100% of the profits from every single purchase goes straight towards Tommy’s life saving research and support services.*
This month, as the global Wave of Light campaign gets underway, we sit down with founders Vicky and Freya to discuss their work with baby loss awareness charity, Tommy’s.
Plum & Ashby have been working with Tommy’s for four years now. Tell us a little about how you came across Tommy’s and what began this relationship with the charity.
Vicky: I first became aware of Tommy’s after my sister’s baby boy was tragically born sleeping. My whole family was so shocked by the experience. I can remember thinking, “how can this possibly still be happening in this day and age.” We all needed some answers I think, some support trying to get our heads around it.
And then, fast forward a number of years and through my own personal experience, I was once again drawn to Tommy’s for advice and support.
A couple of years later my son was born and my Instagram feed lit up, literally, with images of the Wave of Light campaign. I remember thinking, how Tommy’s and the work they do had been so important to me and my family and I had this incredibly strong desire to get involved. I saw the candles and just thought… “well this is what we do, it couldn’t be more perfect, why don’t we make a candle for this event and donate all the profit.”
I pitched it to Freya and luckily, she loved the idea too and was equally keen to get involved.
Freya: I don’t think either of us thought then it would be as big as it has become. I still can’t believe the scale of what we have managed to raise for the charity with the help of all our customers!
And so, leading on from that Vicky, tell us a little bit about the significance of candles in a campaign like this, in the act of remembrance.
Vicky: Well specifically in this instance, for The Wave of Light, lighting a candle is a unifying act, a simple ritual that anyone can perform to show solidarity and remembrance.
Freya: But I think more broadly candles have always been used in religion and personal rituals. There is a symbolism there, a small light in the dark. There is a delicacy yet perseverance to those little flames that I think it would be hard not to attach to ideas of hope.
Vicky: Yes, hope and remembrance are both key I think. But also, the accessibility of it. Although we would love people to buy and light our candle during The Wave of Light, any candle will do, even an old tea light. It’s just a time to reflect and remember any life that was taken too soon.
Freya: But buying our candle will mean we can raise even more money for Tommy’s, so do do that, if you can!
Well on that note, let’s talk about the Plum & Ashby candle, why did you choose the Fresh Fig & Jasmine scent?
Freya: It was something we developed alongside Elle from @featheringtheemptynest. We all wanted to create something that was both comforting and reassuring, something that had an element of hope.
Vicky: And it is a really soothing scent. There is Lilly of the Valley in there and I have always found that fragrance very peaceful. And some orange blossom which is a natural stress reliever.
What would you say have been the moments from the last 4 years that have stood out the most for you?
Vicky: I think for me, seeing the huge developments Tommy’s is making is staggering. Only a few weeks ago the Pregnancy Loss review on NHS miscarriage care was published with a number of the recommendations that Tommy’s has campaigned for, being included. They are affecting real, lifesaving change, right now.
I was personally affected by the ‘3 miscarriages in a row before you can see a specialist’ statistic and so, reading that this is going to change had a huge impact on me. It is such a great step forward and it has just made me realise that the small part we play is actually really helping to change things.
Freya: I think the video we did last year also had a big effect on me personally. Seeing the amazing women we worked with on that share their stories really took my breath away. Their bravery and compassion in the face of such heartrending loss was astounding. And the shoot itself was such a hopefully day despite, or perhaps because of, the stories they were sharing. It was filled with laughter and love, vulnerability and great strength.
Vicky: And lots of people clearly agreed. That video was watched by over 1 million people! I mean the amount we have raised is also pretty huge. Over £135,000, we never dreamed it could be that big. The support is amazing. We are constantly blown away. Every year the awareness seems to grow, and that is precisely what we are aiming for.
Join us for the Wave of Light at 7pm on the 15th of October by lighting a candle to remember those babies who left us too soon.
You can talk to a Tommy’s midwife for free, Monday to Friday, 9 am – 5 pm on 0800 014 7800 or email email@example.com.
For more information about Tommy’s and the great work they do, visit www.tommys.org/blaw to sign up for updates from the charity.
You can read the Pregnancy Loss Review summary report at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pregnancy-loss-review/pregnancy-loss-review-summary-report and order copies of the full report here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pregnancy-loss-review
* Each year we, as a company, make a minimum commitment, regardless of sales figures, of £35,000. We are happy to say that the money we have raised has exceeded this by an average of £10,000 every single year.