Hugs is short for Helping U Get Support and was an idea borne out of my own experience of mental illness.
First diagnosed in 2010 with depression and anxiety, I have suffered a few 'episodes' with the worst occurring in 2017. It was during this time I realised how little help there is for sufferers of mental illness, and how little friends and family understand how to best support their loved one.
I found support and comfort through a network of online friends with a range of different diagnoses. Through them, I discovered just how talented and creative people suffering mental illness are, and I wanted to find a way to showcase their talent, build the confidence their illness strips them of, and educate friends and family of sufferers to be supportive.
The obvious solution was to combine my love of tea and the benefits of sharing a cuppa with a friend, with the talents of some amazing artists. Hence Hugs was born.
We are currently sourcing artists and will be reproducing some stunning work on a range mugs and cards, whilst encouraging them to set up their own businesses, selling their original artwork.
As well as our reproduced artwork, we are selling handmade macramé bracelets. This is part of my own self care initiative and something which allows me to relax and unwind. The dragonflies on the bracelets are important to me as a symbol of strength and new beginnings. It reminds me of how far I've come and how strong I am.
Together, I really do believe that we can help one another to improve the lives of those with mental illness.