Last year it was the gift-guides of Cameron Diaz and Gwyneth Paltrow... This year the love continues! Find us in some of the most popular publications including Vogue, Teen Vogue, Chatelaine, People En Español, Boston Herald and Oprah Magazine!
Canadian Gems can watch LBOR creator Kiera Fogg pitch LBOR on CBC's Dragons Den on the show's holiday special, December 7th.
The internet is buzzing with LBOR. Check out some of the other amazing sites we've been featured in this year.
All those familiar with LBOR know that we are more than just a product or a company. We are a movement – a community of recipients, senders, and LBOR team members working together toward the common goal of sending positive energy.
It's for this reason that LBOR is very pleased to have teamed up with Make Music Matter, an innovative non-governmental organization that uses music as a form of healing therapy in countries that have been deeply scarred by conflict, HIV/AIDS, and violence against women. Send our Lotus (Mother) bouquet and 10% of sales will be donated to help support and facilitate the emotional, psychological, and spiritual healing of women and children in these war-torn regions.
We spoke to Make Music Matter founder Darcy Ataman to learn more about the concept of "music therapy" and how it works.
Little Box of Rocks: We absolutely love the fact that your organization is using music as a form of therapy. Can you tells us how it works?
Darcy Ataman: Music has always helped
people around the world to overcome hardship by providing comfort and consolation, and by helping them to directly address the most divisive issues facing their communities. Our specialized and own unique brand of music therapy sees our participants (often survivors of extreme sexual violence) working in tandem with a trained psychologist and music producer, writing, recording and professionally producing songs about their emotions and experiences.
The process has a profound effect on both psychological healing and the restoration of a supportive, healing community. Our participants are transformed into artists who in-turn become advocates by publicly disseminating their music through local radio broadcasts, social media, community concerts and CD distribution, reducing stigma about sexual violence and more.
LBOR: This sounds absolutely incredible. What an amazing idea! Do you remember the moment you were inspired to create Make Music Matter?
D: In 2009, I was in Rwanda for 5 weeks in order to film a documentary and record an album that saw Canadian musicians collaborate with Rwandans. I used a studio I constructed in Kigali as a creative space in order to make everyone equal. At that point I had already been working in several African countries for years spearheading various humanitarian and development projects. That being said I began to feel guilty that I was not, for example, a doctor or politician which I thought could do more to help at the time than a music producer. One day during our 5-week stint we decided to take some of the recording equipment to a local school in order to give the local youth a fun day of music, recording and performance.
When we arrived at the little hillside school in rural Rwanda we found that the entire school was full, the building was surrounded and there were literally kids trying to crawl through the windows in order to get in.
LBOR: I have chills... Sounds like an incredibly profound experience. Can you tell us a bit about those who benefit from the program and the challenges they face day-to-day?
D: In particular, our innovative music therapy program located at Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in partnership with Panzi Foundations is helping survivors of sexual violence, other vulnerable women and children use the healing power of music to recover from traumatic experiences.
The hospital serves more than 400,000 constituents in the DRC, and is world renown for its best-in-class holistic healing model serving survivors of sexual violence. Our participants/artists can be survivors as young as 7 years old and as old as 75.
LBOR: What happens in the music therapy program?
D: Going a step beyond traditional music therapy techniques, the program centers around a locally-built recording studio on hospital grounds. Women, children, and vulnerable community members gather in this studio and work with a therapeutic team that includes a psychologist trained in music therapy and a professional music producer. They transform from patients into artists.
The beautiful, evocative songs that our artists record and professionally produce, are written about their daily lives and traumatic past experiences. They are then disseminated through radio broadcasts, community concerts, and social media, helping to chip away at the stigma surrounding sexual violence and advocate to address its root causes.
LBOR: Tell us about the progress you’ve seen in introducing this program and what its meant for its benefactors?
D: Our particular music therapy program has demonstrated promising results in improvements across all three mental health dimensions of anxiety, depression and PTSD. In particular, women in our program were 80% more likely to have an improvement in their PTSD scores than women who did not participate in our program. Women in our program were twice as likely to have an improvement in their anxiety scores.
One story has resonated with me over the last few months. It was the first day during my last trip to the DRC where I was observing one of our sessions. At the end of it I asked our psychologist to ask the women how they think I saw them.
