COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Candles made with a mission that goes way beyond making a room smell good.
The Rescue Mission now owns 49 percent of the company and money from each candle sold is used to help members of the Colorado Springs community, who are dealing with homelessness, addiction and poverty.
It all started three years ago when Laura Cameron, co-founder, attended a Good Neighbor Lunch at the Springs Rescue Mission.
“At the very end they talked about social enterprise and how they want to do something and I just felt like ‘oh my gosh, I have to do something. I don’t know what, but I have to do something,’” Cameron said.
Eventually her desire to help led to candles. Each one is handmade and made with a mission.
“It had to be cool, it had to be really high quality and it had to tell a story and it had to be inexpensive,” she said.
Cameron’s candles are poured into donated recycled glass and tell the stories of those the Rescue Mission helps.
“I’m an alcoholic, and or I should say now I was an alcoholic,” said John Griffith. “I was homeless, I hit my bottom. I spent all my money and lost my job, lost my apartment.”
Griffith graduated from the mission and now has a job helping Cameron cut bottles.
“I think it’s really neat what Laura does, making candles and helping the mission,” said Griffith. “My favorite bottle to cut is Laura’s because they’re flat and they’re always different.”
“We’ve made sure that our candles are the best. They burn the longest, they smell the most,” Cameron said,
Since Made With a Mission began, Cameron said business has grown 400 percent, and it’s still growing. Just last week the candles were given to Hollywood Stars at the Golden Globes.
“Every nominee got our candle,” Cameron said. “It was so exciting, oh my gosh, it was crazy!”
“I knew it was something special for sure. I always had that in me. So I knew it would be successful, but just how it’s all happened has been just a pleasant surprise.”
As business continues to grow, Cameron said she wants to hire more people who use the mission and help them get their confidence back and become productive members of society.
Made With a Mission candles can be found at retail shops throughout Colorado Springs and online at madewithamission.com.