I come from a long line of givers. My Mum has always been the first to put her hand up to help a person or non-profit in need; a trait that was unquestionably passed down from my grandparents, and, by all accounts, from their parents. Long before all of these creative dreams of mine came to fruition, it had always been instilled by my family to find every way I could to do the same.
The story of Lines and Squares is one that goes hand-in-hand and is impossible to tell without our tale of chronic pain and illness. After the best part of a decade, with the hordes of people and stories we’ve come to know, and the opportunities that have come our way, it really would be remiss of us not to share a smidge.
And that said - let me introduce you to the new side hustle in our lives.
Lines and Squares was first imagined as a fun little something to fuel my creativity alongside my 9-5. Unbeknown to me at the time, life had some very different plans in store. Rewind to 2010; I was working in my full-time job of seven years, creating this little business on the sidelines, travelling the world at my will, and smack bang in the middle of that invincible stage of my early twenties. Fast forward a few months, and a mystery bout of persistent pain and illness had me walk away from my ‘real’ job. It was in the midst of that medical minefield that Lines and Squares naturally received a little extra love and devotion, and blossomed into the gorgeous near-nine-year-old that she is today. For that, I owe her a great deal.
While I’m by no means pain-free, conquering the world or making millions, I am incredibly thankful to have had the opportunity to build something that feeds my hunger for creativity and encourages (or forces me when need be) to make the most of what I have to give. More often than not, it’s that ability to follow hopes and dreams to fruition and to grasp the sense of fulfilment that follows which is lacking in the lives of those with chronic pain. Unfortunately, we’ve come to learn that it’s a quandary which far too many people are forced to face, often without adequate support. I’m one of a tiny 5% of folk who haven’t been allowed to fall through the cracks, which is why it’s time to give back to the people who have undoubtedly kept these hopes and daydreams afloat all these years.
Bay of Hope was born out of a sense of weariness; a protected little cove for the pain plagued, invisibly ill, nature-fuelled folk, carving a life from the wilds of someplace. Free from all things clinical and grey and gloomy, we intertwine stories of beauty and pain, longing and peace, reflection and hope. It is a space that teaches hard truths with tact, mourns pre-pain life, documents tough days both with and without rose-coloured glasses, aids contentment in the absence of cures, backs the living of remarkable lives in often unremarkable circumstances, and champions the positive mindset in equal measures. Take a peek and join us if you fancy!