Swell Made Co. | Modern Paper Goods, Home Decor and Gifts

Keep it Simple, but Significant

Love It | Warm Terra Cotta

Love It, DecorLesley PocklingtonComment
 LOVE IT | Warm Terra Cotta with Swell Made Co.

LOVE IT | Warm Terra Cotta with Swell Made Co.

We’re taking a break from the holiday buzz and optimistically looking forward to 2019. What’s in store for home decor? Trends such as our non-stop love for terrazzo, and all things green (plant lovers, your plants aren’t going anywhere) will continue into the new year; but what’s “new” is a love for warm terra cotta hues. Combining Scandinavian minimalism with the decadence of warm colours, earthy textures and a little bling (brass, gold and copper) is going to keep everyone cozy for the winter ahead. Combine terra cotta with deep greens and rich inky blues to brighten your home. Neutrals are just as nice and remind us of the Wabi Sabi trend of 2018.

Pantone also just announced its colour of the year for 2019 - Living Coral. While, not terra cotta; it definitely has similar attributes of warmth and connection with nature. Living coral takes its inspiration from the depths of the sea. Laurie Pressman from the Pantone Color Institute says, “we’re looking for colors that embrace us with warmth and reassurance in our continually shifting environment”. In 2019, it sounds like we could all use a big HUG and crave a sense of hope for our political and environmental worlds. Much like Greenery from 2017, there is a pervasiveness of cheerful shades that call for optimism and positive human connections. So, here’s to bright and earthy hues in 2019.


Here are a few of our favourite ways to bring terra cotta into your space to help you feel connected to nature and its warmth:

  1. These Are The Golden Days (11x14) Art Print by Swell Made Co. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, it’s nice to be reminded that “These Are The Golden Days” because they truly are. Live in the moment.

  2. Love One Another Natural Pendant Light by CB2 x Fred Segal. Laid back bohemian style with natural textures combined minimalist touches make for a space that connects and embraces. Even the name of this piece is optimistic.

  3. Flange Terra Cotta Vases by Blu Dot. Simple in form, but rich in texture and warmth. Perfect vessels for your spaces.

  4. Pampas Grass. Carrying through from 2018, pampas grass will soften your space naturally and is the perfect complement to the warmth of terra cotta.

  5. Iridescent Copper Tray by Bloomingville. Complementary to terra cotta’s matte and raw texture are iridescent trays and vases to bring a decadent, yet minimalist shine to your space. These opposites blend together to create a bright space.

  6. Iridescent Vases by Bloomingville. See above.

  7. Iridescent Vases by Bloomingville. See above.

  8. Beetle Dining Chair from Gubi. Inspired by beetles in nature, this chair with a shaped and rigid exterior and soft inside provides form and comfort. Designed in 2013, you can customize the Beetle Chair with fabric/texture and base options to make it your own.

  9. Stay Gold (11x14) Art Print by Swell Made Co. Another golden reminder for your space to stay true to yourself in the year ahead and always.

Pssst - We snuck in an optimist keytag above as well. For all you glass is half full (or refillable) types. We’re eternal optimists at heart and we could all use a little more of that vibe in 2019.

And if you’re still craving more terra cotta, visit Pinterest to see our favourite spaces. Or, click the ones below and prepare for your jaw to drop. Thanks for reading and happy holidays! And almost new year.


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Read It | The Art of the Handwritten Note

Read It, InspirationLesley Pocklington2 Comments
  Read It | The Art of the Handwritten Note

Read It | The Art of the Handwritten Note

During the winter months, I love to curl up with a good book. Don’t you? Why not share those books with you. Introducing READ IT — mini book reviews that cover all kinds of books. Business, lifestyle and wellness and maybe even a cookbook. If you have any reading suggestions, I would love to hear them. Feel free to comment below or contact us.

