Every business has a story and I felt it was perhaps time to share mine....
My name is Nicola, married to Alan, we have two girls Emily 16 and Jessica 14. We have a menagerie of pets, 2 dogs, 1 cat, 1 kitten and 3 ducks…and a duckling on the way. By day I work in our family business LPS Ltd in Irvine and in my free time make candles.
Kindness & Co is a community interest company...why? Well.....
I’m a trustee for a charity South Ayrshire School Clothing Bank, we provide new school uniforms to children living in South Ayrshire.
All our requests come from trusted third parties such as Social Workers or charities working directly with children. Last year we also set up clothing banks within local Secondary Schools, this means we are able to include young people that aren’t under the care of social work or charities uniform items are distributed by Guidance teachers.
Fundraising is a challenge, and a time consuming one so I started selling candles to raise funds….that way I get to do something I love for a great cause.
Through the work with South Ayrshire School Clothing Bank I met so many other amazing people and charities so really wanted to be able to do something for them too.
Candle sales were great in Christmas 2018 and I was able to made a donation to Whiteleys, a local charity which offers therapeutic short breaks for children and their families. We met Bernard and he showed us round the Retreat - honestly that visit still makes me tear up. We lost my brother when he was 20yrs old to leukaemia. So visiting here we could see how much a retreat like this means to families. Kindness & Co donate soaps for the cottages and candles for the families who are staying.
Unity Grill are another wonderful organisation who we are lucky enough to work with, they are a social enterprise restaurant donating 100% of their profits to challenge food poverty but they do so much more than that. Angela has been a great source of help when I was setting up Kindness & Co as a CIC. We donate the soaps for their toilets and they also sell our range of candles.
At the start of 2020 I set up online sales via shopify, I decided to choose one Charity per month and all profits go directly to them. In January profits went to Unity Grill, In February to Whiteleys Retreat, In March to Beautiful Inside & Out and then Covid 19....
So in April / May I halted candle making and concentrating on donated soaps, lotions and scented angel wings to local NHS staff, care homes and key workers.
In June after a good few weeks of lockdown and an inkling for something different I launched a new range of candles….candles to really lift your spirit, give you pause – I think we're all more conscious of the things we're bringing into our homes so I wanted them to be extra special - more meaningful. So I have shifted from one candle per month to a few but the core remains the same. Kindness & Co is non profit, all profits go back into local charities and organisations.
So right there is my big WHY...