Tonight’s post is one that is very close to my heart. For those of you who know me either online and real life, you’d know that this last year has been, by far, the hardest of both my and my family’s life. Last August we lost our beautiful Dad, very suddenly. Only three months earlier we also lost our beloved Nanna. Grief beyond words to describe the void that has been left. It’s been a very hard year. One that we’ve almost come through. Nine months later we are doing ok. We have our moments. Sometimes we laugh, and other times we just cry, still in disbelief that he is not here. One thing that has kept us going is our support network. A close yet far reaching net of family and friends who have gone above and beyond to make each of us feel loved, and not left behind. I’ve often spoken with my friends about the sense of helplessness they felt at the time. What could they do? My Mum’s home quickly grew into what can only be described as a florist. Something that gave us great strength knowing how much people cared for us. However there were many, many people who felt at a loss as to what to give us. There are only so many flowers that fit into vases. Only so much room in the freezer for meals. Whilst these things are (I can tell you) very much appreciated, there are also alternatives that can a bring a smile to someone’s face who is facing the hardest time of their life. Whether it be a death, a divorce, a sickness, break up, mental health issue or hard time.
A great family friend who had also recently lost her Father, and not too long ago, her brother decided to do something to help people, help others in such times. Sam Lehmann developed The Empathy Gift Co. Gifts to give those who need something to help them through. Her vast array of pre made hampers that include books, candles, creams and an amazing range of other unique products. Stemming from her own experience, Sam wanted to make it easier for others to help others. To help give them something different. I’ve benefited myself from her own forethought, and am very proud to promote her business to you. One day, you may be searching for something to help someone get through their darkest time. Sometimes it’s not about sympathy, it’s about Empathy.
Here are a sample of her gift boxes below:
*Tell us about your business: your idea, your dream….
I have always loved giving gifts and I think I’m a good gift giver, I feel I take a lot of time and effort to choose something right for my friends and family and loving seeing their reactions when they see what I have picked for them. Having experienced two major losses in my life, my gorgeous brother when he was 35 and most recently my darling dad I have gone through some pretty intense feeling of grief and loss. I received a lot of flowers after both deaths and although I appreciate the sentiments I feel there are other items that could bring more comfort like books, candles, pampering products and keepsake gifts. I have also had issues with anxiety and depression over the years, more so anxiety. The symptoms I’ve experienced have been pretty traumatic at times, I have a deep empathy for people who suffer from mental illness, you are completely vulnerable, frightened and don’t feel your self it can be debilitating.
I feel that knowing this I could offer gifts to those not knowing how to support someone with mental illness, People who have never suffered don’t know what to do or say and I think we offer suitable products that communicate love and support to someone struggling. I decided that I wanted to create a business that could really help people support others with gifts that were helpful in many difficult situations like grief, emotional distress, cancer, divorce or becoming a new parent.
I would love The Empathy Gift Co to be the type of online business that people go to because they know they are going to be able to communicate their support and kindness in a helpful and long lasting way. If they struggle with choosing gifts we can help you with our Pre-made Gift Boxes, some people actually do nothing when someone they love is facing challenges because they are not sure what to buy or how to help, most of the time the person suffering just needs to know that someone genuinely cares about them and we like to think we can really help do that with our beautiful Products and empathy cards.
*Magic: What is the most magical thing that has happened so far?
I have owned and managed 3 other businesses, fashion retail boutiques, two women’s boutiques and a baby/kids concept store, I was lucky enough to sell all three. I would have to say the most magical thing that has happened to me as a business owner is not the financial success I have had, I would have to say its the people I have met and connected with, the stories I’ve been told , the support I have received and the satisfaction I have got from helping people, helping them feel good about themselves, I love that more than anything. I have learnt a lot about what’s really important in life, its certainly not money or being a successful business person, its the people you love and care about and if you do something you love and are passionate about the financial success will come anyway, be true to your self and don’t ever forget the people, the relationships, helping others, having integrity and sticking with your values., these are what will make you successful in life!
My greatest Challenge would probably be this new business as I am used to having the face to face interaction in my stores. Having an online business and not being able to talk to everyone that visits my site is just something I will need to get used to. I really want to be able to make this shopping experience easy for people so even though I don’t get to meet them all in person I hope when they visit the website and read my story they get a pretty good idea of the type of business and person they are buying from.
*Milestone: What have you been most proud of?
My greatest achievement is not any of my business’ , its raising my 2 beautiful caring, kind and loving daughters. It hasn’t been easy and at times very stressful but they both make me so proud to be their mum. Being a mum has been my greatest challenge but also the most rewarding. Finding work/life balance is I believe a challenge for all mums, we want to be there for our children always but at the same time we feel the pressure to contribute financially and be an independent woman. We wear a lot of hats because we just want to get it right, but I don’t think any of us ever get it right, we just do our best, we make mistakes and mess up but all we ever want for our kids is to feel loved, accepted and be happy. We just want them to grow into capable, loving, resilient and kind adults well that’s all I want for my girls.
*Pay it forward: who or what do you admire?
I source items for my business all the time I want to make mention the amazing artisan creators out there, the skincare, body products, candle makers, crafters and cooking creators, these small business do awesome stuff and I am keen to support as many as possible rather than the big brands. When you visit markets and festivals support these people they put so much love into what they do and deserve to do so well.
Sam also has an amazing range of cards to say words that are often hard to say. From one person who has experienced loss and found it hard to get through, these gifts would be a tremendous help. Just knowing that you have someone in your life who cares enough, is enough.