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Jo's Journal - May

Posted: by Jo Wednesday, 1 May 2019 @ 16:49

We had a very productive April at Mantra, working on many different projects.

Our charity partnership with CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) is ready to launch, and is a cause we feel very strongly about. CALM are leading a movement against suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45.

This is our first collaboration aimed at men, and is intended to highlight the mental health issues that men suffer from, and encourage greater discussion. We wanted this to be the perfect gift from one guy to another – a thoughtful but easy gift for a mate going through a tough time.

We have also been busy with our new collaborators, with necklaces from Persia Lawson and Holly Matthews due to launch soon. Both are completely different.

Persia’s first design is due to launch just before Glastonbury Festival. Her message is one of letting go, and allowing life to take its course rather than trying to control everything. Perfect not just for the festival season, but for your whole life: ‘Surrender to the festival of life’.

Holly’s message is quite different: it one of survival, but in a positive way. Holly’s mantra is, ‘Life cannot break me, for I know how strong I am’, represented by the single word, ‘Unbreakable’. Read more about both of our collaborators and their stories here.

jo stroud mantra

In April, we also had that glorious run of weather over Easter, which brought a smile to all our faces.

I was lucky enough to spend a few days with family in the Lake District, doing a couple of wonderful walks, and having some lovely meals. A stroll around Ullswater was our warm-up – surely one of the prettiest walks in the Lakes; followed by a 6 hour hill walk over Easedale Tarn and up to High Raise. Just beautiful!

My cousin – who is ten years older than me – reminded me that being fit in my fifties will make my sixties much more enjoyable – so I was highly motivated to tackle the walks with gusto, now that I have reached that milestone of 50. ‘Just move’ is one of the seven mantras I live by, and it flashes into my head, every time there is an opportunity to take things easy instead of being active.

Also over Easter, very tragically, were the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka – devastating and heart-breaking for all involved. It can be hard to stay positive in the face of such tragedy, but believing that good will win out over darkness in the end is a start.

April continued for me with a visit to our new Mantra stockist, Stringers in Lytham, to train the team and give them more background information about Mantra. Stringers is a beautiful store with a superbly-curated product range – I would highly recommend a visit there, if you are in the North West. Independently owned, and by the same family since the 1950’s, it restores your faith in high street retail, when it is done this well.stringers lytham

It was lovely to be up in that part of the world, as my grandmother used to live in Lytham St Anne’s, and it was a real trip down memory lane to be back in the area. I walked along the promenade, and saw the old trampolines and miniature train that we used to play on – 40 years ago!

Lastly, I managed another visit to the Tate, this time for the ‘Van Gogh and Britain’ exhibition. As well as many of the glorious paintings I knew – a version of Sunflowers, and a Night Sky, for example – the exhibition was full of black and white line drawings and sketches that I had never seen before. It was a wonderful reminder not to make assumptions in life, as Van Gogh’s sheer versatility was incredible.

I hope your April was equally interesting, and I look forward to catching up with you again next month.

Jo xx

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