Our baby twins were born prematurely at just 29 weeks and spent the first 10 weeks of their lives in Neo-Natal care. The nurses used to give me precious keepsakes, such as tiny oxygen masks, but I didn’t have anything really special enough to keep them in. Around the same time our young son left nursery with piles of precious paintings that we stuffed in the back of a cupboard, not wanting to throw away but we also realised we weren't looking after them either. And finally, after a friend was diagnosed with a life limiting illness, our family understood that we should treasure each moment and enjoy every memory to the fullest. It was the combination of all three events that made me realise how precious time is together and how easy it is to forget and lose those items that remind us of those special moments.
The other thing I realised was that we are not alone! The more we talked about wanting to find ways to look after keepsakes and have memories on display around us, the more we heard friends and family say they felt the same. And the more we found ways to look after our family 'treasures' the more we smiled and felt cheered by doing so.
So, you might say, a teeny oxygen mask lit the touch paper of my desire to run my own businesses and gave me the idea for TLKC. I had spent all my career in PR and marketing, working as Marketing Director for a large PLC and latterly running my own marketing agency, but I didn’t think either role would give me the flexibility to bring up a young family and I really wanted to step out from advising others on how to run a business and have a go myself! It was a big decision but one I’ve never regretted.
Daily family life remains a constant influence and inspiration for new gift ideas whether that be as my children grow, as I miss my beloved Granma and wish I had more mementos or as many milestones pass as we celebrate special times with those around us. We love a get together!
For the first three years, I ran The Lovely Keepsake Company part time whilst juggling baby twins and a footy mad lad at home. But by time all three children went to school, the store had become hugely popular and the team and workspace needed to grow. Today, as well as selling our own stock, I’m delighted that we now also promote the work of independent craftspeople who love to find fresh ideas for keepsakes.
I love that TLKC offers a huge range of heart-warming keepsake ideas to our customers and now offers a targeted, sales platform to help support small creative businesses. But most of all, I love that I am able to live out a dream of running a retail business whilst still giving 100% to my three kids, who afterall, were behind the inspiration and give me daily reasons to cherish memories!