This Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re supporting Public Health England and their work supporting mental health in the UK. We’re so proud that our cards can offer support to people going through a difficult time, and none more so than the designs by our very own Lucy McFarlane of Poppy Lane.
Her positive, thoughtful designs are centred around mental health, with bright and cheerful colours alongside plenty of positive message and affirmations.
We caught up with Lucy to talk about Poppy Lane, her work with thortful, and her thoughts and feelings about mental health.
Tell us a little about yourself and Poppy Lane?
Well my name is Lucy and not Poppy! I live in Lancashire with my husband, daughter and our chocolate lab that eats everything and anything. Poppy Lane is the brand name, I wanted the brand to have a personal feel and so chose a “name”. Poppy came from the two words Positive and Happy, and Lane is from my surname McFarLANE.
What prompted you to start Poppy Lane?
After university I worked in finance for many years, but following the death of my Dad to cancer I decided life was too short to not do what you love and so I resigned. I went back to college and retrained in graphic design, as art and design has been something I’ve loved since being a small child. I started Poppy Lane in 2018 and it is my second design business that I run alongside “The Joy of Memories”. It was whilst I was having a difficult time with my own mental wellbeing that I began working on designs for Poppy Lane. It has been a very personal journey using my own experience whilst designing products that I hope may also help others.
How do you hope your cards will help people?
I hope the messages on my cards resonate with people and prompt them to think of friends/family who may be having a tough time. It may be just a card, but to the recipient it means they are not alone and means so much more than a text message.
What is your most popular design? And which is your favourite?
My most popular design on thortful is the Mobile Phone card with the message “ I may be too far away to hold your hand but you are not alone and I’m not going anywhere”. My personal favourite is “Don’t worry about asking, I’ll always be here for you” as I’m so grateful to those who were there for me!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Many of my designs have just come from how I’m feeling at the time. Having suffered from anxiety for many years I read a lot of books on mental health. When some words or phrases mean something to me make a note of them and start my doodles from there.
How has lockdown affected your business?
As with everyone lockdown has been difficult and everyone’s circumstances are different. I’ve been juggling homeschooling a 7 year old alongside running my businesses. I’m so grateful for being self employed during this time and I can adjust my hours when I work easily. Sales have been like a massive rollercoaster with some highs and lows.
What are your tips for looking after your own mental health?
We all have our mental health that we need to look after just like we do with our physical health. It is important to being aware when you need help or support with both. I’ve had really bad spells with my own mental health, especially during pregnancy. What works best for me is having someone close to talk to, re-reading some really good books I’ve found and writing things down. I have my own ‘toolkit’ as such that I now know I can go to when I feel I need that extra support.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?
I would always tell people to do what they love and don’t waste your life dreading getting up and doing a job you hate. Understand your WHY, be true to yourself and proceed with a positive mindset. If you think you will fail you probably will.