Artisan Spotlight: Tha Thay

Tha Thay and Her Family - GraduationPhoto Courtesy of Tha Thay and Prosperity Candle

Tha Thay is a talented artisan working with Prosperity Candle in Massachusetts. We are proud to work with Tha and the Prosperity Candle team on an exclusive collection of hand-poured candles at The Little Market. Tha grew up in Burma (Myanmar). She was forced to flee from her small village and find safety with her family in a Thailand-based refugee camp. It was here where soldiers set fire to buildings. She and her family continued to move and relocate to find security. In 2010, Tha and her family moved to Massachusetts when they were given the opportunity to find safety in the United States. She met her husband in a refugee camp and together they have four children. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to learn more about Tha’s inspiring story. Read her interview below!

1. Please tell us a little bit about your family.

I have six in my family. Three sons and one daughter. The oldest son is 19 years and just graduated from high school. The second son is 15 and is starting high school in the fall. My third child is my daughter and she is 11 years old and going into middle school. My youngest son is nine.  I met my husband in the refugee camp in Thailand. We were married in the camp in 1997.

Tha Thay and her familyPhoto Courtesy of Tha Thay and Prosperity Candle

2. What do you love the most about what you do at Prosperity Candle?

I like to pack The Little Market candles and get them ready to ship.  It goes very quickly and I like how easy it is!

3. How has working with Prosperity Candle and The Little Market impacted your life and your family’s life?

Before, when my husband was the only one working, he was able to pay rent and the bills, but not anything extra. Now, I have so many teenagers, and you know teenagers, they want all sorts of things. Everything is so expensive, especially all of the equipment for soccer and volleyball, which two of my children play. I am also able to pay for our groceries now.

4. Could you please tell us your favorite memory from your home community?

When I left Burma, I was five years old and don’t have any memories there.

5. Please tell us about your experiences living in the United States.

I like my freedom. I don’t have to worry about someone telling me where I can and can’t go. In the refugee camp, we had to get permission to go outside of the camp. Here, if I want to buy a plane ticket to go to another state, I just buy it.

6. How do you feel about raising a family in the United States?

I want to raise my children to finish university and to get a good job and set up their lives. I feel like they have more opportunities here in the United States than they would in the refugee camp.

Tha Thay with her familyPhoto Courtesy of Tha Thay and Prosperity Candle

7. Please tell us about your goals and passions for yourself and your family.

I don’t have a special goal. I want to be a good mom and wife.

I like to go grocery shopping for my family. Afterwards, I like to make food and spend time together with my family. I always invite my friends to join us.

8. What is your favorite product to make?

I love to make The Little Market candles because they have a wide top, which makes them easier to pour than others.

9. What is your favorite candle fragrance?

Orange Blossom and Jasmine too!

10. Do you have a favorite book? 

I have a book on Buddhism that I like to read.

We loved learning Tha Thay’s admirable story. To see our collection from artisans like Tha Thay at Prosperity Candle, visit our site!

A special thank you to Tha Thay, Patsy Kauffman Barber, Ted Barber, and the Prosperity Candle team for contributing to our World Refugee Day series!

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