We wouldn’t be who we are without our amazing, impactful Impact Partners. We recently spoke with Pearl Dick, co-creator of one of our purveyors, Project FIRE, which contributes beautiful hand-blown glass wine stoppers to several of our collections. No two wine stoppers are the same, as each one is individually designed with the unique colors and vision the artist has in mind.
Pearl shared more with us about Project FIRE’s mission, why she chooses to partner with Packed with Purpose and why she thinks it’s important to give socially conscious gifts.
Read on to learn how your purchase makes an impact on Project FIRE’s cause.
What does Project FIRE stand for?
The FIRE in Project FIRE stands for Fearless Initiative for Recovery and Empowerment.
What is your mission?
Our mission is to provide glass art education, job opportunities and trauma-informed psychoeducation to young people in Chicago who have been injured by gun violence.
Who does your organization serve?
We serve young people ages 13-21 who have been shot or who have witnessed the shooting of someone close to them.
How does your artist development employment program work?
Young people in Project FIRE start by learning the basics of glassblowing. As they gain more technical proficiency, they graduate to a “production” team of glassblowers who are responsible for creating the pieces for our signature lines and specialized commission pieces. Everyone has a hand in finishing the pieces before they go out the door.
Can you tell us more about your impact?
Project FIRE participants are learning hands-on technical skills as well as the details around creating a product and selling it — they are paid to participate in the program, and they receive a portion of the sales of their artwork. Having a job and being able to buy things for yourself or to be able to help your family increases self confidence and instills a sense of pride and accomplishment. But there is an even greater impact in terms of the bonds that are formed in the studio while creating our products — so much trust and communication is necessary to be successful in the glass studio that we become very close to each other. We have heard of rivals outside of the studio who have resolved differences on the street because of their involvement with Project FIRE. Coming together to make glass is saving lives.
What Project FIRE products are included in Packed with Purpose’s socially conscious gifts?
We are proud to include our glass bottle stoppers in Packed with Purpose’s socially conscious gifts.
Why do you partner with Packed with Purpose and our socially conscious gifts?
We are excited to partner with a small business in Chicago that is committed to bringing greater awareness to organizations who are making great products while working to have a positive impact within their communities and industries.
Why do you think people should give socially conscious gifts?
If you are going to populate the world with more stuff, it should be made with care and consideration. When the process of making can also promote tolerance and understanding and compassion, it enriches the recipient of the gift beyond just receiving something cool. Also, you buying our products helps us help more young people
Where can we find Project FIRE’s products?
You can buy our products at our studio or on our website at www.projectfirechi.com. They’re also available at street fairs and pop-up shops around Chicago, and in stores like Wolfbait and B-girls in Logan Square, and 57th Street Wines in Hyde Park. We also do custom work — get in touch and we’ll make you something special!
Shop Project FIRE’s socially responsible gifts in our A Toast for Two and For the Craft Cocktail Lover collections! Both of these gifts include beautifully-designed products that will make an impression on your recipients.