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Bloomington group that supports formerly incarcerated women offers gratitude in new candle scent

Candle in container with the word Gratitude inscribed on the front and a tag with a woman's face and the words 'Thank You for Your Support!'
Labyrinth Made Goods has produced a new candle scent called "Gratitude" that is now for sale.

Labyrinth Made Goods aims to evoke feelings of warmth, peace and hope with a new candle scent called “Gratitude.”

Founded by YWCA McLean County, Labyrinth Made Goods seeks to provide career development opportunities, workforce training, skill sets and empowerment to women who have experienced incarceration.

Three women of color smile at the camera as they pose for a photo in front of a sign that says GLT 89.1 FM.
Shay Tolise (left), Marilyn Brown (center) and Candice Byrd with Labyrinth Made Goods are promoting its new candle scent called "Gratitude" that's now for sale.

“We’re really about offering, not a second chance, but a real chance at rebuilding after returning home from incarceration,” Director of Operations Candice Byrd said.

Labyrinth Made Goods steps away from the traditional names for scents, giving candles names like “Solidarity” and “Brilliance.”

“We take it to a whole other level for our resilience collection,” Sales Assistant Shay Tolise said. “It’s inspired by what we feel and what the women who have experienced incarceration feel in that moment.”

“Gratitude” has notes of silky vanilla and sandalwood, awakening feelings of comfort.

The release coincides with Labyrinth Made Goods’ three-year celebration.

“I’ve learned so much as far as product development, marketing, sales, business administration, all of this stuff I had no experience in,” Business Specialist Marilyn Brown said. “From the support and everything that I got from the team, I was lended so much grace to learn these things and take my time and really get comfortable with it.”

To continue the celebration, Labyrinth Made Goods will have its candles for sale at Illinois Wesleyan University’s homecoming market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7. They will also be at Casey’s Garden Shop from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10, Destihl on Sunday, Nov. 19, for the Small Business Market, and Vera & Buck on Nov. 25 for Small Business Saturday.

“I’ve been here since the very first day we launched and it’s now three years later and I have seen all different types of changes,” Tolise said. “Labyrinth Made Goods has taught me so many different things and it’s very challenging learning those different things, but the one thing they recently have taught me is how to accept change.”

“Like our candle, I’m very grateful for that, like 100% grateful,” Tolise continued.

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Megan Spoerlein is a reporting intern at WGLT. She started in 2023. Megan is also studying journalism at Illinois State University.
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