My Pitch to Enrich for Virgin’s #pitchtorich

 To find out more about the 60 Postcards journey so far, you can read a summary here.

voom

In my last post I introduced the concept of my new collective to you. As I confessed, I am spending time preparing and looking for as much help as possible in order to give this a real chance of long-term success. Richard Branson is a name we all know. Branson started his first business (a music magazine) at the age of sixteen. Now, of course, he is the famous entrepreneur who founded the Virgin Group. He has been through it all in business – the struggles, the trial and error, the highs and the lows – everything that has contributed to reaching the stage he is at now. With a wealth of business knowledge, Branson runs a competition called #pitchtorich which offers growing and new businesses the chance to win funding and guidance. I had to put the Tribute Collective forward…….

THE PITCH:

Tribute Collective

 Offering people an alternative way to channel grief through the creation of unique projects in memory of lost loved ones and providing a platform where stories can be shared and connections made. Join the movement.

Most people reading this will have experienced the loss of a loved one. It is something that we often feel like we have to deal with quietly, on our own.

Together, we can change that.

The Tribute Collective is inspired by the readers of the 60 Postcards project – a project where handwritten postcards in memory of a much-loved mum were scattered around Paris for people to find. The journey was documented in a blog and a book, and hundreds of people have been in touch – sharing stories and expressing an interest in becoming part of it. Every message received sparks the passion and drive to form a collective.

The collective will offer:

1) A website where people can share memories, seek guidance on creating their own personal tributes and connect with other users.

2) Workshops, talks and meet-ups for face-to-face help and interaction.

3) A Tribute Collective London HQ in the form of a creative café for the above to take place (long-term goal).

Postcard Photo Wall

Because it is:

UNIQUE – being the first collective of its kind.

FAR-REACHING – bereavement is a universal issue and we want to help as many people as possible.

ORGANIC – it all started with a personal tribute but developed very naturally through connections made and stories shared.

COLLABORATIVE – the word, ‘collective’, was carefully chosen. We want the people who join us to be a chorus of voices in our future business decisions.

ENRICHING – no one will ever be able to stop the inevitable, uncontrollable storms of grief but we hope that through this collective we can provide beautiful distractions while keeping memories alive.

LEARNING – we don’t know everything about business but that is why we would love to have the Virgin team guiding us, and giving the Tribute Collective the exposure we know it deserves.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

WHY I WOULD LOVE YOUR VOTE:

It always makes me cringe when you have to ask people to vote for something – I am going to be sharing this all over my 60 Postcards and my personal social media streams so be prepared!

The reasons are simple, though. You have been part of the 60 Postcards journey for a long time and, therefore, you will understand better than anyone.

The only chance to get shortlisted in this competition is by the amount of votes you receive. I have used up almost every single character of the word count allowance to get my message across on-screen, but what I really want is the opportunity to present my passion through pitching it myself.

If you believe in the idea, PLEASE VOTE HERE!

I will leave the last words to Mr Branson – words that reassure me of my mission:

Richard Branson

Have a top weekend,
Rachael x

Introducing…The Tribute Collective

To find out more about the 60 Postcards journey so far, you can read a summary here.

tributebrainstormI feel like I am forever apologising for being a bit quiet lately. Sorry again. I just wanted to reassure readers that my spark for 60 Postcards has not faded. Far from it. As I have explained many a time, it is important for me – both personally and for the future of the project – for it to become more of a group venture. Behind the scenes I am investing my time in my postcard project in a very new and exciting way.

Introducing….The Tribute Collective – a non-profit enterprise that I am aiming to launch by the end of the year.

I am being a little bold by sharing my initial ideas so publicly, but you have been part of this journey so far and I want to keep you in the loop – even at this early stage. (Please remember that this is very much a work in progress, though. None of the below is set in stone and I believe it would actually be a bad thing if it didn’t change and develop along the way!)

The idea:

Tribute postcard

What the Tribute Collective will provide:

1 – The Website 

  • Online postcard memory wall where photos of handwritten postcard tributes can be uploaded.
  • Features of inspirational stories.
  • Guidance on how to create your own tribute.
  • A page on how to seek further help if you need it.
  • An online community where you are able to chat to others.

2 – Speaking & Workshops

  •  Interactive workshops, encouraging people who have lost to get creative with their own projects.
  • Meet ups – tributes aside, this will be a chance to socialise at various events in a safe and open environment.
  • I am willing to travel around the UK as much as physically possible to deliver talks/workshops around this idea and the back story of 60 Postcards (including schools).

