The Grateful Boutique & Bouquet is a small business with a big mission - to teach people and businesses that life doesn't have to be all about money and profit.
Built upon the premise that by looking after yourself you're actually supporting those around you and the community to do the same, this unique concept was born from two friends'
individual, but aligned desires to do something more – to give back.
Jessica Shuwalow (Jess), one of the founders and partners, returned to Newcastle from a trip to Africa in mid-2016 where she had visited an extremely basic and remote clinic in the middle of Malawi and witnessed people on their death beds with nothing but a dark grey wall to stare at. Jess couldn't let go of the thought that injecting some colour into those places would give people something positive to look at in such a critical and horrible time.
Instead of jumping straight back on a plane to Africa, Jess thought why not start locally with one of our largest employers in the region Hunter New England Health and The John Hunter Hospital. Gemma McBurnie (Gem) the other founder and partner was at the time wanting to start a coffee and flower shop. The two desires merged to create The Grateful.
The Grateful have started with something simple – flowers with The Grateful Boutique &
Bouquet. Basically, every time someone purchases a bouquet, another bouquet is put together at the end of the week and delivered to The John Hunter Hospital on that customer’s behalf. Once the donated bouquet has been delivered the customer responsible for the purchase that contributed to that donated bouquet receives an update via email and/or social media thanking them for their contribution, some images from the delivery and a bit of a story to keep that connection and positive energy flowing. Businesses and individuals are then encouraged to share this update and promote their involvement in supporting the greater community and hospital.
“People and businesses often say they feel guilty about doing things like buying flowers for themselves or spending business funds on flowers. So, if we can support people to change this mindset through connecting with doing some thing for the greater community, like buying a bouquet from The Grateful with their primary focus on supporting and donating to The John Hunter Hospital, people feel okay about doing something nice for themselves and/or business,” says Jess
Since soft launching, at the very end of last year, The Grateful has had over 30 direct members of the community and businesses contribute and provide close to 100 ‘bouquests’ to The John Hunter Hospital. These bouquets go to various reception desks (the coal face of the hospital) to greet patients and distressed family members, the Emergency Department(ED), the family room at ED to support family members, housing care for remote patients and their families, volunteers and the amazing people that work at the hospital dedicating their lives to helping others!
Currently, The Grateful is available online and via social media, through a few pick-up locations in Carrington and will hopefully have a boutique open in Carrington later this year. To learn more about The Grateful or how you can get involved visit www.thegrateful.com.au