Hi, I’m the founder of Lobella Loves, which is an online marketplace for beautiful treasures for babies, toddlers and mums. I’m also mummy to my two and a half-year-old daughter Bella and Lobella Loves is like my second child!
I’d describe myself as an instagram addict where I not only discover amazing independent retailers for Lobella Loves, but I also find it an incredibly supportive platform to speak out about mental health.
When I became a mum I found myself struggling with postnatal depression (PND) and eventually decided to quit my high-pressured job as a corporate lawyer and set up my own business, which now gives back to other mothers suffering with mental health issues via Cocoon Family Support.
With Lobella Loves, I wanted to create a space online that took the stress out of finding beautiful things. There are so many fantastic independent retailers and entrepreneurs creating gorgeous clothes, accessories and toys, but I realised (after many sleep deprived nights desperately trying to re-locate items I’d seen on Instagram), that there was nowhere bringing all these wonderful stockists together. That’s when I had the idea to create my own online marketplace especially for mums, babies and little ones.
Anyone will tell you that mums are seriously time-poor, so by bringing together the incredible businesses I’d been hearting on social media, I could not only help mums save time with their shopping, but I realised I also had a chance to help mums on a more fundamental level by donating to a PND charity, Cocoon Family Support. I was also excited to help support fellow businesswomen and motherhood inspired startups, and so Lobella Loves was born.
Having experienced postnatal depression firsthand, and the devastating effects it can have, I felt passionately people needed to be having more conversations about PND. I wanted to make sure that this was a clear part of my Lobella Loves story from the beginning because it’s an issue that’s very close to my heart. Raising awareness of issues like PND can make women who are suffering feel more supported and less alone – which I think is one of the most difficult things about it, feeling like you’re not supposed to talk about what you’re feeling can only worsen your symptoms.
I also organise various events supporting mental health, such as ‘Tea for PND’ events where a bunch of women can come together to drink tea, eat cake and get the conversation going about maternal mental health. It’s an informal and relaxed event but one that often leads to new friendships and breakthroughs in understanding about what PND is like to live with.
My own PND journey is on-going but slowly, with help (counselling, weekly medication and lots and lots of self care) I have got better. But then I ended up getting diagnosed with PTSD associated with the PND trauma. So the cycle of treatment and recovery continues to this day.
I go to weekly counseling sessions and now I often share my experiences with my instagram followers to dispel the taboos around PND and PTSD. The amount of support and shared stories that have come about because of these sharing sessions is amazing and just goes to show that when you open people are there, ready and willing to help give you the support, help and hugs you need.
Instagram: @lobellaloves_jo or @lobellaloves