The gift industry is predicted to be worth $68.45 billion by 2024. When it comes to picking out the perfect birthday present, we’re spoilt for choice. But when it comes to choosing something caring for a grieving friend, or family member? Things become a lot trickier.That’s where Good Grief Gift Co comes in. We caught up with Alex, the founder of The Good Grief Gift Co, to hear all about this timely and important venture.
1. Hi Alex! Can you tell me a bit about Good Grief Gift Co, and how you got started?
Good Grief Gift Co comes from my experience of being widowed a few years ago. When people get married or have a baby friends and family often make a huge fuss and are incredibly thoughtful and generous with supporting those life stages with affirmative and caring gifts, but when someone dies people really struggle to know what to do. And that’s because there’s very little out there to guide them. Good Grief Gift Co will aim to be a one stop shop for ideas for how to support a bereaved person and care for them as they go through their difficult journey. A gift can’t take the pain or sorrow away, but it can help them to feel more connected and supported and ease the passage of the grief they are going through.
2. What has been the most surprising thing about running your business so far?
Everything takes longer than you think it will! When you’re doing everything, from working on the social media to making partnerships with funeral directors, to curating the stock, it just takes a long time. My long term plan is to secure investment, so I can really scale it and go on to support many more people going through grief, which obviously in the last 18 months has become more relevant as part of how we talk about the people grieving because of Covid.
3. What do you think are some common misconceptions people have around how to help those who are grieving, and what they should give them?
People are worried about upsetting someone or getting it wrong, but doing something is better than doing nothing. Sending flowers to the funeral and a condolence card is appropriate for many people, but it’s after the funeral when everyone disappears that can be hardest on the bereaved person. Not being scared to communicate is the best thing and some of the most meaningful support is free – a text message with no expectation of a reply – just sharing a thought, a quote, or that you’re thinking of the person that day – it goes such a long way. Obviously, if you’re close or you think they might like a treat, or are in need of a particular bit of help – that’s what Good Grief Gift Co is here for!
4. Tell me a bit about some of the other great work you do in this space.
I’m building a bit of an empire in the death space! I’ve also launched an online will writing service aimed at women called Lemons.Life. My husband died without a will and it caused huge stress and many administrative problems. Afterwards, I realised that so many savvy brilliant women in my life also hadn’t done their wills and so now I go about bossing people about to get this life admin sorted so that their family are protected if the worst should happen.
5. What’s next for The Good Grief Co?
In a normal year around 500,000 people die, and since the pandemic the UK has had around 130,000 Covid deaths. It’s estimated that around 7-9 people mourn each person – that’s a lot of grieving people, and many of them are young – each year 40,000 children experience the death of a parent. How we deal with death in society has to improve, and I want Good Grief Gift Co to be a significant part of the ecosystem that supports better conversations about death and grief, alongside charities, grief counsellors, funeral directors and the love and support of great family and friends, who ultimately are the people who get you through.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Alex! We wish you all the very best on your journey to get Good Grief Gift Co in front of more people, and we hope this post goes some way to helping with that. Do also go and follow Alex’s work on Instagram @goodgriefgift_co and @lemonsdotlife.