We recently caught up with Jess Shaw from Loving Loudly, who kindly gave us an exclusive interview:
Tell us about your online shop Loving Loudly
My business, Loving Loudly, is a gift box business aimed at people and their loved ones who are struggling through mental health issues in both a home and hospital setting. Our gift boxes are aimed at giving the receivers tools and gifts to keep them busy.
What motivated you to start selling products for people experiencing mental health?
I came up with the idea after suffering through my own mental illness and after receiving a lot of chocolate and flowers. I felt like there was a better way to give and receive support. I’ve never really thought about starting my own business but I saw a need in the way in which we communicate, destigmatize and show support within the mental health community.
I wanted to give back to the mental health community as a thank you for supporting me in my mental health journey, but also find good in my disease.
What’s been your most popular product?
Both gift boxes and Gratitude Journals have been a popular hit. We offer products for both adults and kids and find that we get great feedback from all our customers.
What’s your favourite tip or technique for keeping healthy?
Keeping healthy for me is a two-step process. Firstly, as all know we should eat and exercise, but getting outside barefoot for at least half an hour a day is also important. It reconnects you to the earth, to reality, and to your place in the world.
Secondly, we need to keep healthy by being social, by finding your village and entrusting them with your dreams, fears, wants, stories. We need to find an outlet for ourselves and being social with friends or family helps to know where you have help, and how we can help others and vice versa.
What’s the best thing to write in a card for someone who’s having a mental health day?
I handle my mental health like I handle most things in life and that is with humour. So my favourite thing to put in cards are usually funny ways to look at our mental health. However I also write what I love about the person inside and how they have either helped me or given me love, so it’s time for me to reciprocate.
Can you describe a typical day?
Being a mother of 3 boys, a dog, and a lizard, my day usually starts with screaming, or sword fighting or “mum, I missed the toilet”. However, once school drop off happens and my time is quiet, I go to the gym to watch bad TV shows (it’s the only way I can exercise without getting bored). I check my orders for the day and send them out, make a few phone calls to see how my stock at hospitals is going, research and sometimes if I’m really good, a spot of laundry or grocery shopping.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
I’m still dumbfounded when about 90% of my customers email me saying how wonderful their gifts have been or received. I am still so humbled and in disbelief when this happens. I have also been lucky to donate a few boxes to good causes over the last year, and it really makes me think that something good has finally come out of my mental illness.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love making each package individually and knowing it’s going to a home for someone in need of a bit of love and self-care.
Who or what inspires you?
Sounds cliché, but my mum. My mum has always put everyone else before her own needs, she has always been someone people can always count on when in trouble, needing a hug, or just someone to listen too. She continues to love with every fibre of her being, and she continually dedicates her time to those less fortunate than us.
One in five people are currently diagnosed with mental illness each year in Australia. Our aim at Loving Loudly is to make our customers feel loved and supported, helping you and helping them. The service aim is to share information and tools with each other on how to best support those through the disease.
Do you have any plans for the next 12 months?
Oh yes, we will be celebrating Loving Loudly’s first birthday in March. We are also to getting in a few more products aimed at teens and then will be starting in subscription boxes for those that need a little self-love every month, it will be an exciting and big year for Loving Loudly.
About Loving Loudly
Gifts to help motivate, keep busy, ignite creativity and occupy the mind of loved ones navigating the highs and lows of mental health/illness from $20.