Meet Florence, Founder of Sweet Cavanagh.
What is Sweet Cavanagh?
We are a peer-led aftercare service for women recovering from eating disorders and addictions. We employ the women and teach them how to make and design jewellery. There is next to no after care in London, especially for free. I strongly believe that much of relapse could be avoided if there was adequate after care in place to support people as they entered that very vulnerable stage of recovery.
We work as a social enterprise but are owned by a charity- Free Me 1152120– so all of our profits go back into Free Me, which supports our craftswomen and allows us to invest in materials, design, training and education.
Why do we do it?
From personal experience I know how powerful it is to engage in a creative activity, it is a great way to build self-esteem. I chose jewellery in particular as it was one of the activities I engaged in when I was in rehab. It was while I was learning to make jewellery that I felt myself start to come back to life. The whole process is so therapeutic and it gives a wonderful sense of achievement to hold something tangible at the end.
So much of the jewellery sold in the UK is made abroad by exploited people; when you buy our beautiful jewellery, you can trust that it has been made ethically here in London.
Every time someone buys a piece of our jewellery, they are supporting women in recovery; they are helping to spread our very valuable message, which says that our society’s body image madness has to stop, women must be valued for more than their looks.
A lot of our products are one offs as they are made by individuals using reworked or recycled jewellery and therefore can’t be repeated.
Although we are a charity at heart our products go through a rigorous quality control process and we are totally committed to producing mid to high end pieces for reasonable prices. We believe our products are as good as, if not better, than our competitors. Our customer base is very varied with ages ranging from the teens to the sixties. We appeal to different ages by having both chunky pieces and also more delicate pieces.
My favourite piece:
I love this piece because it is so bold and beautiful. It has a reworked vintage scarf clip as its centrepiece and is just so unique.
I used to say succes would be helping one woman return to a healthy and balanced lifestyle and job, however now that we have achieved this objective I would have to say that success would be to maintain a safe place for women to come, build their self esteem and recover. Currently we are London based, but we do have dreams of expanding across the UK.
This post was written by Florence Norman, Founder of Sweet Cavanagh.
Follow Florence on twitter @CavanaghSweet
To find out more please visit www.sweetcavanagh.com
We do pop up shops and markets so it’s best to join our mailing list for details, you can do this on our website.