This week on WHITEBALLOON INSIGHTS we talk to Nicky about the importance of capturing and sharing memories with those you love.
Q: When we first came across the Angel & Dove website we fell in love with its calm, uplifting design and your range of unique and beautiful products. Can you tell us a little bit about Angel & Dove and where the idea for your business came from?
Ah thank you so much! Well it’s a bit of a long story but I’ll give you the potted version.
I started Angel & Dove in 2016 following an out-of-the-blue cancer diagnosis which made me rethink my priorities. I was a busy working mum juggling a schoolchild, a toddler and chemotherapy. My background was in marketing and product development in the haircare industry, so it was somewhat ironic to find myself with no hair! Following my treatment, I was fortunate to be given the all clear, and as life slowly returned to normal I realised the importance of capturing and sharing memories with those you love.
Q: Angel & Dove can really help people to create a unique funeral or celebration of life and enable mourners to participate by creating and recording memories. Have you seen a change in attitudes and an increasing openness to more individual ways of doing things?
Yes very much so. The move from traditional funerals to more individual celebrations of life had already started to happen, but Covid made these changes happen more quickly. As many families were sadly not able to hold funerals for their loved ones during lockdown, there has been a shift towards remembrance services and celebrations of life, which tend to have a more celebratory feel. People are also becoming more aware that they have options and can design a ceremony or event which truly reflects the life of their loved one. A funeral doesn’t have to be in a church or crematorium – it can be on a beach, in a forest, in a country garden, art gallery, or somewhere which holds special memories for the family.
Q: Knowing what to send to someone who is bereaved is always difficult. Your range of sympathy and condolence gifts are a lovely way to let the person know that you are thinking of them. Do you have a favourite one and why?
It’s hard to choose… I love our Remembrance Candles because they smell so good, but I think my favourite gift is the Sending Warm Hugs Hamper as it’s both practical and beautiful – a lovely memory box filled with a soft snuggly wrap, a mug for a warm soothing drink, a pair of cosy alpaca bed socks, and a silver photo frame, notebook and pen for writing down memories.
Q: How do you come up with the ideas and designs for your products? Do you design them yourself?
I design everything myself (I think I’ve always been a frustrated designer!) and the ideas really come from asking ‘what would I want to receive in that situation?’. Most of our products are about capturing and recording memories, which is something I’m passionate about due to my own brush with mortality. It’s humbling when I think of all our memory books that exist around the world filled with people’s special memories.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge so far and what did you learn from it?
Gosh so many challenges – running an ecommerce business is 24/7 and you have to wear a lot of different hats: you need to be accountant, IT department, logistics, marketing, HR, health & safety etc etc. I’m fortunate that as the business has grown over the past 6 years I’ve had a fantastic team working alongside me who are more like family now. I’d love to be able to go on holiday and switch off completely though – that hasn’t happened for a long time!
Q: And what is your vision for Angel & Dove for the future?
I hope that we can continue to grow organically, develop new and exciting products, expand into new markets (as well as our own website – www.angelanddove.com – our products are also available from Amazon in the UK, US, Canada and Australia) and continue to serve the families who buy our products to celebrate and remember their loved ones.
Q: With a young family and a thriving business, you must be juggling so many things. Do you have a daily routine or other structures in place to help you to be your most productive self?
Ha ha I wish! It’s a bit easier now my boys are older and at secondary school and college as they are more independent. I do try to make time for self-care and do yoga and pilates regularly, but that sounds a lot more zen than it is in reality. I think like most working mums I’m winging it a lot of the time!
Q: And finally, is there a particular person or book that has inspired you?
Ah reading, it’s my favourite way to switch off – give me a quiet room full of books and I’m at my happiest. I love biographies and my favourite era is the early 20th century, so anything to do with Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury group is right up my street.
Thank you Nicky for sharing these insights
Please note: Angel & Dove kindly offers an exclusive 10% discount code to whiteballoon readers. At their checkout enter WHITEBALLOON10