I feel priviliged Deb would share her story and allow us to bring it to you. I had the pleasure of connecting with Deb when I came across her business Crystal Hampers on Instagram. I understood she had faced some challenges in life that led her to starting her current business. What I didn't understand was the resilience of a woman that has experienced a number of traumatic life situations. There are no words I could type here that could explain how heartfelt her story is.
As told to me, in her own words - This is Deb's story.
Tell us a little bit about yourself;
I am foremost an older mum (with a young heart) of two gorgeous young boys aged 8 and 11. I have the most amazing husband a girl could want, marrying just before 40. He was worth the wait! Lol! I was too busy climbing the corporate ladders that getting married escaped me and I forgot to live my life. Money and things unfortunately don't make you happy at all though. I eventually left corporate life and worked for multinationals to finish my Masters in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. I'm an Economist by trade and I also have part of a law degree which is why I am passionate about righting things that are not right in the world. Post study, I bought a High St catering business and retail store to launch another business idea from. My husband and I make a formidable managagement team. We loved what we did. We were lucky to have loyal staff and we grew the business to multiple stores, and a production facility to service our stores, large catering purposes and fulfil supermarket requirements that were all rapidly growing.
The world was our oyster! Then the GFC hit our business - literally overnight. It decimated it on so many levels. Our core customer base had lost their disposable income.
Then life turned upside down. I was at the hospital seeing my Obstetrician for a checkup (with my second IVF child) when Receivers came in and literally took over everything we owned or had ever worked for in our entire careers. The business, the cars, houses, our livelihood. Everything! It was decimating. I thought life was over. Then 2 weeks later I lost our unborn child full term. Then life was truly over. We were facing homelessness, with no income, no cash, no assets but this paled into insignificance with the death of our son. There is nothing else in life that compares to that of losing a child. I have miscarrried many times, lost money, experienced too much death around me and thought I'd experienced everything until our son's death. That moment of being in the Obstetricians office, feeling their energy, and seeing the panic and sorrow on their faces without even saying the words - there are no words. And then I gave birth. There were simply no words - of any kind. Our lives were forever changed.
I have brushed with my own mortality in childbirth twice (and more recently I have survivied cancer). I could have ended my life multiple times during the 5 years our life stood still. If it weren't for my husband, I wouldn't be here today. But during the 5 years the only thing that kept my husband and I going - with our first born, was seeking and experiencing very basic simple pleasures. Getting back to basics. The sun in your face. A walk on the beach. A play in the park. This was all we had and all we were capable of. Many family and friends struggled to cope with our predicament and most deserted us for fear of not knowing what to say or do. We experienced loud and isolating silence. Big voids of silence. It became a very dark and lonely place of despair as we grieved the loss of our son and our world, and we faced homelessness. Hope had gone with no light at the end of the tunnel.
However during this time, our doctors gifted us our final IVF journey to enable us to have another child. He is now 8 and what a miracle he is. We moved to Queensland from Melbourne to be close to other family and instigate change in our life and find some sort of future. Shortly after arriving in Queensland I discovered I had cancer. It has meant no more children, and I live with many, many health issues but my husband has his wife and my boys their mum. I am truly lucky to be here. Once again simple pleasures became our mainstay. Crystal Hampers was born during this period.
2. What led you to crystals?
Post my cancer treatment a couple of years ago, we were once again faced with despair as our business plans for QLD had gone to tatters. My husband organised a lady to come to the house to do Reiki. I didn't know what this was about but went along with it. During her visit she suggested I buy our youngest son a Rose Quartz but it had to be in the shape of a heart and at just 5 he was a magnet to it. His response was both warming and fascinating. Also others in our lives were struggling with life issues so I gifted them Rose Quartz and a few other crystals with meanings I had researched and included a heartfelt message in a card. My hope was that the gift was also warming and fascinating for them too. I was not prepared for the responses. I was very touched because I had touched their hearts without giving advice. I had given them just heartfelt love and messages to know I was there for them. So I thought, lets apply all my foodie experience particularly with food hampers, but replace the perishable food with crystals. Same same but different! So Crystal Hampers was born.
3. How does Crystal Hampers positively brighten the lives of others?
So I set about to create a Hamper that was beautiful, but also be a special experience to open and implicitly had to convey a heartfelt message from the person gifting it that they were unequivocally there for them. It also had to have purpose. The gift had to be for those moments when there were no words. Or when flowers are not enough. It's also gone on to be for life's milestones such as birthdays, moving house or a new job etc too. The experience of opening one of our hampers is like opening presents on Christmas morning which is pricesless and then of course the mainstay benefit is that of having the crystals. Subsequently hearts are touched in the process, including that of the person that gave the hamper. So it's a gift that keeps on giving and giving on so many levels. Although intentional, the heartfelt feedback has been so significant, it sometimes brings a tear to me too. I didn't realise how much our hampers would mean to people. It's such a privilege to do this.
4. What's the big picture plan for Crystal Hampers?
Hmmm this is a big question! I so wish I had more time to implement the plans that are in my head! Lol! Hopefully I will have a team in the not too distant future so I can work on the business more, and not just in it. Crystals are what you want to make of them. I have taken the hokus pocus out of them. There's no dark purple capes and crazy promises. I don't preach healing benefits. But I do talk about setting intentions with them. Activating them. Using their undisputed energy for your own. And this taps into being more mindful. More intentional. Maybe someone is spiritual in some way but not necessarily into crystals, so helping to ignite crystal journeys by making crystals more accessible in various ways is the future, while continuing my message of simple pleasures.
There has to be a positive in all that has happened. And we are hoping this is it.
We appreciate you taking the time to read about Deb and her beautiful business of purpose. A woman in business who is truly leading with kindness. Deb can be followed @crystalhampers (www.crystalhampers.com.au)