After a year steeped in uncertainty, HHPLIFT affiliate associates from READI Chicago were eager to take on 2021 by storm with a new project: the Ravenswood candle, inspired by Chicago artist, Beth Adler’s, mixed media painting of a crow (pictured above).
Alejandra Camargo, HHPLIFT’s LIFT™ Program Manager, led the READI Chicago affiliate associates through the entire research and development process in creating the final Ravenswood candle. They worked collaboratively to determine the size and color of the vessel – black, in congruence with Beth Adler’s art – and to conduct scent testing. Alejandra taught them about the science of scent development (scent families and scent throw) to guide them in devising their first eight scent options. From there, they gained experience working in Microsoft Excel and created a survey to get feedback on each scent. Using their newfound knowledge and the data they collected, the affiliate associates chose their final scent: with notes of fig, black currant, and cedar, they titled it “Ravenswood.”
Marked by the crow’s symbolism of transformation and change, and the raven’s symbolism of wisdom, affection, healing, and longevity, Ravenswood took on a special meaning for READI Chicago affiliate associates. READI Chicago works with men identified most at risk for gun violence to decrease shootings and homicides; create new opportunities for them to change their life trajectories and decrease their involvement in the justice system; and promote long-term safety and opportunity, at the community level, in Chicago’s most impoverished neighborhoods. Affiliate associates from READI Chicago, in the LIFT™ Program, are doing just that: they are working towards developing their career paths, driven by their hard work, meaningful relationships, and innovation in the Workshop.
Meanwhile, refugee women, resettled in Chicago, worked at the RefugeeOne Sewing Studio to sew the paper leather candle wraps, on which the READI Chicago affiliate associates imprinted Beth Adler’s art.
The final Ravenswood candle represents teamwork, creativity, and both career and personal growth. READI Chicago affiliate associates, alongside women from RefugeeOne and inspired by Beth Adler’s art, were able to use their life experiences to create a new product, in its entirety, from start to finish. All the while, they were actively learning about what a social enterprise is and the facets of HHPLIFT’s business, through mentorship and educational opportunities.
Once burned, the vessel doubles as pen holder, and the paper leather wrap makes it a perfect and practical office decoration. And 25% of the proceeds from the Ravenswood candle will be donated back to the READI Chicago program.
We hope you love the Ravenswood candle and its story as much as we do and we can’t wait to continue sharing with you the new products we create that are inspired by our partners and mission.
Until next time,
The HHPLIFT team
For more information, please contact info@HHPLIFT.com