First up, The Art of the Handwritten Note by Margaret Shepherd. This feels like a timely book. The holiday writing season is upon us and with writing becoming a lost art, what better time of year to get back to simplicity than winter? With a love for all things simple and slow living (and paper goods, of course), it felt like this was a good choice for thinking about how to “reclaim civilized communication”. The way it once was and the way it can be now.


Margaret Shepherd’s book beautifully defends the practice of writing notes which essentially comes down to protecting the time it takes handwrite and keeping it simple (from stationery choices to what you write). The book is filled with reasons why you should write; but explains them in a very practical way. It pushes you to stop making excuses not to write and even provides writing prompts to get you started. From thank you notes to notes of regret, Margaret covers many of life’s sentiments. While I love this little book, it is definitely more traditional. Personally, I prefer a more casual approach to writing; but there are suggestions for that too. Here are my takeaways as a modern stationer and lover of the handwritten note and WHY we should write more of them.

Notes deserve attention

We live in a world where we’re constantly consuming information, it’s no wonder it’s so difficult to cut through the clutter and get anyone’s attention. The handwritten note’s rarity heightens its appeal. As your recipient sifts through the junk mail, a hand addressed envelope immediately captures their attention because they trust it will repay their attention. And while it immediately captures attention, it doesn’t immediately demand it like the the incessant phone calls, texts or emails we have become accustomed to. Recipients can enjoy the anticipation of opening it when they choose and they can reread it at their leisure. The slow and intentional act of reading a note is just as lovely as writing one. Which takes us to…

Notes make us feel good

When you carve out time to sit down and thoughtfully write a letter, it just feels good. The act of slowing down (as mentioned above) and simply putting pen to paper can be therapeutic. Science has linked writing to better mood, reduced stress and improved overall sense of well-being. This includes journaling too. It’s also inspiring and increases creativity with its ability to put us into a flow state. You’ll find yourself using words and expressing yourself in a way you just can’t with tapping. Unplugging to connect the mind with the hand is a rare, but simple, yet powerful sensory experience.

If note writing makes you feel that good, just think of how the person on the receiving end will feel. You send an meaningful message when you write down your thoughts by hand, physically deliver your note to a mailbox and wait for someone to receive it. The smile and gratitude on the other end is well worth the effort. Talk about boosting morale on both ends.

Notes are personal

From the stationery you choose to what you say, your note is a reflection of the one and only you. Exclusivity is certain; no one else is receiving exactly the same note. It doesn’t get much more personal and unique than that. Choosing to write by hand in the first place means you care a great deal about connecting with people. Add the elements of materials (stationery), your own handwriting and choice of words — you have yourself a simple work of art.

Notes are also private. Concealed in an envelope and addressed specifically with a person (or persons) in mind, means you words are safe until they meet the recipient’s hands. That’s personal.

Are you inspired to pick up a pen this holiday season and beyond? Give it a try and see what opportunities come from the simple act of writing a note. You might just be surprised and you’ll certainly feel good doing it.


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4 Swell Years + 4 Things I've Learned

Small Business, EntrepreneurLesley Pocklington1 Comment
swell-made-co-birthday-cake.jpg

It’s been 4 years since Swell Made Co. was “born” and I am so happy to be celebrating with all of you. Thank you for your continued support of this little passion project turned small business. Thank you for buying small, following along and sharing with friends. Thank you for words of encouragement and inspiration. I am so proud of what Swell Made Co. has become in 4 years and I am eternally optimistic (and grateful) for what the future holds.

Today, I am celebrating with family and friends and YOU, of course. The best part, there’s CAKE. The cake shown above was created from scratch just for Swell Made Co.’s birthday by my talented friend, Natalie Raponi of HeckYes. So, as we celebrate, I am looking back on the past 4 years and want to share the top 4 things (there are SO many more than 4) that I have learned so far about running a small business. Take them for what you will, because in the end you are designing your very own life and businesses (or projects, careers, families, adventures, etc.).

