Thursday, November 22, 2012

Lift Off!

On Wednesday, November 13th, after a dedication liturgy, several women of Thistle Farms cut the purple ribbon that officially opened the new utility elevator at the manufacturing facility.

The lift enables the women to move supplies and products back and forth between shipping and production. This ends the long tradition of hauling heavy boxes and buckets up and down the stairs or pushing product on carts around the building.

The utility elevator is the fruit of a project by a Franklin business called Improbable Philanthropy. Al Andrews, the owner, wanted to be a philanthropist, but philanthropists have lots of money. He didn’t. So he wrote a children’s book called The Boy, the Kite, and the Wind, with the hope of making lots of money and giving away all of the net profits from to various charities around the world.

Last year, he had a conversation with Becca and asked her what she needed at Thistle Farms. The need was an elevator. Thus The Lift Project was launched. Check out the film HERE and read Al's story of his involvement with Thistle Farms HERE.

After selling nearly 2000 books, enough money was raised to build the lift. And on Wednesday, the women of Thistle Farms honored Al by naming the lift “The Alevator,” concluding their liturgy with a rousing chorus of “Love Lifted Me.”

We are so thankful to the generosity of Al and his wife, Nita, who are integral members of our community and who have demonstrated that love not only heals... but it also lifts.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Year Long Gift

This is a wonderful season. I love the winter when the leaves fall and you can see the cardinals and mistletoe easily. It's the time to give and receive gifts. As a not for profit in retail sales, the season is particularly sweet. The summer has it's own gifts, but it's a harder season for us as sales dwindle and payroll stretches our faith. Finally, at Thistle Farms, there is a way to make your beautiful end of the year gift last all year long and carry us through the long dog days of summer. We are so proud to introduce to you for the very first time, the Thistle Farmers Club. We hope to get our first hundred subscribers before the first of the year. Thank you for believing in the women of Thistle Farms, all year long.

Peace and love,
Becca Stevens---
Thistle Farmer

Be a Thistle Farmer

Thistle Farms is excited to offer the Thistle Farmer Club membership for customers who want a convenient way to receive a special, curated package of Thistle Farms products every other month.

Join the movement for women’s freedom by supporting the work of Thistle Farms, a social enterprise of women who have survived prostitution, trafficking and addiction. Your membership to the Thistle Farmer Club will sustain the women, the community and the world. 

How it Works  
  • Starting in January 2013, you will  receive 6 shipments of Thistle Farms natural and handmade body care products, sent every other month, PLUS 2 free gifts.
  • Cost is $30 per shipment (FREE shipping included).

Thistle Farmer Club Curated Packages for 2013: 

For more information, go to our Online Store and proudly become part of the Thistle Farmer club!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thistle Farms Paper Studio

The Paper Studio at Thistle Farms has been expanding during 2012 to offer a new collection of well-designed and carefully executed handmade creations.  In February, the paper team moved its operation into a dedicated studio space with one area for pulp production and papermaking, and another for bookbinding, sewing and paper construction.

In April, a new piece of equipment, affectionately known as the Critter, went into operation. Suddenly, we could produce a smoother more flexible version of our traditional paper made from dried thistle blossoms and recycled bags and cardboard. In addition, the Critter can break down the fibers of old cotton t-shirts and sheets, which, combined with thistle fibers, produces a fine quality buff colored rag paper appropriate for bookbinding. This new rag paper is often decorated with flower petals, seeds, leaves and even tinted with food coloring. The Paper Studio is proud to say that we are turning trash into cash!

The Magdalene employees in the Paper Studio work as a team dedicated to creative production. By increasing the quantity and quality of our paper, we have been able to develop a wide range of new designs. A group of devoted volunteers began joining the team every week to help in the production of books and gift items, increasing our production while reducing our labor cost. Many of our volunteers are skilled artisans, and their gift of time and talent is greatly appreciated. In addition to our expanded gift line, the Paper Studio has accepted several special commissions this year, including graduation invitations, journals and CD covers.

As demand continues to grow for our journals, greeting cards, bookmarks, gift tags and ornaments, the Critter is working hard every day to produce an adequate supply of paper pulp. The raw materials for our products cost very little, so most of the money received  from sales goes directly into labor. In the Paper Studio, employees and volunteers laugh, share and work together to produce well crafted gift items, but, more importantly, to bring more women off the streets and into the healing circle of Magdalene/Thistle Farms.

To view photos from our beautiful paper studio, click HERE.

To purchase Thistle Farms paper studio products, click HERE.