I “met” these women via Instagram and have been blessed by their hearts to journey alongside those experiencing loss in the form of laurelbox. I’m so thankful I get to welcome them to the cottage as they share their story with you. They are everyday world changers and heart encouragers. Their talent is beautiful and their mission priceless. And I want to collect every piece they create. I’m sure you’ll feel the same.
“It was September 2010 as I stood in the middle of our tiny apartment. We hadn’t planned on a baby, but I was holding a positive test. Before breakfast we were twenty-something’s living life in a big city. After breakfast we were planning our new path as parents.
Fast-forward a few weeks. Our 8-week checkup was off. Something wasn’t right with the size. “Go home and come back in two weeks for another ultrasound.” And two weeks later confirmed what we suspected would happen. The baby was gone.
A few more years forward to November 2014. I had seen more of life by then. And I was convinced it’s not all pie in the sky. More friends than I want to admit had miscarried. Others had said goodbye to parents, and siblings, and nephews, and cousins. Earlier that year, my best friend called to tell me her mother had unexpectedly passed away. There were divorces, and unplanned pregnancies, and depression, and losing jobs. I wasn’t angry with God, but I had lived just long enough that I was convinced that life is messy and hard and complicated.
November 2014 is notable mostly because of the life of a baby named Sophia Jane. Sophia’s mom and dad are the type of friends we consider family. They are our people. And their beautiful four-week-old baby had just moved from earth-side to heaven-side and so we stood there at their side. Because…what else can you do in these moments but be there? So we stood there and hugged them, and told them we love them, and talked about Sophia.
Then came along December, but that Christmas I sat conflicted because I was thinking constantly about a friend I love and the baby she loved. And my cousin called. She had this idea. Her friend lost a baby too. As I had just learned in November when you go to send a gift to someone who has experienced searing loss, there aren’t very many good options. There are flowers and fruit baskets. But what if you want to send a gift that is oriented solely and completely at nourishing a hurting heart? A gift so thoughtful and tender that it becomes a breath of life and community as it is opened?
Denise and I decided that day on the phone to take the plunge and create a store called laurelbox. laurelbox gifts reflect our love for Jesus, vintage design, and natural living. Our items are infused with tenderness towards grief. We have a line of commemorative jewelry, items to assist the grieving process, and holistic essential oils and teas for balancing the emotions after a loss. Most items are made by hand here at laurelbox. Our other products are sourced from small independent artisans who have joined with us to offer exclusive items that speak to a woman’s soul, body, home, and family.
We know that no gift can ever replace the people we have lost, but we hope the prayers we pour over those touched by our company can be felt when you open a laurelbox.” – Johanna
Johanna previously worked as a museum fundraiser, and brings her love of handmade artistic products to laurelbox. She lives outside of Denver, Colorado with her husband and two boys on 4 acres. When she is not creating gifts for laurebox, she is gardening, failing at DIY projects, and hiding from winter. She has a love-hate relationship with her desire to live a natural lifestyle. Mostly because of the cloth diapers. So much is the fault of the cloth diapers.
Denise has over 10 years of experience in product sales and brings her amazing eye for vintage design and decor to laurelbox. Denise and her husband Wes live in Ohio where they are raising two toddlers and two teens. Denise, good soul that she is, also helps Wes run his business. They both enjoy all the free time that comes with a family of six and owning two companies. When Denise isn’t putting the perfect touches on laurelbox gifts, she enjoys indulging in guilty pleasures like wearing fancy yoga clothes (even though she is not working out) and sipping wine.
laurelbox offers thoughtfully hand curated gift boxes designed for a woman in a season of difficulty. If a friend of yours has recently lost a loved one, you can rest assured that our boxes are designed to nourish a woman’s heart after a loss. If you are currently walking through loss, it is our deep hope that the box you receive makes you feel loved and remembered. We know that no gift can ever replace the people we have lost, but we hope the prayers we pour over those touched by our company can be felt when you open a laurelbox. Our gift boxes stand apart from typical gifts that offer comfort during grief. Most items are made by hand here at laurelbox. Our other products are sourced from small independent artisans who have joined with us to offer exclusive items that speak to a woman’s soul, body, home, and family.