I could also tell you what NOT to do, and perhaps that’s a future post. Such as, get on the ‘gram before you launch, don’t launch a business a few weeks before the holiday season, don’t receive shipments of merchandise at your home office to be left on your porch (and free for the taking). Oh, I could go on after learning the hard way, but that’s just part of the ride. I’m still holding on and enjoying every minute.


what i’ve learned after 4 years in business

1 - Work at your own pace

When building a business, go at your own pace. Whether that’s fast or slow, it’s up to you. There’s no shame in only taking on what you can handle, because this is not a race. It’s real life. I started Swell Made Co. as a side hustle, with 2 kids under 3 and all the regular stresses of life. To keep it real and sustainable, I had to start slow and constantly adjust and iterate as time went on. And that’s okay. I still operate from slow to full hustle, depending on what life throws my way.

This approach doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s been a guiding principal for my business since day one. Sure, you’ll see other businesses fly past you (sometimes out of the gate); but it doesn’t matter because you got into this for YOU. Not them. Don’t ever forget that.

2 - Get help and build a team

When you first start a business on your own or even with a partner, you’re going to be bootstrapping it in ways you never imagined. Over time, though, you’ll start build a team that will help see you through the swells of business life. While, I’m not specifically suggesting you hire a full staff (unless that’s what your business needs) — you should build a team, tribe or community that will guide you.

This includes bookkeepers, virtual assistants, writers, photographers, suppliers and manufacturers, accountants, collaborators, designers, and so many more. There is a community of like-minded entrepreneurs out there who are experts in their fields and ready to serve you, just like you serve your own clients and customers. Work together to build each other up, because when you’re ready; you won’t be able to go it alone anymore and that’s a good thing.

You’ve grown leaps and bounds, so choose (wisely and thoughtfully) the help you need to get to your next goal. If you can work directly with a mentor, even better. Mentors will help see your business in a whole new light.

At some point (whether you’re starting or expanding), you’re going to need financial help too. Help also comes in the form of grants and loans to help you scale your business. Seek them out in your own city, networks and country. Grants are designed to help entrepreneurs thrive, because when you succeed, so do those around you. This past year, I completed the Starter Company Plus grant program to expand my business. This program is funded by the Ontario Government and is available in various cities across the province. The experience alone was invaluable with guidance from business advisors, mentorship, a new community of businesses, new perspective and focus and of course, funding (the icing on the cake - yum).

There are programs for investing in employees, mentorship, accelerator style, operating a business with a positive environmental or social impact, industry specific (hospitality, medical, fashion, retail), etc. The list goes on and on. Don’t overlook these resources when starting or growing your business.

Here are a few more. Some are for women in business in particular:

Pitch for the Purse - Pitch your business for $25K to finance your business.
Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards - A global funding program for women entrepreneurs.
#Angels - A group of women that act as angel investors for women in tech.
Women Entrepreneurship Strategy - A program from the Federal Government.
Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant - Funding for women-owned businesses.
Futurepreneur - Canada-wide mentorship and business funding.
Community Futures - Canada-wide grants and loans for business operating in smaller communities.
Bon Temps - $1K in funding for demonstrating #timewellspent. What are you passionate about?

Our friends at Mamas & Co. recently wrote about this as well. Give it a read.

3 - Alright stop, collaborate and listen

Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate. It’s another way of building your communities and tribes together and developing some of the most rewarding (and fun!) projects you’ll work on. Working together fosters the recipe for success — community over competition.

When you’re solely focused on the day-to-day operations of your own business, it’s easy to become shortsighted. When you collaborate with others, you’ll be inspired, learn from each other and solve problems together in a whole new way. You’ll see your own business differently and that’s also a good thing.

Over the past 4 years, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating on some fun projects and they have been some of my favourite moments of running a business. I look forward to more in the years ahead.

4 - Hustle, rest, repeat

Yes, running a business is hard. Probably a lot harder than you thought it would be, because you never truly turn off; but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. It’s crucial, actually. Hustle, rest, repeat.

