. Becca Stevens, chaplain at Vanderbilt's St. Augustine's Episcopal Church, Thistle Farms employs members of the Magdalene program, meaning that each eco-friendly vial of lip balm or candle you purchase directly benefits the nonprofit program and puts money back into the local economy. It's a win-win, obviously.

From their website:

Thistle Farms employs 32 Magdalene residents or graduates. While working at Thistle Farms, women learn skills in manufacturing, packaging, marketing and sales and administration. It is a supportive workplace where women acquire the skills they need to earn a living wage. Employees have the opportunity to put a percentage of their earnings in a matched savings account. Through Thistle Farms, the women of Magdalene gain much needed job skills, and learn responsibility and cooperation.

Thistle Farms has moved into a 11,000 square feet sales and manufacturing facility. With a beautiful new building, Thistle Farms is committed to growing in order to employ more women and have more opportunities to share our products and stories of healing on a larger scale.

Today is the last day to order for holiday delivery, so why not forgo the soul-numbing trip to Bed Bath & Beyond and support one of Nashville's finest local nonprofits?

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