Today, we don’t think twice about a woman running her own business, it’s become part of our social fabric. But in the early 1900s, it was practically unheard of! Yet Mabel Baker, just like the many thousands of women who would come after her, had a vision of transforming her life.
In the early 1900s, schoolteacher Mabel Baker began crafting candles from the wild bayberries that grew in her native town Cape Cod. At first she gave them as gifts to her friends and family, but it wasn’t long before her entrepreneurial spirit took over. With a lot of persistence, hard work and support from her husband, by 1909 Mabel had turned her love of candles into a flourishing business.
Mabel remained passionately committed to growing and nurturing her business throughout her life. When she died at the age of 94 in 1965, what had begun with a single bayberry had become a company worth $6 million. Today, she continues to be our role model for success.
In 1973, just as more American women were expanding their roles, venturing out of their homes into the workplace, Mabel Baker’s candle company was exploring its role too. It created a subsidiary with a name that might just sound familiar: PartyLite Gifts, Inc.
PartyLite began with three people working in a tiny office. Thanks to Mabel’s inspiration, they believed in themselves and their future. They were also convinced they had found a great new sales model conceived of sharing the company’s profits with its sales people. They felt that this system would be an incentive that would enable them to sell directly to consumers, rather than to big companies. As you’ll know by now, the idea took off. The person to person approach was a motivating factor in PartyLite’s single-minded focus on quality, in our home fragrances and accessories and in our relationships with people, just as Mabel would have intended. Our direct selling method allows our Consultants to chart their own path to success and enhance their quality of life by building their business around it.
When PartyLite was acquired in 1990 by Blyth, Inc., the organisation’s full potential was unleashed. Today, there are over 68,000 PartyLite Consultants in 18 countries around the world. What began as a single line of bayberry candles has expanded to an extensive selection of top quality home fragrances and accessories with more and more new products added each year. But most importantly, throughout this growth, PartyLite has remained true to the values Mabel evoked with her very first candle: honesty, integrity, fairness and quality.