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Meet Jasmine Stewart and Olivia Edwards of Bright Endeavors in West Garfield Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jasmine Stewart and Olivia Edwards.

Jasmine and Olivia, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Bright Endeavors was created to impact the lives of young moms, their children, and our communities by providing transitional employment skills. Each mom is adequately trained on how to pour, produce and package soy candles and bath products. The overall mission is to bring about transformation in young moms towards self-sufficiency. Through Bright Endeavors’ training, we focus on executive skills, financial literacy coaching, and teaching soft skills to empower our moms in the job market and to gain permanent employment.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I started at Bright Endeavors as a participant in the program about 5 years ago. Since then, I was able to secure a permanent position in the company as the Associate Supervisor of Production. In the last 5 years, Bright Endeavors has grown so much! It is amazing to see our ability to serve more young moms and in deeper and more impactful ways.

Of course, with any organizational growth, there are always hiccups and problems to resolve. One main issue is ensuring the program is fully funded. Thankfully, through our candle sales, we are able to do most of that and we have a lot of community support. Another issue is balancing the number of candle orders with the amount of participants-we always try to have a healthy ratio!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Bright Endeavors story. Tell us more about the business.
Bright Endeavors is an innovative social enterprise company that operates a job training program for young moms ages 16-24 in Chicago to handcraft high-quality candles. I am most proud of our ability to specialize in producing candle and bath products for other companies in a private label relationship. It allows our young moms, or production assistants, the ability to showcase their skills for larger companies.

The Bright Endeavors job training program functions as the social enterprise of the nonprofit New Moms. When a production assistant is hired, they also have access to all of the other services at New Moms including, doula, family support, and housing. We believe in a holistic model to support the whole person.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t really believe in luck. I think if you work hard, believe in yourself, and care for others you will naturally attract positive opportunities and doors will open.

Pricing:

  • Signature Glass Soy Candle, $24.99
  • Retreat Tin Soy Candle, $12.99
  • Mini Signature Soy Candle, $9.99
  • Spa Tin Soy Candle, $7.99

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Rachel Loewen Photography, Genevieve Lauren Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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