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This story is part of our 1,000 stories campaign. What’s your story?

Name:  Jenny Blakey

Business: Phoster Candles, the maker of hand-poured, eco-friendly candles

Industry: E-Commerce, Social Enterprise 

Location: Seattle, Washington, U.S.

Reason for starting: In 2013, we embarked on a journey to develop eco-friendly, luxury candles that would change the world. By combining a for-profit business with a mission to “do good,” we’re changing the lives of individuals, families, and villages all over the world for generations to come. By sourcing our essential oils from global eco-projects around the world, we’re providing sustainable employment opportunities to individuals who were once trapped in unfathomable poverty.

My business decisions and the decisions in all of Phoster are motivated by the personal situations of the impoverished, by the stories of restoration from victims of human trafficking, and by the success stories from our Freedom Coalition. Everyone has personal situations, including myself, but they don’t motivate me as much as the situations of the people we help do. It’s the only reason we’re in business.

Related: Read about another E-Commerce- Social Enterprise entrepreneur here. 

How do you define success? In terms of Phoster, we measure our success not only by numbers and money, but also by lives changed and hope restored. In order for Phoster to truly be successful we have to achieve all three.

Biggest Success: This is a hard question! We’ve had so many success.. from magazine features, to partnering with one of the largest organizations fighting in human trafficking. But, if I’m completely honest, I think our biggest success will always be the day we launched. There’s a distinct feeling that comes with launching a business, and there’s nothing else like it.

Related: Read about another E-Commerce entrepreneur giving back to impoverished communities here.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? There are challenges every. single. day. That’s part of the excitement, figuring out how to adapt and overcome the challenges. Having said that, tough, the biggest challenge was losing what we thought would be a pivotal support and mentor system when Phoster was in the idea phase. We adapted though, found a way to launch on our own, and haven’t looked back since.

Who is your most important role model? For me, my most important role model is my mother. She literally is the strongest woman I know. She has a daily strength, a strength that’s often overlooked in people. On a daily basis she is making the life of herself and those around her better. She sees the world as bigger than her surroundings, and taught my brother and I to see ti the same way. I wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t for her.

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Edited by The Story Exchange

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