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Only 17-years-old, Kristina Valiani, creator of The Beauty of Hope collection of scented soy candles, attended a women’s conference at her church where she learned about the dangers of sex trafficking, not just overseas, but here in Seattle. (Image: Paola Thomas / Seattle Refined)

Move over glassybaby, there's a new candle company in town

If you like to spice up your gift-giving with a charitable donation, glassybaby has always been a good option here in Seattle . But now there’s a new candle company on the block which has put donating at the very heart of its business model.

Only 17-years-old, Kristina Valiani, creator of The Beauty of Hope collection of scented soy candles, attended a women’s conference at her church where she learned about the dangers of sex trafficking, not just overseas, but here in Seattle. Police estimate that between 300-500 people are being exploited as sex slaves every day in King County alone, and the extent of the tragedy left a deep impression on Kristina.

"I remember never being the same after that day," she admits, and she felt compelled to do something about it.

Kristina spent the next eight years earning her esthetician’s license and working as the Director of Sales for resort spa skincare companies, all while learning everything she could from the beauty brands she worked for and making plans to open her own beauty business.

Last fall, she left her job traveling to top spas nationwide to start her own company making luxury soy candles, and right from the start donations to organizations that fight sex trafficking have been an integral part of her mission and business model.

Kristina made candles on her kitchen stove and sold them at farmers’ market as a way of getting instant feedback as she developed her collection. She then invested $50,000 of her own money to build out an office and manufacturing space, and less than a year later, The Beauty of Hope Collection is now found in over 60 high-end resorts, spas and boutiques throughout the nation.

The Beauty of Hope fights sex trafficking in three ways. The company gives 10 percent of its revenues to Real Escape from the Sex Trade (REST), a Seattle-based organization dedicated to preventing individuals from becoming victims of human trafficking, and facilitating safe transitions out of the sex trade by providing intervention, mentorship, shelter and rehabilitation for abused survivors. Kristina is proud to donate from her business’s top line, from revenues rather than earnings, making her contribution an essential component of her company’s business plan.

The team at The Beauty of Hope also volunteers with REST, helping with fundraisers, clothing drives and other events, while Kristina uses her company platform to bring awareness to the extent of sex trafficking in our local community, through all her marketing collateral and packaging as well as via the company’s website and on social media. ‘I feel tremendously blessed to lead The Beauty of Hope and show other companies it is possible to put giving at the center of their business. Running a startup comes with its own set of challenges, and it helps to renew your mind by focusing on the big picture,’ says Kristina.

The Beauty of Hope’s range of hand-crafted soy candles is made from the highest quality, ethically sourced raw ingredients and helps to support US farmers. The scents are characterized by tropical, tranquil and romantic notes, such Jasmine & Lavender, Grapefruit & Vanilla, Coconut & Mango, Peach & White Tea, Lemongrass & Tobacco and Rose & Ylang Ylang.

The Beauty of Hope collection retails both online and through some of the world’s most prestigious salons and spas, and with each purchase you are partnering with The Beauty of Hope to light the way to end human trafficking. For more information, please visit TheBeautyOfHopeCollection.com.

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