Creating Warm Scents and Bright Futures

As much as we rely on the generosity of our donors, Home Start is always searching for ways to help ourselves as well. Our most recent social enterprise offers additional income to serve vulnerable children and their families as well as priceless job-training and employment opportunities for our clients.

Introducing Bright Futures Candles.

Home Start CEO Laura Tancredi-Baese began the venture by working with the Social Enterprise Accelerator program of  REDF. REDF invests in social enterprises that “employ and empower people overcoming barriers to work.” This project will allow women in our programs who have struggled with employment to take ownership and build a business that provides self-sufficiency and a deep sense of pride.

“Because a job provides so much more than a paycheck.”


With generous grants from REDF and the Cushman Family Foundation we were able to build out a former storage space behind the Home Start Thrift Boutique and purchase the candle-making equipment necessary to get Bright Futures Candles started. Women in our Maternity Housing Program helped design the workspace and were trained to operate the candle-making machinery.

The next step? Enter a dynamic group of students from the SDSU Fowler College of Business who offered to help us bring the story and the products to life.

The student team has helped us align the marketing strategy of our new brand. They have also helped us to capture the brand essence, communicate our message over social media, and launch our upcoming e-commerce website. They gained hands-on experience in launching a brand and helped us create an inspiring vision for Bright Futures Candles.

This is such an exciting endeavor for Home Start and a unique opportunity for women to make a difference in their own lives and their children’s future.

“Girls here have been able to lean on each other, learn from each other, teach each other, and our kids grow up together so it’s like a big family.”

– Kassandra, Bright Futures Candles Staff Member

You can be a part of our family too. Candles are currently available in a variety of scents in the Home Start Thrift Boutique at 3611 Adams Avenue in Normal Heights. They make the perfect holiday or birthday gift to warm up someone’s home and heart.

We see a Bright Future ahead!

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