Invest in your body and mind like you would for your business, because without caring for yourself, you’ll burnout. Or worse, get sick. And that’s bad for business. Trust me. This year, I have been dealt a few lemons when it comes to health and it’s motivated me to be healthier than ever (I thought I WAS healthy), so I can continue to be my best self when it comes to family (above all), personal growth and my business.

Just like you would with your business, fiercely carve out time for YOU. Find new ways to make your body and mind run optimally and don’t feel bad about it for a second. Just as you design your life and business, be sure that designing a way to stay healthy is top priority too. Whatever that looks like for you, advocate for yourself always. There will be unforeseen things you can’t control, but there are a lot of things you can (diet, exercise and sleep). Learn from experts around you and build a healthier future for yourself and your family.

That’s it! Here’s to another swell year with you by my side. Thank you for being here. If you have anything you’d like to share about running a business, I would LOVE to hear it. Please share!


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How To | No Carve Pumpkin Round Up

DIY, Round Up, HolidayLesley Pocklington3 Comments
  No carve pumpkin round up by Swell Made Co.

No carve pumpkin round up by Swell Made Co.

Whoah, what?! Halloween is next week. Cue the blood curdling screams because I need to get it together before October 31. Are you a procrastinator, or do you have everything ready to go? To keep things simple (because that’s kind of our thing), I have rounded up my favourite no carve pumpkins. They’re minimalist, so they might appeal more to the adult crowd; but that’s okay. They’re easy and who says big kids can’t have fun too?

If you’ve been following for a while, you’ll remember the first pumpkin (shown above) was one we created back in 2015. If you like, head to that post to you’ll find everything you need to create a black and gold six letter sentiment pumpkin. Boo, boo! The following pumpkins come from a few of our favourite blogs and they can be found on Pinterest as well.

  DIY Cute Faced Mini Pumpkins by    HomeyOhMy

DIY Cute Faced Mini Pumpkins by HomeyOhMy

This sweet little DIY from HomeyOhMy is perfect for adding some cute Halloween (or fall, Thanksgiving) decor to your home. All you need is a Sharpie and some eucalyptus. You don’t even have to paint the pumpkins! Just buy white ones. Cute faces. Scary faces. You decide!

  DIY Brushstroke Pumpkin by    The Merry Thought

DIY Brushstroke Pumpkin by The Merry Thought

This stylish by The Merry Thought DIY just requires craft pumpkins (or real), and some acrylic paint. Start with a flat colour and then add brushstrokes in a contrasting colour. Voila! Simple and beautiful.

  DIY Paint Splattered Pumpkins by    HomeyOhMy

DIY Paint Splattered Pumpkins by HomeyOhMy

Another great DIY from HomeyOhMy and one that could be combined with the DIY above (similar steps and complementary styles) are the paint splattered pumpkins. Start with a base coat on craft (or real) pumpkins and then splatter with a contrasting colour. So chic and so simple.

  Terrazzo Pumpkin DIY by    JoJoTastic

Terrazzo Pumpkin DIY by JoJoTastic

Finally (any my favourite), is this terrazzo pumpkin by JoJoTastic. Okay! It’s not technically “no carve”, but it can be. If you skip the carving portion of this DIY, it would still be beautiful; but maybe just a less magical than the one shown above. Either way, this pumpkin play with one of our all-time favourite decor trends that’s still going strong.

That’s it! Now that you’re inspired, grab some wine (and candy) and start painting those pumpkins. Happy Halloween, swell friends.

Do Good | International Day of the Girl

Do GoodLesley Pocklington2 Comments
swellmadeco-grlpwr.jpg

October 11 marks the International Day of the Girl. Declared by the UN in 2012, this day celebrates girls around the world in an effort to create an equitable future. While progress continues to be made every year, we still have MUCH work to do for our girls. In light of the current events, it feels more important and urgent than ever to advocate for girls who will become tomorrow’s future leaders and change-makers.

