In short, I want my proposed business to become a means to set up a charity fund, for mental health crisis support, in memory of my brother. With 11% of profit in the first year, 22% in the second year, 33% in the 3rd year and thereafter.
I want to have a range of spiritual well-being products that are handmade, unique and created & designed by me. The current range is Crystal Infused Prescription Teas and natural crystal-infused bath products.
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There are 9 Teas in my range, with my best ones being Amethyst and Rose Quartz. Each one is created around the crystal, which is the prescription part. Part of the process includes placing the thoroughly cleansed crystals in the batch and leaving for 24 hours (I have a special way of doing infusion), the crystals then remain there until they are packaged and one will then be sent with the tea, to the customer. I currently offer PET tubes & Foil lined bags (tea-fills). I want to also have tins as an option. As a progression, I want to outsource the Blending part of the teas, as this will allow me to increase production and eventually expand the range, by working with a tea company to blend my recipes and use some of theirs too.
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I have 6 original Tub Teabag Blends, and 12 zodiac blends, which are Himalayan Salts, Essential oils, flowers & herbs, all infused with sunstones and moonstones. Again, the batches are infused with the crystals for a minimum of 24 hours. Something I would like to add to this product is having the crystal included with purchases. I also want to add larger quantity packages, as well as the individual teabags. My Bath Teas are currently individual bath tea bags. I created my own range of Zodiac Blends, each one designed to offer support for your sun, moon or rising sign. Plus, my ‘original blends’ which are 6 simpler blends which were where it all started. (These are pre-blended and purchased wholesale, but I do the infusion part myself)
My most popular product is my Moon Milk bath blend. It’s a luxurious and inviting blend of sea salts, calendula petals, essential oils, coconut milk and selenite powder (which I grind myself). Currently, only in one size availability, I want to be able to increase the sizes I can offer.
Introducing Crystal scrub bars, using exfoliant, soap & natural butters. Creates a product for those that don’t have access to a bath, which allows increasing my target market.
Crystal Infused Rollerbottle blends - for crystal aromatherapy magic on the go! Glass roller bottles, with crystal roller balls. Incorporation crystal chips, herbs and flowers.
Vegan Balms - as I have fibromyalgia I am constantly looking at things to help me with symptoms of it, pain ease is the one most of my community are waiting for. and I am in the process of sourcing and testing ingredients.
My vision is to bring my business to reality, by certifying my products and be able to sell online via a website. I would also love to have them available / used at retreats, spas, wellbeing centres etc. The products ingredients are natural, organic and ethically sourced. I carefully chose my suppliers based on their missions, values and ethos.
I want to use more eco-friendly packaging, sourced from reputable outlets as well as other small businesses. Everything can either be composted, recycled or reused. Some I already use and others I will be able to approach once I complete crowdfunding.
To be honest I always struggle with this! I don’t want to be defined by my past, but I want to be authentic... I have battled with many things - childhood trauma, school bullying, domestic abuse, physical & mental health issues for most of my life.
My name is Rachel. I'm turning 40 next year, and I want to make a difference now.
My younger brother Colum, and I were both diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder - EUPD). This is a diagnosis I feel is subject to extreme bias and judgement, especially when the individual is in crisis. It becomes a dismissive barrier to treatment, and access to services, and more importantly support. Adequate support for crisis and recovery is something my brother never received. And it breaks my heart.
Like many other things, as soon as BPD is diagnosed, it appears to become a barrier to treatment and support.
A few years ago I had my own crisis and attempted suicide. This was not new though. Stress and overwhelm of work and balancing motherhood, and feeling like a failure, are often triggers. However, eventually, I received support, through a mental health crisis recovery house. I think I possibly got ‘lucky’ because the staff there were amazing, my family, my partner and my brother were also included and helped me to recover and maintain stability. I embraced holistic and alternative coping methods which I continue to rely on today, and without it, I probably wouldn’t be here today.
My brother lost his own battle with mental health, taking his own life in August 2018.
The only person who could always see me for me, always watching me shine, cheering me on... telling me he was proud of me. My best friend. And he was gone. And I promised myself that his death would not be mine too. I will make a difference, and it will be for him. I won’t let others suffer the injustice he did. I won’t let funding be an excuse. I won’t let being ‘very busy’ or ‘not a priority’ be an excuse.
Colum was not as ‘lucky’. After several consecutive failed attempts, he had eventually succeeded in taking his own life. Despite both himself and our family begging for adequate treatment and support, it never materialised. And we will never receive answers as to why.
In reality, his case is more common than mine. And his death probably would have been mine too, if it hadn’t been for my family and my soul family.
I have been waiting for an out of area mental health referral since his death. I’m still waiting. And sadly my own mental health has been used as a barrier for other treatment for my physical health, including fibromyalgia. Yet, I am managing with my medication and having to force myself out of bed some days. My creativity and products give me focus. I am proof that BPD may not be ‘curable’ but it is manageable. I have an array of friends with various mental health diagnoses, and they too are thriving and managing to find focus within the spiritual communities we share in common. I'm not saying I will never experience a relapse, but I have more awareness of triggers and my partner is more aware of signs of a crisis looming too.
I don’t know the ‘how’ yet, but it involves setting up a fund in Colum's memory and using it to help people in a mental health crisis.
