Welcome back to Hashtag Love Local (#Love Local), the initiative which highlights the importance of the economic pillar of sustainability along with the benefits of shopping locally. Here at The Sustainability Strategy, we are standing behind and supporting six of our favourite Irish businesses. Today, we sit down for an interview with Laura from Love, Jools.
Love Jools is the Irish business which has brought you the ‘One Bead at a Time Bracelet’, the inspirational product that helps people achieve their goals. Not only is the bracelet beautiful, but it also acts as a visual reminder of how far you have come.
How long has your business been in operation?
I launched lovejools.com on June 16th 2017, I remember being a bag of nerves hitting launch on a really sunny evening before heading to The Taste of Dublin.
What inspired you to set up your business?
I had a goal to lose 21lbs many moons ago and I went along to a Weight Watchers group where the consultant gave me 21 paperclips and told me to remove one every time I lost a pound. I really felt the momentum build each week as the paperclip chain got shorter I was motivated to keep going. Fast forward 10 years and I was on another weight loss journey and I thought of a bracelet I had at home that I could add/remove beads from. Each week after weigh-in I would pull out a little bag of beads and add one, the girls in my group were asking what are you doing and when I told them they thought it was a great idea and I realised that my idea could help many women.
How did you come up with the name of your business?
Jools was my Neapolitan Mastiff and in December 2016 she went to Rainbow Bridge after 11 years and I still miss her terrible, so I wanted to keep her name in my daily life and I loved the idea of writing it like I was signing off a letter. It was a perfect fit since I was selling jewellery, it was a play on words.
What was your mission at the outset?
My mission was to help women who needed motivation on their journeys. I wanted to help women believe:
1.Anything is achievable when broken down into little steps
2.Everyone’s journey is unique and every step along the way should be celebrated as opposed to saving celebrations until the big goal is achieved
3.That with a visual reminder of their goal ensures commitment and accountability
4.That overwhelm and the pressure to achieve perfection can be managed
What type of product do you sell/ produce?
Motivational jewellery, my first product was the ‘One Bead at a Time’ bracelet with colourful beads. The idea behind the bracelet is to set your goal, break it down into manageable steps, decide what the beads will represent for you, and add a bead each time you get a step closer to your goal. A visual reminder of how far you have come.
Then I added milestone charms to the collection and most recently I have worked with Irish Goldsmith, Janice Byrne to design a new improved handmade 925 Sterling Silver ‘One Bead at a Time’ bracelet. The original bracelet was mass produced and imported but I wanted a stylish design unique to Love, Jools that is handmade locally, to reduce the manufacturing and shipping carbon footprint. It is so local that it is hallmarked in Dublin Castle! Also, the higher quality reduces waste… no more fast fashion around here. I wanted a product that would last because I know myself from tracking my journey on my bracelet they become sentimental.
To what do you attribute your success?
I attribute two things to my success. The first being that women are usually the last to treat themselves as they usually put their house or family first so giving them an affordable way to motivate themselves and put their goals first really helps.
The second being the creativity of the women using their ‘One Bead at a Time’ bracelets on their unique journeys. I started out wanting to help women on weight loss journeys but now the variety of unique journeys being tracked on ‘One Bead at a Time’ bracelets has organically grown, women are tracking everything from countries travelled, chemo sessions completed, weeks pregnant, anxiety-free days, cigarette-free days, debts cleared, the list goes one. Journey’s I couldn’t have even imagined.
What is unique about your business?
My product is unique, yes there are other charm bracelets out there like Pandora, Alex n Ani and Thomas Sabo but the charms are not affordable enough to mark each step on your journey. I couldn’t have afforded 1 to 2 charms for my Pandora each week when I had 21lb to track whereas the beads on Love, Jools bracelets are very affordable. Also, these other brands are not designed and handmade in Dublin.
How does your business help the customer/community?
My business helps my customers achieve their goals because they feel motivated when they have a way to celebrate how far they have come rather than looking at how far they have to go. Sometimes when the journey ahead is long it can be easier to give up before even beginning so my business helps to break the journey down into manageable chunks to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
I like to give back to my community by paying more to purchase eco-friendly envelopes and biodegradable stickers in Ireland. I have my stationery printed locally on FSC paper that can be recycled. My new bracelets were designed by local Goldsmith, Janice Byrne. I collaborate other many other small businesses whenever possible.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far from setting up your business?
24 hours in a day is never enough hours 😊
Has your business set any sustainability polices, if so, would you care to share them?
Yes I have made a lot of changes this year to be as eco-friendly as possible. I had already embarked on my journey to become eco-friendly but to be honest when I saw the positive impact of the Covid-19 lockdown worldwide, with fish coming back into the canal in Venice and birds singing in China when the smog cleared, it really hit home that I had to be aware of what I was putting out into the world and how I was negatively contributing. I created a page on my website to show my commitment and ask my customers to join my effort. https://lovejools.com/pages/eco-friendly
Where can the reader find more out about your business, (website & social links)
Before we finish this interview about Love, Jools, do you have any final thoughts you would like to share?
A big thank you to you Sarah for educating me and answering all of my questions when I was trying to become eco-friendly.
Thank You For Reading
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this interview with Laura from Love, Jools. Every two weeks, The Sustainability Strategy will run a feature blog on one of the six brands featuring in Hashtag Love Local, giving them the platform to discuss their business and showcase their sustainability policies.
We hope you enjoyed this interview with Laura from Love, Jools, as we aim to build a community that feels free to openly discuss their environmental views. If you enjoyed the content and would like to get involved in the Sustainable growth conversation, I would love to hear from you. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Keep it Green,
Other Related Blog Posts You May Find Interesting:
- Hashtag Love Local – The Sustainability Strategy For Promoting Irish Business
- How to Live a Sustainable Lifestyle?
- Sustainable Living
- Corporate Sustainability