At Swell Made Co. we celebrate girls everyday with 5% of our sales going to Plan Canada’s Because I am a Girl project. Thank you for supporting this cause when you make a purchase. As a mother of a daughter and son, this issue is close to my heart. This year on October 11, Swell Made Co. will be donating 100% of our sales to this cause*.


The Reality for girls

Globally, girls face double discrimination because of their age and gender. In many parts of the world they face challenges, such as:

  • Barriers to education and opportunities to make a living. 130 million girls between ages 6-17 are not in school.

  • Early and forced marriage. An average of 12 million girls marry before the age of 18 every year.

  • 16 million girls aged 15-19 will give birth each year. 2 million girls under age 15 will become pregnant every year. Many of these girls will die from complications during pregnancy or childbirth.

  • Violence. Every 10 minutes a girl loses her life to violence.

  • Poverty. Globally, millions of 1.1 billion girls worldwide face poverty on a daily basis and throughout their lives.

These issues require specific, urgent and consistent attention. By making progress in these areas, girls will have the tools to create a better life for themselves and to help lift entire nations out of poverty. Here’s why*:

  • For every extra year a girl stays in school, her income can increase by 15 to 25%.

  • A woman who is educated will marry later and have fewer, healthier children.

  • Women invest more of their income in their families than men do.

Globally, girls have too few women to look up to in positions of leadership. In Canada, for example, only 15% of CEO positions are held by women. Female leaders represent fewer than 10% of the UN’s 193-member states. This must change.

How You Can Help

  1. Get involved with (or donate/sponsor) organizations with projects dedicated to supporting girls. In Canada, Plan Canada’s Because I am Girl project has tremendous support from the Federal government and people, like you. With a variety of global programs to address these specific challenges, 82% of donations goes directly to supporting programs benefiting children and families. The remaining 18% provides administration, operating and fundraising costs.

    Other organizations include the Malala Fund, Girls Not Brides, The Period Purse, She’s the First, Day of the Girl and many more. These organizations take on single or many specific issues including child marriage, menstrual health, sexual harassment, gender based violence and education. Choose a cause that’s important to you and act. Next, share that cause and become an advocate.

  2. Join the conversation and spread the word about girls issues. This year, Plan Canada is challenging the global community to #DefyNormal. Rather than accepting the challenges girls face as “normal”, they’re asking for us to step and defy the status quo. Talk about these issues with your family, friends, and community. How can we support girls today (and always)?

  3. Support girls in your own communities. Today, and everyday, remind girls that they're powerful, they matter, and they're a critical part of our future. Work together to put those words into action, because it's up to us to create a better world for all girls.

If you would like to help our world’s girls reach their full potential, you can challenge yourself to #DenyNormal and donate to Plan Canada’s Because I am a Girl project today on the #DayofTheGirl.

Statistics from Plan Canada and the World Bank.
*Sorry! Excludes wholesale orders.


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Confessions of an Entrepreneur | How to Support Small Business

Confessions, Entrepreneur, Small BusinessLesley Pocklington2 Comments
  Confessions of an Entrepreneur | How to Support Small Business + Why It’s SO Important

Confessions of an Entrepreneur | How to Support Small Business + Why It’s SO Important

With the busy retail season fast approaching, it’s a good time to stress and confess why it’s SO important to support small business while sharing easy ways we can all become advocates. I confess, I am a small business advocate (and owner) and proud of it.

Small business helps local communities and families thrive. Money spent within our own neighbourhoods and cities impacts local economies, giving more people the opportunity to succeed over a few at the top. I don’t want to sound naive, big business has its place in our communities as well. I’ve worked for some in my past life and my husband works for one too. They too, provide local jobs and impact communities in positive ways by giving back. When it comes to buying from big companies; we as consumers need to seek (if not, demand) those that offer sustainable practices and equitable working conditions. In 2018, it’s expected.

