Healing Boxes: what they are and how to send them
I read about Healing Boxes recently and loved the idea of it quite quickly. However, when I found out more about the owners, (Grace and Linus), how and why they made their first Healing Box, and what motivates them to create these amazing boxes; all I wanted to do was identify people who needed a healing gift, so I could send them one! !
Scroll down and find out what made me feel this way! :)
What does Healing Boxes specialise in?
At Healing Boxes we put together tailor made ethical gifts to warm the heart - gift boxes of support and comfort (which are, of course, all vegan) for people who are living with illness, newly diagnosed, caring for loved ones, struggling with life crises or anyone who just wants a little more kindness in their lives.
We sell boxes for different circumstances through our website as well as offering a bespoke service, where you can speak to us directly and get an extra special gift box, that's tailor made for you or a loved one. In addition to this, a portion of each sale goes towards donating Healing Boxes to a local cancer hospice.
We don't just offer gifts that are comforting, but gifts that are practical, supportive and suitable. Each healing box is aimed at catering for differing needs, offering people a lifeline and hope when they need it most. Luscious lip balm to cope with dry hospital rooms, super-soft bamboo socks so people can feel good even if they can't sit up, recycled journals to give people a space to vent all those whirling worries and difficult emotions, palm stones to hold onto when they need it most. We create happy boxes, healing toolboxes and survival kits for when people don't even know where to begin.
Where is Healing Boxes based?
We're based in South Wales, but we sell through our online shop and we ship worldwide as we want to get the support out to absolutely everyone who needs it.
What inspired you to create a business focusing on supportive, vegan gifts?
It began with a vegan friend who was in hospital. Living with illness ourselves we wanted to support them, but we lived so far away that travel was out of the question, so our next plan was to send them a wonderful gift box full of comfort and cheer.
But all the gift boxes available were clearly not designed by people who had been in hospital, and the few that were available, weren't vegan. The box being vegan is essential, for both us and our friend. One box offered a cuddly bear and a lot of honey. If you ignore the fact that honey isn't vegan, what do you do with six jars of honey when you're in a hospital bed? The boxes weren't practical. It seemed that most hospital gift options were based around fruit, flowers and (non-vegan) chocolates.
So we crafted our own gift box, using our own experience of living with chronic health challenges. This was the very first Healing Box, which was filled with gifts that would actually help someone who had suddenly found themselves in the throes of illness. It worked brilliantly! It functioned as not just a Healing Box, but perhaps more importantly, as a Happy Box, a repository of cheering treats, coping tools (like journals and meditation CDs) and loving letters from friends that could be dipped into on a daily basis, to keep those spirits high.
Soon we began getting requests from friends, and then from friends of friends, and we realised that there was a serious need for Healing Boxes in the world.
Both being vegan ourselves, only supplying 100% vegan gifts was a must from the start, which worked out perfectly as vegan gifts are so accessible that they can be enjoyed by people who have allergies, certain health conditions and even by people who have no specific vegan requirements. It's perfect for our business, perfect for our audience and perfect for our world.
How easy is it for you to source cruelty free gifts for your boxes?
Although all of our gifts represent many hours, even years of experience and research, it's impressively easy to get ethical gifts nowadays compared to how things were in the past. Even in the time we've been vegan, we've witnessed an increase of vegan products available, which is welcomed by vegans and ethical shoppers. We have become increasingly proud of the vegan community each time we explore new gift options.
It warms my heart to know that there are so many people out there who are working hard to make vegan gifts as accessible as possible. The more we explore, the more we discover, and it's a wonderful feeling to bring these gifts together and ship them out to people who, perhaps, didn't even know they existed.
Do these gifts effect the outcome in comparison with non-ethical gift boxes?
Yes, and in such good ways. When people have seen the gifts we've been able to offer, they've often commented on how wonderful it is. We're working from experience, offering gifts that we know will really help people when they need it, and although we don't always sell the more mainstream gifts some people are used to; such as, well known milk chocolates or unethically produced ornaments; many people have been overjoyed to see us packing our gift boxes full of items they can actually use, rather than others which they may need to politely decline.
Every vegan knows the frustration and disappointment of excitedly opening a gift to find... something non-vegan that they won't use. Again. Sigh. It's such a wasted opportunity and sours the experience for the giver and receiver. At Healing Boxes every gift is free from harm and benefits not just you, but our world too. We make a gift that you can truly love and use - if you have allergies, we can work with that, if you have mouth ulcers from chemotherapy, we've got something for you, if you are vegan, gluten-free etc, we have gifts that you can enjoy!
Is Healing Boxes owned by or in partnership with another company that does test on animals or sell non-vegan products?
We're a 100% vegan-owned and run company, selling only vegan gifts. Though not all our gift suppliers are vegan themselves, we only include vegan gifts in our boxes and, when supplying any kind of food or toiletries, we aim to source them from vegan companies.
In addition to that, we always aim to stock gifts that have a positive impact in the world, whether it be fairtrade and handmade journals that support women-owned business, or our greeting cards that donate portions of their own profits to an orphanage in India, we're all about positive impact and change.
Tell me a bit about yourself before you launched Healing Boxes?
We're a wife and husband team, who met through our animal rescue work. Both of us were vegan when we met and this hasn't changed. Unexpected illness somewhat changed our life-plans, and although we can't change the diagnoses, we can choose how we handle them now they're here, and our vegan lifestyles have given us the best resources to help manage our conditions.
Ever since we've done a wide variety of things (some of them while bed/house bound) and gained a lot of experience, all of which we put towards setting up Healing Boxes as well as Trailblazing Wellness, which teaches people to live well with illness or life struggles and reclaim their lives after challenge or crisis.
What is your vision for the future of Healing Boxes?
Our main aim is to get Healing Boxes to all those who need them, whether bought from our online shop or through our donation scheme. Our ideal is that when people are struggling, when they don't know where to turn, or when they desperately want to support a loved one but really don't know what to buy for someone who's ill, Healing Boxes can provide that lifeline, that comfort, and that help.
We'd like Healing Boxes to be more widely available to people. We're working towards being stocked in hospital shops to give people the support they need directly, and provide a really positive choice for people who are there to see their friends and family and want to bring them some cheer.
We also deeply and sincerely hope that you see something today that makes you smile :)
Can you think of someone who would love one of these healing boxes? Quote 'VEGANSROCK' and you will receive 10% off your first box. This offer is valid until 4th April 2016.