This is the busy season in the candle business.
“We are in 11 retailers throughout central Indiana,” said O'Nealya Grounstal. Harvest and Holiday Blends are top sellers at Restored Creations.
Tanya Paschal is running production at the south side candle factory, the social enterprise of Wheeler Mission’s Center for Women and Children in Indianapolis.
“I am completely stretched way outside my comfort zone,” Paschal said. “I'm learning to do the spreadsheets and inventory and making invoices on our internet store.”
“She has blossomed into this beautiful leader,” Grounstal told us.
Just a year and a half ago, Paschal knew nothing about manufacturing, inventory management, or customer sales. She was, however, well-schooled in heroin and its dark co-existence with broken relationships, homelessness, and death.
“I've struggled with addiction since I was at least 26 years old, for the past 10 years. It's like you get better but then you fall back.”
It was a cycle she shared with her husband.
“Our last night of using, we lost our house and we had to spend a night behind a gas station downtown on Alabama, and then that morning when we woke up we were both sick and just done,” Paschal said.
The couple sought help at Wheeler Mission Ministries.
“If you could see the gal that I met a year and a half ago you would not recognize her,” Grounstal said.
In Wheeler's women's recovery program, Paschal started working around the table, making and packaging candles.
“This is not craft time,” Grounstal said.
Every worker here is a woman in recovery, interns learning job skills and building a resume while in treatment. Every sale is investment in a woman's potential and restoring families.
Paschal and her husband graduated from treatment and have custody of their healthy 4-month-old daughter.
“I have to give all the glory to God because I wouldn't have been able to do it without him.” Paschal says she's proof that no matter how broken, you can rebuild.
“I think it’s important that you just kind push yourself and you don't, if you go back to what you were doing before you got clean, the chances of you falling back are pretty high, Paschal said. “It’s important to learn new things so you can do new things.”