Back to small business. Small businesses allow people to follow their dreams while creating choice and diversity for their customers. Small businesses thrive on offering niche products in small batches, and taking risks that big companies just can’t. You could say, growth and innovation is their jam. Small businesses provide their communities with unique local identities and character, and often establish these communities as destinations. This social impact is invaluable as businesses operate as partners and collaborators to support success and positive change. Small businesses are often the first to step up and give back or provide mentorship in their communities.

Most importantly, you know who you’re buying from when you support a small business. That personal touch probably keeps you coming back, right? It’s a better customer experience overall. Small businesses truly value every single customer. You can provide instant feedback and they can adapt to your needs. Plus, it feels good to know a small business owner is able to continue their dream, provide for their families and give back to their communities. Thanks to your support. Here are some ways you can support small business too. The fact that you’re here reading this, already says a lot about you.


1. When Shopping, Think Small First

When you’re in need of something (pretty much anything), think small first. Of course, we all need to shop at big stores too; but before you head out the door (or online) to check items off your list, think about where you can find those items from a small business. For instance, if I need new shoes, I head to my local (and awesome) shoe shop first. I know the shop owner has badass style, is a local change-maker and has a young family at home. It’s a no brainer. I get a fabulous pair of shoes, she gets a sale and a loyal customer. Win, win.

The same goes for gifts, flowers, stationery, baked goods, wellness goods, jewelry, books, home decor, furniture, clothing. Really, I could go on and on. You get the picture. All of these types of business (whether brick and mortar or online) proudly offer you one of a kind products and work hard to to operate sustainable practices.

Are in you in the market for a service? Same thing goes. Service based small businesses thrive on local support too. Experts in their fields, they’re going to give you the one on one service you deserve.

2. Head to Your Local Cafes

I’m feeling pretty great about those new shoes (as mentioned above). I am going to celebrate with a coffee. A simple pleasure. I’ll skip a trip to the large coffee chain and walk around the corner to my local coffee shop. Coffee shops, cafes and restaurants are wonderful places to support local, meet your neighbours (including the owners) and enjoy goods that are lovingly made by hand. Plus, you can soak up the ambiance and unique personality that each coffee shop offers. These are our community gathering places. Support them and meet a friend face to face. It feels good.

3. Support Your Local Markets

One of the most grassroots ways to support small business, is by visiting your local markets. Fresh products are abundant and diverse, it’s a nice way to spend your day, and it’s easy to work into your regular routine. You always need fresh food and goodies, and local always tastes better (and it’s better for you). That goes for wine too.

4. Spread the Word

If you love a small business or brand, spread the word. A lot of small businesses and services rely on word of mouth. So, tell everyone you know or write a glowing review. As a small business owner myself, hearing your feedback still makes my heart skip a beat.

If you get social online, snap a photo on Instagram or Facebook and tag your favourite businesses. Spreading the love is one of the best ways to support your local businesses. Even if you can’t buy from a local business, supporting them through your comments, likes and shares is encouraging. For small businesses, it’s the little things that have a big impact.

5. Be a Small Business Advocate

Did you learn something by reading this post today? Or, maybe you have some ideas to share too. Please do! Share everything you know about supporting small business with your friends, family and community. Encourage people to become small business advocates, just like you. We are better together when it comes to creating change in our communities.

Thanks for reading and for supporting small businesses, like Swell Made Co. Your support of businesses like my own, is truly life-changing and for that I am forever grateful. As Swell Made Co. approaches its 4th year in business, I am so happy to continue living this dream come true (with hard work, of course). This comes direct from my entrepreneurial heart, but also from our suppliers, shop owners (stockists) and collaborators as well. We take so much pride in working with and being inspired by this community of small business.

The future is local. Thank YOU for being a part of it!


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Love It | Mystical Moons

Love ItLesley PocklingtonComment
  Love It | Mystical Moons by Swell Made Co.

Love It | Mystical Moons by Swell Made Co.

September 22 brings the Fall Equinox and September 24/25 brings the rise of the full Harvest Moon. In celebration of the change in seasons we’re declaring that we’ll never be over the moon (see what we did there?). Of course, we’re over the moon for moons and always have been. Remember this Moon Phase LOVE IT list? We the love moon so much, we even have a collection dedicated to it.

