In this week’s blog post, we’re highlighting one of the amazing companies involved in our MENTAL WELLNESS BOX project. With the theme of Mother’s Day in mind, we curated products from across North America, specifically reaching out to companies with a mental wellness/mental health component to their company.
In 2013, Elizabeth Tiglao-Guss, owner of LINK OF HEARTS, left her life on the East Coast to move to sunny California with her husband in support of his career. She embraced this transition with the excitement of a fresh start; deciding to pursue a career that would spark change and make a difference. Elizabeth’s lifelong battle with depression called her to use this life experience as a way to reach out to those struggling with mental illness, with the intention of making a positive impact on their lives.
During her early battle with deep depression, Elizabeth had found comfort in a bracelet that she wore throughout her journey. Inscribed with an inspirational message, this piece of jewelry provided a source of strength when she needed it most -- it became her string of hope.
As a creative with a background in digital marketing, graphic and web design, and a passion for making crafty projects, Elizabeth realized she could learn how to make jewelry. She thought, “Why not provide products that can be a symbol of hope, that anyone who is battling mental illness can use as a source of inspiration and strength?”
And so, LINK OF HEARTS was born: a small company that offers products designed to create a movement raising awareness for depression, other mental illnesses, and mental health. Every product directly impacts a person struggling in silence by providing a message of hope and contributing to ongoing aid and support for those who need it. LINK OF HEARTS has dedicated its mission to working together with the community to give the gift of hope and help fight the stigma of mental illness.
BRAND SPOTLIGHT: LINK OF HEARTS
JENNIFER: So nice to be connecting with you today Elizabeth. I was so thrilled to be able to have you involved in our MENTAL WELLNESS BOX project! To get started, can you tell us a bit about your company and how LINK OF HEARTS came to be.
ELIZABETH: LINK OF HEARTS is a brand I started in 2014 out of a desire to advocate for mental health. I have a long history of depression and anxiety, and after surviving my darkest days, I wanted to reach out and connect with others who may be going through what I went through for such a long time. So, I thought if I could start my own small business, why not integrate a “give back” component to the business plan. And so, here we are.
JENNIFER: What a great way to take a difficult situation and have something wonderful be born from it. And as you know, I’m a very passionate supporter of companies with a give-back component to their businesses, especially for mental health. So, what kind of impact or goals do you have regarding the mental wellness/mental health component to LINK OF HEARTS?
ELIZABETH: I love this question because while our overall mission is to raise awareness for mental health, my personal purpose is to connect with others who are especially battling with mental health because I know what it’s like to struggle myself. I want to share hope and inspiration through our pieces with powerful words that have personally served me in my darkest days. And if I can make someone feel less alone, then I will keep sharing my story and keep doing what we’re doing.
JENNIFER: Couldn’t agree with you more, Elizabeth. That’s what I always say as well – “If I can make someone feel less alone, then I will keep sharing my story!” What are the other top projects/exciting news/collaborations LINK OF HEARTS would like to tell us about?
ELIZABETH: Good question. Right now, I’m still in the middle of a slow pivot as I figure out our next steps. I’m trying to find a balance between selling our symbolic pieces and growing the core of our message, with an emphasis on the latter. I hope to focus more on wholesale and bulk order, so I can continue building a community through our social media platforms. Now more than ever, I feel we need to keep spreading hope and encouragement, especially during the uncertainty of this global pandemic.
JENNIFER: Yes, absolutely. It’s so important to not feel alone, especially when you’re dealing with something traumatic. So, what made LINK OF HEARTS say YES to being a part of the MARNIE & MICHAEL MENTAL WELLNESS BOX project?
ELIZABETH: As soon as I read your email and I found out about your project, there was no way I was going to walk away. I personally thrive off of partnerships and collaborations, especially with other small businesses who share the same mission. Mental health is such a large and broad advocacy and while we have come a long way, there is still so much work to be done. So if we can have our voices be louder together, this is one big way to put out our message.
JENNIFER: Yes, yes, YES!!! Again, you are echoing my message, too. Things are definitely different from when I was a child, but we still have so much to do. Unfortunately, there are still people who ‘don’t believe’ in mental illness, which is baffling in 2021. Especially this past year with the global pandemic… Do you mind sharing some of the tools or coping strategies that have helped you during this pandemic?
ELIZABETH: This is such a loaded question because... where do I even begin? So much has happened in the last year and we FELT so much, all together. I use coping tools that I have learned over the years, but of course I have taken them to a different level in the last year.
My MORNING ROUTINE has been a game changer for me. It consists of meditation, journaling, reading my devotionals and 1-2 chapters of another self-help/inspirational book. Then I do 30 minutes of exercise/movement. I know that’s a lot, but it’s something I have slowly built up over the last three years. So, if you’re interested in starting your own morning routine, start slow and just do one thing.
In the beginning of quarantine, it became my lifesaver, when almost everything came to a stop, there was nothing much to do, not much work, nowhere to go to. But my morning routine gave me a structure and a great way to start my day, even though there were no other plans for the rest of the day. It kept me grounded during the days filled with anxiety and uncertainty. It simply gave me something to do, something I could control considering a year (so far) of feeling out of control. And even if I don’t do anything else all day, knowing that I have done my morning routine is enough to make me feel better than I did the day before.
JENNIFER: Wow! Those are some great tools and self-care suggestions. And yes, I do a similar practise in the mornings as well. I don’t always have time to fit in the movement piece, but I try. And I feel the same way – it is one certain thing you can do, when everything else is so uncertain. It does give you a sense of control, and of being grounded. Well, this has just been so lovely. Again, thank you for being a part of this project, and I’m so glad our paths have crossed. I look forward to following LINK OF HEARTS in all your future projects! And looking very forward to working together again soon. Thanks so much, Elizabeth.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT LINK OF HEARTS CLICK HERE.
ORDER THE MAY 2021 MENTAL WELLNESS BOX BY CLICKING HERE.