3 – The Tribute Collective Cafe

  • This will encompass all of the above in our own space in London. (Admittedly a long-term goal!)

The most important thing about The Tribute Collective is the notion that you can get as involved as you wish. You can sit in the comfort of your own home and read the messages, or you can share if it feels right. You can meet people if you feel, in your heart, that you are ready. Everyone is welcome at any stage of interaction.

What happens next:

I am currently working out the legal status to sign up as, I am working on my business model, trying to secure the website and social network aspects of the collective, looking for some help with logo and branding and all while researching various funding avenues. This is such a learning process for me. Starting up a business is a wee bit daunting. Some people disassociate business from emotion. I’ve thought about that a lot lately. The conclusion that I have come to is that they are wrong. Working on something so close to the heart can only be a good thing, as it drives the desire to succeed.

Focus Group: 

I think I have found the perfect spot to hold a focus group about The Tribute Collective. I am just finalising plans and then I will let you know the details. In order for this to be a success, I would love to gather feedback from those who know about the project. I chose the word, ‘collective’, for a very good reason. I like to think that when I launch this later in the year, it will be something that has been born through collaboration.

So there we have it! Apologies again for the radio silence but now you are in the circle of trust, I hope to chat more about the progress of 60 Postcards and The Tribute Collective very soon.

Speak to you later in the week,

Rachael x

watermarkbooksPS: I will be at Watermark Books in Kings Cross Station (just next to platform 9 & 3/4) tomorrow (Weds 1st April) from 6.30pm to celebrate the bookshop’s 3 year anniversary. Everyone welcome. Give me a shout if you can drop in!

 

Mother’s Day: With or Without Her

To find out more about the 60 Postcards journey so far, you can read a summary here.

IMG_2564

Sunday 15th March is almost here and Mother’s Day marketing fills the shop windows, dominates articles online and generally smacks the motherless amongst us in the face with every single mention. It is a day that is tainted for me since Mum’s death, but one that has changed over the past three years. As much as I hate the fact that I cannot spend the day with her, I feel as though the bitterness is fading.

daughterhoodI was recently introduced to The Daughterhood, which is all about  mother and daughter relationships. It was inspired by Natasha when her Mum was diagnosed with a progressive illness and she soon found many other people who wanted to take part in the discussion.

They have just released as a book and you can check out the website where people share stories. I adore the concept and, of course, wish it had been around before Mum passed. But, it was a lovely reminder that we don’t have to stay quiet about those we have lost.

I know this will be a difficult milestone for those who have lost their mum, but what I always find myself repeating is that we need to remember there is no right or wrong on how to feel or what to do on the day.

Perhaps you would like to avoid the world and stay in? Or go out and find a distraction? Whether you are with or without her, Mums should be appreciated and celebrated. Here are a few things that you may want to try this Sunday:

  • A Card or a Postcard 

If you have lost your Mum I would still recommend writing a card or even a postcard. This has been tried and tested by moi and although it is, inevitably, an emotional task, it can be helpful to get your thoughts written down. You can do this in the comfort of your own home and space, do it with friends or family and in 60 Postcards style, you may even want to leave your Mother’s Day note somewhere special.

  • #LoveforMum

Yep, Facebook and Twitter will be flooded with images and statuses of what people are up to on Sunday but, rather than be forced away from our social networking sites, I suggest we create an idea that we can all get involved with. Write a message (include a photo if you like) and send it to my Twitter, Instagram or Facebook…..

LoveforMum2

  • The Meet 

This Sunday afternoon I plan to head to a pub in Shoreditch. I will have my phone and laptop on me so that I can be sharing the #LoveforMum messages and you can contact me all day by email. Further than that, if you would like some company and want to join (on your own or with mates) then feel free to email me on 60postcards@gmail.com and I’ll tell you where I will be.

Speak to you next week. Until then have a lovely weekend, enjoy the sun and spoil or remember those Mums.

Rachael x

PS: Stars Charity Concert

My sister, Sarah, was inspired by Mum and her passion for singing to set up a charity concert on 10th April (7.30pm) at Merley House in Dorset. Songs from the stage and screen will be performed by a very talented group of singers and you can buy tickets here (includes a drink on arrival).

All of the proceeds on the evening are going to the children’s charity CLIC Sargent.

Raffle: A huge thank you to Tim, Norma, Raphael (Stylechapel) and Jayne (Home Farm House) who have kindly donated raffle prizes.

If you (or anyone you know) may be able to help with a raffle prize, please drop me a note at 60postcards@gmail.com.