Today, it’s pretty common for a woman to have her own business. But in the early 1900s, it was unusual! Yet Mabel Baker, just like the many thousands of women who would come after her, had a vision of transforming her life.
A Single Bayberry Leads to a Multimillion-Dollar Operation.
In the early 1900s, schoolteacher Mabel Baker began crafting candles from the wild bayberries that grew in her native 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 turned her love of candles into a business.
Mabel remained passionately committed to growing 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 business worth $6 million. Today, she remains our role model for success.
Candles Become a Beacon for Enterprising Women.
In 1973, just as more American women were expanding their roles beyond the home, 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.
Mabel’s Persistence Carries On.
PartyLite began with three people working in a tiny office. But thanks to Mabel’s inspiration, they believed in themselves. They also believed they’d come up with a great new sales model: “What if,” they wondered, “we created a system for sharing company profits with our salespeople? And what if that incentive program could make it possible for our salespeople to sell not to big companies, but person to person?” As you’ve probably guessed, that idea took off.
PartyLite Finds Its Place in the World.
PartyLite became single-mindedly focused on quality—in our home fragrances and accents and in our relationships with people—just as Mabel would have intended. Our direct selling method allows Consultants to chart their own path to success and achieve higher quality of life.
New Leadership Comes with Mabel-Tested Values.
When PartyLite was acquired in 1990 by Blyth, Inc., the organisation’s full potential was unleashed. Today, PartyLite has tens of thousands of Consultants around the world. And what began as a single line of bayberry candles has expanded to an extensive selection of top-quality home fragrances and accents. But most important, throughout this growth, PartyLite has remained true to the values Mabel evoked with her very first candle: honesty, integrity, fairness and quality.