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Jo’s Journal – June 2021

Posted: by Jo Wednesday, 26 May 2021 @ 12:24

June is just around the corner, and we are all looking forward to more freedoms. For me, May was a wonderful month of doing things that I previously took for granted – dining outside at a fabulous pub in the Lake District; meeting my friend, Emma, for lunch at our local Warwickshire brasserie, sitting out in the sunshine; shopping for homewares – in actual shops. It has reminded me why these seemingly little things add so much enjoyment to life.

jo and emma

But also in May, I had a stark reminder of how much still isn’t normal, when I went to my cousin’s funeral. Diagnosed recently with late-stage cancer of the oesophagus, he had very little time in the end, and passed away quickly. A hugely popular retired teacher and lay preacher, with a multitude of friends – mourners at his funeral could have filled a cathedral, if permitted. But instead, just 30 of us allowed in the church.

This hugely sad occasion was a reminder of how many people this past year have had to mourn a loved one with few of the normal comforts of companionship and sharing of memories. But the service itself was beautiful, and brought home to me the power of words to bring comfort and perspective.  

Still I have spent a lot of time walking and reading this past month, not wanting to go back to a life crammed full of activity – just because the world is opening up again. I think it’s really important that we take the time to think about how we want our lives to feel, now that more and more is open to us – and I know, for sure, that I want to hold onto the feeling of space and freedom in my life.  

Let’s choose more mindfully how we spend our time, and whom we spend it with. Let’s say no more often, to things we don’t really want to do, but often end up agreeing to. Let’s prioritise time without distractions and busy-ness, so we can retain our ability to focus on enjoying one thing at a time.

I mentioned our new ‘Wave’ necklace last month, which launches in June, with its mantra, ‘In the waves of change, I find my new direction’. For many of us, Covid has changed so many things about work and home life, so let’s take this as an opportunity for a new approach to life, even if not a complete change of direction. What can we tweak about our lives, that will hang onto the best of lockdown?

Two other new designs which launch next month focus on the relationships and human connections that make life truly worth living. They include our lovely new Sunflower Necklace, which brings to life the mantra, ‘Life is better with you in it’; and our dainty Hand and Heart design – a hand, palm facing forwards, decorated with a cut-out heart – which represents the mantra, ‘You give a hand to hold, and a heart to care’.

The Hand and Heart is intended as a message of deep appreciation for someone who has been there for you, or for a loved one, through life’s challenges. Someone who cares deeply, and gives support, encouragement and help when you need it most. It might be a family member or a loyal friend; or it could easily be a good Samaritan or professional carer, who has crossed your path in an important and meaningful way at a time of need.

 mantra ahimsa necklace

We brought to life this powerful mantra of appreciation with a design originally inspired by the Ahimsa symbol – usually, a hand with a spiral. ‘Ahimsa’ means 'not to injure’, and is a philosophy of non-violence, compassion and love. It is embraced by Buddhist, Hindu and Jainist traditions, as well as being adopted as a contemporary symbol for an ethical way of life. We replaced the spiral with a heart, to combine the two things we need most when life is tough – a helping hand, and the power of love.

All of our new designs launch mid-month, and we are excited about each and every one.

We were also excited this month to see one of our team recognised by the jewellery industry. Anna has worked with me for almost 12 years now, starting in our Fabulous store in Solihull, and then expanding her role over time to encompass many aspects of Mantra. She has been recognised as being part of the industry Power List by ‘Professional Jeweller’ magazine - a celebration of individuals who are blazing a trail in the market, recognising those who are playing a role in promoting innovation, championing customer service and pioneering change.

anna - powerlistprofessional jewellery power list 2021

As Product Manager, Anna’s role includes deciding what to order, and ensuring we have the right quantities of each piece, as well as being fully involved in the production process of all new designs; and the management of all packaging, point-of-sale and display materials. In her Event role, she is fully involved in managing our attendance at festivals and shows, and she also has a very active role in our Fabulous business, managing our Leamington Spa store and all the team, stock and process management that goes with that.

During lockdown, some aspects of her role were suddenly removed, as shops closed and events were cancelled – so she had to turn her hand swiftly to becoming an ecommerce expert, as our levels of online ordering rapidly increased. This award recognises her ability to adapt, as well as her hard work and commitment to the business.

Our Charity of the Month this month is NHS Charities Together, who represent, support and champion the work of over 230 NHS charities across the UK. NHS charities give £1 million a day to the NHS, so that people can stay well for longer and get better faster.

mantra nhs necklace

I enjoyed interviewing Sian, their Fundraising Manager, and finding out more about her personal background and motivations. In this most difficult of years, it has been good to understand what her key challenges have been, and still will be, as we get past the pandemic. 

I hope you each have a wonderful June, and that we are each able to embrace the feeling of our new Starburst Necklace – ‘I do more than live life. I celebrate it’. Choose the things that you love to do, and celebrate the people who make your life better by being in it.  

I hope you all have a wonderful month!

Jo xx

 

 

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