Posted: by Jo Friday, 29 April 2022 @ 08:54
was a mixed month for me...
with some hugely enjoyable social activities and a
week-long holiday - but also, a reflective occasion of scattering my
mother-in-law waited 9 months before she felt ready to scatter Dennis’s ashes,
which gave her time to reflect on how to do it in the most meaningful way. She
chose a quiet spot in their large garden, overlooking their orchard, and placed
a wooden bench there, and planted a cherry tree beside it. Half of his ashes
were scattered around the tree, and half on top of a nearby hill, looking down
on that spot in the garden, with the Baptist Minister coming along to say a
loved his garden, and he and Joan created the orchard with trees bought on
their honeymoon – so it felt like just the right spot for him, and a lovely,
peaceful and fitting way to put him to rest.
An Easter break
that, we celebrated Easter with Joan, before heading to the Lake District for a
week’s walking holiday. I was thrilled to walk up ten Wainwrights on the challenging
Kentmere Horseshoe on one of the days, and enjoy a gentle stroll in Grizedale
Forest as an easy contrast on another.
was a wonderful holiday, with the incredible views of the Lake District made
even sweeter by the blue sky and sunshine of the whole week.
back to work after my week away, it was disappointing – and more than a little
worrying – to see how quiet sales had been on the Mantra website. With
increasing fuel and food costs starting to really bite now, it is clear that
many people simply don’t have the disposable income to spend on jewellery right
now, whether that be for themselves or as a gift.
We have extended
our Sale, and added more to it, as we hope this will bring more of our
inspiring pieces to within a more accessible price range. But it is a worrying
time for us, as we simply cannot continue as a business without a certain level
of turnover to pay the team, the office rent, the production costs, and the
general business running costs.
Shop the Mid-season Sale
last week that a very good retail jewellery business that I have long admired
has gone into administration, and I know many other brands and designers who
are having a very quiet time right now. I am very concerned that we are at the
tip of a recession, and that many small businesses - like our own – may
struggle to get through it.
I am not
sure what the answer is, as it is clear that living costs are going to continue
to increase for some time to come. All we can hope is that Mantra continues to
be perceived as a high quality brand at an affordable price-point, which brings
joy and inspiration to the wearer, and makes a powerful and meaningful gift.
interesting attending the ‘Women of the Year’ lunch and awards at the start of
the month, in company of many female business friends. My friends all want to
support small businesses, and to see them thrive – but were also starting to
worry about increasing pressure on household incomes. However, they all felt
that they would continue to buy meaningful gifts for family and friends, even
if their overall spend level was reduced – which gave me some encouragement as the
owner of a business that is predominantly gifted.
and ended this month with more culture in London – lucky enough to see both
Moulin Rouge and Cabaret, both Christmas gifts. The sheer joy of seeing live
performances on stage is incredible, especially after such a long time away
from it, and I can highly recommend both shows. My husband and I also visited
the Stonehenge exhibition at the British Museum, when we were in London – which
ever, I have a long line of books that I am reading or listening to this month,
which include Bill Bryson’s excellent ‘The Body’ (which I know I am very late
to the party on), and Susan Jeffers’ ‘Embracing Uncertainty’ – a favourite that
I am listening to again, and which is very pertinent for these uncertain times.
I hope everyone has a great May, and that we are each able to focus on the good things in our lives, rather than the negatives of the wider world. ‘Seek the sweet moments in every day’ seems a good mantra for current times, to keep our faces turned to the sunshine.