Made in Canada: House of Light Goods
We love our Canadian small shops, so we’re very thrilled to be featuring one right here, on the blog each week! Tune in every Friday to get a sneak peek behind a variety of brands created and built right here in Canada! Be inspired by the owners who hustle, and grounded by their real talk – Cause it isn’t all rainbows and butterflies when it comes to being an entrepreneur, but it sure is worth it!
House of Light Goods
with Co-founder, Tracy Rahn
It’s not every day you meet someone and feel totally inspired! This is what happened when I met Tracy, one of the co-founders behind House of Light Goods. With a kind soul and a contagious energy, this woman (and an amazing team) launched a non-profit small business that provides empowered employment to single mothers in Primo Tapia, Mexico. Based in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, this organization helps to not only bring positive change to vulnerable families and children at risk, but offers them a feeling of hope.
I’m thrilled to be sharing a little more about Tracy, the journey of running a not-for-profit organization, and the admirable work of House of Light Goods. I hope you finish feeling inspired and energized to make your own impact on our worlds’ people, big or small.
Please tell us about House of Light Goods and the work you do
Our greatest vision and goal is the empowerment of women, and breaking the cycles of poverty, addiction and abuse from carrying on to the next generation of their kids. We work with single mothers and their kids at the Casa De Luz Children’s center in Primo Tapia, Mexico. These women have all walked devastating journeys, but we strive to see abandonment, hopelessness & desperation be transformed into community, success, dreams for a future, joy and LIFE!
How were you inspired to start this organization?
We had been a part of Casa De Luz Children’s center since its beginnings 6 years ago, and the more we got to know these moms, these warriors, the more we were inspired! What could our part be, in helping to bring positive change as they literally rebuilt their lives? That’s where the idea for House of Light Goods was birthed from. A simple idea to provide empowered employment for some of the moms, and a revenue stream into the very broad work that CDL does with them and the community. It goes way beyond the children’s center. We’re involved with providing continuing education, job training, micro loans for the moms to start their own business, and this year we hope to break ground on an “Own your Own Home Village” where these incredible women will be able to purchase their own homes – It’s so exciting!
What has been the most valued lessons you’ve learned through your running this organization?
It’s worth it. It’s all worth it. None of us (the co-founders of HOLG), have a business background! So the learning curve for operating a non-profit has been steep. Figuring out the whole world of marketing product, distribution, importing. We’ve still got a long way to go, but how could we not keep going? Every time we go down to visit CDL we’re reminded (the non-stop flow of tears and smiles is that reminder!). It is SO worth it to spend your time, your passion, your energy on people. People matter. The lives of these women and the next generation of their kids matter. We’re humbled when we think that we get to be a part of their story!
Imagine yourself before you started House of Light Goods, if you could give yourself any piece of advice knowing what you know now, what would it/they be?
Reach out fast, and reach out hard. Reach out to people who know what they’re doing! Get advice on things that don’t come naturally, or are out of your scope of expertise. Vision is good, passion is good, but wisdom coupled with those things is even better. One of the miracles of technology and social media in our time is the accessibility to PEOPLE. And there are actually a lot of amazing people out there who will listen, who will give advice, who will steer you. You gotta reach out though… And sometimes, that’s the hardest part.
Tell us three things that people may not know about you
- I studied opera in University.
- I’m a mother of 3 girls. One of the most treasured experiences of my life, was taking my oldest daughter down to Casa De Luz on one of our House of Light Goods’ business trips, where she was able to meet the girl that we sponsor at CDL who is her age.
- When we visit our base in Primo Tapia, I eat ice cream bars for breakfast (I mean, they’re homemade and half a block away. I’m supporting the local economy!)
What do you enjoy doing to relax & recharge?
Sleep. (Can I just say that alone?! Mama of 3 talkin’ here!). Prayer & meditation, spending intentional time with a friend or two over tea.
What can we expect to see from House of Light Goods over the next few months? A year?
We are CONSTANTLY dreaming about what’s to come for House of Light Goods and Casa De Luz. That’s one thing we’re really good at! Along with breaking ground on the Own Your Own Home Village, we’re dreaming about having an actual brick & mortar store-front on that property. I’ve also had some samples of hand loomed totes and clutches that have been in my living room for the last year that I’m OBSESSED with, I’d love to see those released this year!
How has being an entrepreneur empowered you?
It’s seems hard at times, with the way our culture is and what our senses are being bombarded with day in and day out, to be selfless. It’s a nice thought that gives us all the warm feelings and pats on our backs, but I’ll be the first to say….I can be SELFISH. The competitive nature in our society can feel suffocating. Get, get, get; one up this person, out do the other. It’s too much. It’s not good for our souls! If anything, I feel like starting House of Light Goods has stretched my heart to, at times, beyond what I thought it’s capacity could be. To get out of my own little world, and my own struggles (which I’m not diminishing, cause we all have our own battles to navigate), and put my energy into helping those that are truly, in an entirely different reality than the one I’ve been blessed with. That can’t NOT change you. When you meet these women face-to-face, build relationships with them, and get to witness first-hand the profound transformation in their lives, THAT journey is hands down the most empowering thing I’ve ever experienced!
I encourage you to visit the House of Light Goods website to learn more about how they’ve specifically impacted Ruby and her family (pictured above), continue to spread love through Casa de Luz Ministries, and join the support yourself by shopping from a beautiful collection of handmade goods!
Please join us next week for another feature on a Canadian brand we’d love to share with you! Follow along on social media using #LLFeatureFriday and join our community at @lovinglocal.ca on Facebook and Instagram!