Eventually, I dream of having a beautiful retreat space, where nobody will be left to self-rescue. They will feel supported, from the moment they need support until they don’t. Regardless of diagnosis, regardless of social status, regardless of postcode... you will feel heard, you will matter, you will receive support. And the funding with be largely funded by profit from my own business. But until then, I will use profits from my business to support others who can do this.
I want to enable access to holistic therapies and peer supporters. In an ideal world, I will also offer support to families, including those, unfortunately, experiencing the devastation of Suicide Bereavement. This is something severely lacking in the UK, especially where I live.
I know it’s not for everyone, but it is what helped me. Taking care of our spiritual wellbeing is just as important as physical and emotional needs.
I found spirituality by a random connection with my beautiful mentor. Not long after my breakdown. She’s given me the confidence to embrace authenticity and a fire in my belly that wants to do more.
In the past 3 years of knowing her, I have gained confidence and grown as a person. I finally felt like my missing piece was found! My brother saw this too. Some days I feel like perhaps my growth contributed to his crisis. I know it’s not true, I know he supported me and was proud of me.
From that connection, I’ve also found an abundance of friendships. Something I never had or wanted before, because of all the trauma I had experienced. But these friendships have changed me too. My circle of friends is the reason I feel strong enough to do this, this is my time.
I have learned and trained in order to understand what I’m doing more. I’m doing a Master Herbalist Diploma at the moment, and have a holistic product one once I complete that.
I have completed many other qualifications including - Crystal Therapy, Aromatherapy Introduction, Moonology, Personal Beauty Diploma, Tasseography and Lithomancy, Palmistry, Astrology Personas and Kinesiology, Energy and Intuitive Healing
These all allow me to understand and create my products to serve a purpose. And I will continue to study Advanced Herbalism and Natural Holistic products because it’s also something I’m passionate about.
I don’t know other products that have my unique ideas, but I know mindfulness and spiritual influence is on the rise. And being a certified crystal therapist it felt natural for me to incorporate this into my products.
If I can make a difference, by doing something I love then it’s what I want to keep doing. And in doing so, I can help others and create change in the way mental health crisis is treated, in memory of my brother, and the many other faces of suicide. As well as showing other women it's ok to start over, and follow your dreams!
I’m not naive, I’m aware of the huge amount of work involved, which is why I also know I need to outsource in order for my hobby to actually become a business, and aims ultimately to be a form of support for Mental Health Crisis. In the beginning, I will likely have to focus locally with my charity, but I see no reason that it can’t extend to other areas once it's set up.
My project is different because it’s a journey of something tragic bringing me a sense of drive and direction.
It’s my passion and love that is combined with wanting to make a difference and change.
It’s not wanting my brother's death to go unnoticed, highlighting just how broken our current system is.
It’s about defying odds and prejudice. Overcoming barriers to mental health support, It’s combining business with a legacy and charity by sharing my beautiful and purposeful creations with others.
My products are ‘one of a kind’ just like my brother. And he will always be the heart and soul of what I do.
My project allows me to turn my passion into a business. It pushes me up the ladder, defying odds and assumptions that always feel against me.
Women can achieve success just as much as men.
Spirituality, Holistic services and Creativity provide tools to manage crisis recovery.
Borderline personality disorder should not remain a barrier to crisis support. People with BPD can function as well as anyone else!
People with Mental Health issues CAN THRIVE, we just have to look at things a little differently and find something that works for us.
My physical health will no longer be a barrier to working, feeling like I’m not contributing financially to my family has been a huge stressor. Feeling like I failed as myself, a sister, a daughter, a mother - I no longer feel confined by my past, my present is just that and my future is hopeful.
My Goals -
In order to expand and embrace my dream, I need to have my products put through cosmetic and food safety assessments. This will allow me to reach further than friends and family, which I currently do as a hobby.
I need further equipment to test, make and store my products.
I want to have my business set up and registered.
I require insurance
Having more professional labelling.
Outsourcing to meet envisioned demand. These are all things that currently hold me back.
I have created my rewards around my actual products. I have plans to include other ranges as I progress. Look out for new rewards launching throughout the duration of my project too!
I want people to feel the love I feel, not only in creating them but the experience of being involved in this too. And ultimately getting to know how I work. I want people to feel included in the creation of something special.
By offering signature creations I feel it also brings a little more magic to the product. Having your very own part of an exclusive signature range will be a little bit special! There will only be 1 per core product. Because I want to keep them special.
How do I know where my money is going?
I want to be transparent in my journey. Part of the money I am crowdfunding has been ‘allocated’ to having a website created.
The vision of my very own website includes a blog. And a page dedicated to everyone who has donated to the fund. And a page to track the charity fund too once it’s set up. Plus, each signature product will have its own spotlight page, including the signature creator information.
When will I receive rewards? I have given a guide date of 1st October 2020. This is my aim to be fully up and running by then.
I’m happy to answer any other questions as I progress!
I don’t have a team, it’s just me. Which is why I am hoping to crowdfund from a hobby into a successful business!
All money I can source will go straight into the business And outsourcing the things that hold me back.
It will cover things such as -
Tools and equipment
CRPS for my products
Outsourcing my tea blending
Insurance & Registering my business
The Charity Fund pot set up and charities commission.