In Ardèche, the sisters of Notre-Dames-des-Neiges market their own household products

In Ardèche, the sisters of Notre-Dames-des-Neiges market their own household products

Vegetable gardens, handicrafts, cheeses… monasteries are doubling their inventiveness to breathe new life. But this latest initiative is original to say the least since no other monastic community offers this type of business! In Ardèche, the sisters of Notre-Dame des Neiges Abbey have launched the production of natural cleaning products in order to meet their needs and anchor themselves in the landscape of their new site, in Saint-Laurent-les-Bains -Laval-d’Aurelle. Six of them are responsible for making the bottles in a specially equipped laboratory, while the others manage administration and shipping.

Floor, toilet, windows, multi-surfaces, every corner of your home can benefit from these 99.9% natural origin cleaners, based on organic plants and abbey spring water. Called “Air des Neiges”, the range offers four scents: citrus, thyme-mint-eucalyptus, lavender, but above all a specific scent of Notre-Dame des Neiges: pine-cedar-fir, supposed to recall a walk in the forest in the beautiful setting of the abbey.

At the launch in April, the objective was to sell 2,000 bottles in one week to raise awareness of the products and cover the significant cash advance caused by the launch of the activity. To date, nearly 10,000 bottles have been sold.

A dynamic religious community

Notre-Dame des Neiges Abbey belonged to Trappist monks who had occupied it since 1850. But as the community gradually diminished, the brothers were forced to leave their location to spread across different monasteries. The abbey was not left abandoned since, three months after the departure of the brothers, in 2022, eight Cistercian sisters from the Sainte-Marie de Boulaur abbey (Gers) settled there. As the community continued to grow, they needed more space.

Since their installation, four new recruits have arrived and one of them took on the monastic habit on April 7. Growth that reflects great energy. Aged 41 on average, the young sisters of this community are known for their effective communication on the Internet and their social networks.

The sisters, recently installed in the second site of the community, are rolling up their sleeves to bring this monastic place to life. The marketing of household products will make it possible to invest in providing the abbey with energy autonomy. At the same time, they launched a crowdfunding campaign to install these photovoltaic panels by 2025. The objective is to raise €100,000.

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