So, what do all of these lunar changes have in store? The Fall Equinox marks the beginning of shorter days until Winter Solstice in December. With less sunlight, we’ll start to see the true signs of autumn in Canada with vibrantly hued leaves and cooler temperatures. And what about the Harvest Moon? This year it will appear to be orange as it shines bright (although it’s not really orange). The Harvest Moon is a reminder to do just what the name states. Harvest all that this bountiful season offers (cheers from the pumpkin and apple lovers). As the chaos of summer and new routines dissipates, the Harvest Moon gives you the opportunity to relax, slow down and reflect. Depending on your sign, that may be easier said then done ;) Enjoy autumn, swell friends.


Here are a few of our favourite ways to bring moons into your space to help you celebrate lunar abundance year-round:

  1. Moon Phases (11x14) Art Print by Swell Made Co. Our best-selling art comes in rich black or crisp white with gold foil moon phases to remind of you of the night sky throughout the year.

  2. Cypress Body Oil by Smoke Artisan Perfume Co. Notes of green cypress leaves and woody mix with bright notes of lavender, clary sage, and bergamot to deliver a nourishing body oil to remind you of the outdoors.

  3. Lunar Curve earrings by One Story. Handmade brass earrings with gold plated, nickel free earring posts. These curves remind us of a crescent moons.

  4. Confetti Candle from Buk & Nola by Paddywax. Confetti or night sky? You decide. Brighten your home with this art-inspired, porcelain votive with metallic accents. Available in multiple fragrances and colours, but we love the simplicity of black.

  5. Inquire Within Deck by Worthwhile Paper. New from Worthwhile paper, we are swooning over this mystical deck that reminds of you of the magic you already possess. Each card is a meaningful phrase, reminder, word or prompt to help bring guidance and comfort to everyday life. Self healing requires a willingness to explore deeply, to ask yourself questions – to inquire within.

  6. Moons Canvas Pouch by Swell Made Co. A canvas pouch that is made for anything (cosmetics, school supplies, devices or lingerie), but coveted by the moon lover. Made in Canada.

  7. Crescent Moon Mirror from Urban Outfitters. Add a little lunar luxe to any space with this crescent moon mirror. Perfect as a functional decor piece in a living room or bedroom. Available in gold and silver.

  8. Half Moon Raffia Coasters from Leif Shop. Made using all natural, local materials, this coaster set is woven by hand using raffia, which is then naturally dyed and woven by local women artisans in Uganda.

  9. Love by the Moon (11x14) Art Print by Swell Made Co. Available in rich black or crisp white with gold foil to create a dreamy space.


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Crystals for Beginners

Inspiration, Collaborations, How ToLesley Pocklington1 Comment
  Crystals for Beginners by Swell Made Co. x Breathing Inspiration.

Crystals for Beginners by Swell Made Co. x Breathing Inspiration.

For many, fall brings a sense of routine and ritual that we happily let go of (even if just a little) during the summer months. As seasons change, I am embracing a new ritual that I have always been curious about. Crystals. I'll be honest, I have been mystified by crystals, gems and stones since childhood; but was equally confused and dubious. Until I discovered the magic of stones and their innate abilities to heal through Breathing Inspiration. I'm still navigating this simple, but complex world so I've paired up with friend and collaborator, Abby Rozen of Breathing Inspiration to break it down for us beginners. Whether you believe crystals are powerful, or not; you can't deny their beauty. And they're fun. So, come on a mystical journey with Abby and I. 

Abby Rozen is the creator behind Breathing Inspiration. Her line of meditation bracelets are made with healing crystals. Abby is an certified crystal master, potter, and psychotherapist. She worked with stones for many years, finding herself drawn to their energy. After discovering and learning about the significance behind each stone, and seeing the value that intention setting through stones brought to her life, Abby started Breathing Inspiration. You can see our collaborative bracelet here


  Healing crystal bracelets by Swell Made Co. x Breathing Inspiration. With black tourmaline and howlite stones.

