|Thistle Farms body care products make a difference in women’s lives|
|Written by Christine D. Johnson|
|Tuesday, 01 October 2013 06:06 PM EDT|
Thistle Farms reached out to Christian retailers at last week’s Christian Product Expo in Murfreesboro, Tenn., demonstrating the power of products to change lives.
A social enterprise of women who have survived prostitution, trafficking, addiction and life on the streets, Nashville-based Thistle Farms and its two-year residential community, Magdalene, empower women to live anew as the community supports them through the creation and sale of natural body care products. Ingredients include cotton wicks, soybean-based ecowax, olive and coconut oils, sunflower seeds and essential oils.
Shana Goodwin, sales rep and Magdalene graduate, said Thistle Farms “got some great orders” at CPE, with Christian retailers mostly buying lotion and soap in its new stand-out packaging.
The women at Thistle Farms booth at CPE also were taking orders for their $25 kits.
“Our kits always do well because it’s a fair trade item,” Goodwin said.
Retailing for $25, one version of the kit features a hand-sewn bag made from recycled material in Ghana, where woman are ministered to just as they are in the Nashville community. The travel survival kit contains 2-ounce products so it is suitable for taking in airline carry-on luggage. The kit includes body butter, liquid soap, body balm and lip balm.
Thistle Farms was founded in 2001 by the Rev. Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest serving as chaplain at St. Augustine’s Chapel at Vanderbilt University, and now has 150 retail partners. The enterprise currently employs 32 women who are either residents or graduates of the Magdalene program.
Later this month, the Tennessee Economic Council on Women will induct Stevens, author of Snake Oil (Jericho Books), into the Tennessee Women's Hall of Fame, which recognizes women whose lives reflect exceptional accomplishments and devotion to improving the economic status of women and girls in Tennessee.
Magdalene and Thistle Farms receive no government funding, but rely wholly on gifts, grants and the sale of the women’s handmade products. Visit www.thistlefarms.org/index.php/for-retailers for wholesale information.