Seeded Pet Loss Plant Pot copy

memory gift sales see ‘wild’ growth – quite literally

A seeded gift that can be planted to mark the loss of a family pet has caught the imagination of thousands of animal lovers since its launch by a Derbyshire firm.

Lockdown start-up sensation Letterbox Love, which was founded with the purpose of spreading kindness and positivity, has sold thousands of its new ‘Sympathy Pet Loss’ gifts since it was added to the company’s list of seeded card products earlier this year.

Launched from a family lounge in Horsley Woodhouse by husband-and-wife Kerry and Liam Bilson in 2020, Letterbox Love creates affordable jewellery that is attached to gift cards containing a fitting message, usually in the form of a poem written by Kerry.

After introducing their range of seeded gifts last year, the pair have sold more than 10,000 individual seeded cards and bracelets – more than a third of which have been the more recently launched pet bereavement version.

The gift, which includes a removable and wearable heart-shaped ‘wish’ bracelet, is planted in soil to create a patch of wildflowers that bloom in memory of a lost pet.

Not only has the idea proved hugely popular with the public, it was shortlisted and highly commended in two categories at the ‘Gift of the Year’ awards in May this year. The awards represent the UK gift industry’s biggest event of the year.

Kerry, who designs all of Letterbox Love’s jewellery as well as penning the poems, said: “We were so delighted to have been recognised by the nation’s most prestigious showcase for gifts, in not one but two categories.

“But we’ve been utterly taken aback at how popular the pet bereavement bracelet and seeded card has been with the public. It just goes to show how important our family pets can be – and how much people miss them when they are gone.

“It’s great to think that we have perhaps brought a small tear of joy to someone who has lost a much-loved pet.

“I think many people have been comforted by the permanent reminders this gift provides – in the shape of a small piece of jewellery and a special place in their garden or window box where wildflowers grow in memory of their pet.”

Kerry said that her mum, Georgina Metcalf, was the brains behind the pet bereavement gift idea. She had heard about the recent success of plantable children’s books and recalled her own heartbreak when the family’s 19-year-old border collie Jasper died.

“Mum just knew first-hand how deeply pet owners are affected when they lose their little babies,” said Kerry. “She felt the idea of a tiny memorial garden that could be planted anywhere would be a really fitting reminder. And she was clearly right.”

Georgina has since quit her job as conference and events manager at Nottingham Trent University to work as office manager for Kerry and Liam full-time.

Other seeded gifts in Letterbox Love’s eco-friendly range include ‘Two Peas in a Pod’ friendship card and bracelet, ‘Baby Shower’ card and bracelet and ‘Thank You Teacher’ card and bracelet, which the firm is expecting a rush on before the end of the school term. All are priced at under £10.

In addition to the seeded pet bereavement gifts, Kerry said sales of the firm’s new range of gift cards for dog lovers were also “going through the ‘ruff’!”

Letterbox Love’s new ‘Paws for Thought’ bracelet gift cards, have been designed for lovers of specific dog breeds, each including a bracelet designed like a paw print. There are currently 16 different cards in the range, including the ‘Black Labrador Bracelet’, ‘Cocker Spaniel Bracelet’ and ‘Boxer Dog Bracelet’.

Letterbox Love’s pet bereavement gift was highly commended in the ‘Contemporary Gift’ and ‘Gift Under £15’ categories at this year’s Gift of the Year awards, which took place at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London, on May 11.

Liam and Kerry are no strangers to awards success, having jointly won Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the 10th Great British Entrepreneur Awards last year.

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