Healing crystal bracelets by Swell Made Co. x Breathing Inspiration. With black tourmaline and howlite stones.

How Healing Crystals Work

Similar to other forms of holistic healing, crystals manifest their energy, through subtle, but deep and long term magic. Just like other healthy habits (meditation, exercise, eating well and taking vitamins), you might not notice and instant transformation; but over time you will notice a shift. When working with crystals it's important to keep your heart and mind open, set intentions and observe what manifests within (and around) you.

Through their unique vibration, colour and talisman (the magic) each stone brings its own beautiful energy and physical appearance. Each stone holds and transmits energy differently by vibration, which is determined by symmetrical crystal latices. While, our bodies respond deeply on a metaphysical level to colours. Our chakra is activated by specific colours. 

How to Use Stones in Your Life

Bringing crystals into your daily life can be as simple as having them as decor in your home, to more complex rituals. You can where them as jewelry, sleep with them under your pillow, soak with them in your bath or carry them in your pocket. It's really up to you. Working with crystals (like other forms of self-help) is meant to support you in becoming the clearest, inspired and grounded version of yourself. Your crystals will guide you and determine what's right for you.

When choosing stones, many let their intuition and hearts guide them to those that feel right for them in that moment. Often, there will be a connection between the power held in the stones and energy one is seeking or in need of. The power of the stones, combined with your intentions will bring the right energy into your life.  

If you're just starting a collection of crystals, these are a great start and you can add new stones that you are drawn to as you continue your practice. 

Rose Quartz - The Lover

Rosy pink in colour, this crystal is all about love, love, love. One of the most nurturing crystals, it opens our hearts to compassion, forgiveness, attracts new love, heals heartbreak and most importantly, encourages self love. We could all use more love, and this heavyweight crystal strengthens love in all its forms. 

Clear Quartz - The Healer

Clear quartz can be found all over the world and, as a matter of fact, in many of the modern things you own like clocks and electronics. This crystal is a master healer and connector making it "easy" to put it to work for you. It's a tireless, flexible and and powerful guide. Plus, it works so hard it will amplify the other crystals in your collection. 

Citrine - The opitmist

If sunshine were a crystal, it would be citrine. Did you know citrine is actually amethyst that was treated at a high temperature to give it its sunny colour? Natural citrine exists, but is very rare. If you have a dream, goal or even a to-do list, this stone will help you bring them to life and follow through. Perfect for workspaces or wherever you create, citrine will help keep creative ideas flow brightly and abundantly. 

Amethyst - The Protector

One of the most revered crystals in history and today, amethyst is the protector crystal. A stone of transformation and enlightenment, it's talisman reminds us to treat our bodies well and disconnect from unhealthy attachments (and even negative or addictive patterns). It protects people and spaces, making it a perfect choice for home with its ability to promote connection and communication. 

Black Tourmaline - The Grounder

Black tourmaline is an energy heavyweight and powerful in its ability to keep you grounded. You could say it likes to keep it real. Physical reality that is. An essential part of any crystal collection, black tourmaline works to protect your personal boundaries and ward off negative energy.

We hope you beginners loved learning about crystals! Are you excited to start your collection and see where your crystals guide you? A great guide for beginners can be found by Yulia Van Doren in her book 'Crystals - The Modern Guide to Crystal Healing' and anything written by Judy Hall. 

If you're a seasoned crystal collector, what are your favourite stones. We'd love to hear about your journey. Thanks for reading!

Abby and Lesley,
Breathing Inspiration and Swell Made Co.

  Essential crystals for the beginner collection. Citrine, clear quartz, amethyst and rose quartz. And don't forget black tourmaline.

Essential crystals for the beginner collection. Citrine, clear quartz, amethyst and rose quartz. And don't forget black tourmaline.


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