One lady stood up and said that she thought I used to see them as worthless, without any value because of what had happened to them, but now they think I see them as artists. To me that is the highest compliment I could have received.
She was so overjoyed by the response of the crowd that she lovingly picked him up and began kissing her baby. This embrace was the first time that she demonstrated an attachment to her child.
It was a moment where both performer and audience members could forget their pain and participate in pure joy.
LBOR: I can imagine your job isn’t always easy and often quite dangerous for you. What keeps you going on the tough days?
D: As much as it can be quite uncomfortable at times in the field and often times dangerous as I become more well-known in the community, I still hold the ability of being able to go home in theory. I hold a passport to a free and democratic country that welcomes me back every time I return. I strongly feel that the luxury of choice inoculates me from acquiescing to ever giving up. Our local staff still face danger and challenges on a daily basis that deflate my fleeting moments of questioning my path in life. Every near death experience in the end has made me more empathetic to our common humanity and connected to the most vulnerable in the world. That is a gift that has been more than worth the price I paid for it.
LBOR: Thank you for sharing this with us. There is truly no better gift than the gift of connection.
For more on how you can Make Music Matter, visit their website here.Good vibes,
By far the most common question we get here at LBOR is: What should I do with my crystals? We love this question, because not only are there are so many ways to answer it, but it's a question that's not often asked about flowers. People really want to connect, engage, and find meaning in their crystals – and we think that's pretty cool.
How you connect with your crystals is entirely up to you, and often it's completely personal, (watch LBOR creator, Kiera Fogg's take on that here), but since fall is right around the corner, and it's all about getting cozy and ready for the winter, we're sharing our top 5 favorite crystals to use around the home.
Often called the "stone of unconditional love," this beautiful, pink gem is the stone to keep nearby if you wish to attract more love into your life, whether it be romantic love, self-love, or simply more harmony in your relationships. Place this crystal in a high traffic area of the household – such as the kitchen or living-room – to promote a peaceful, harmonious environment. Rose Quartz can be found in many of our bouquets including our Karma (Thank You),
Moonstruck (Romance), and Lotus (Mother).
A year and a half ago, I was a stay at home mom with a crazy idea to send rocks the same way we typically send flowers. The idea literally popped into my head one day while I was bathing my 6-month-old baby. Like, “Aha… Little Box of Rocks… that’s brilliant!”
If I could somehow magically go back and tell myself in this moment that a year and a half would bring two celebrity endorsements, tons of earned media (nationally and internationally) and an opportunity to pitch on CBC’s hit show the Dragons Den, I wouldn’t have believed it for a second.
But the miracles of life never cease to amaze me, and as I took a deep breath and carefully stepped down the staircase and onto the dimly lit set of the Dragons Den, (one that I’d seen probably hundreds of times from my own living room) and looked into the skeptical faces of the “dragons,” it hit me:
Anything can happen.
My plane had landed in Toronto the evening before. By the time I made it to my hotel room and neurotically quadruple-checked the bouquets I had brought along to give to the dragons, it was late, so I tucked myself under the cold duvet and closed my eyes, hoping that the morning would bring a fresh jolt of courage.
When I arrived at the studio the next morning at 7:45 (6:45 Winnipeg time), I was greeted by a small group of other entrepreneurs waiting in the lobby of the CBC building, some chatty… some quiet… but all clearly a little (or in my case, a LOT) nervous.
“Am I the only one who’s afraid to do this?” I overheard a lady whisper to a staff member nearby. I raised a hand and waved at her, quietly indicating that she most certainly was not alone.
The group was ushered into the studio where we were to set up our displays and begin practicing our pitches with our assigned producers.
“Oh my goodness, you’re such a glamazon!” said my producer, Adam Avrashi, as he came up to meet me. Clearly I had lucked out in being assigned to Adam, who chatted with me for the next couple of hours in the greenroom over tea and didn’t bat an eyelash when I told him I might pass out! (It was a legit concern of mine… and though we got on well, I wondered how he’d feel about this “glamazon” if I passed out on set.)
“You’re up next,” he said finally as they began wheeling large platforms of Christmas trees onto the set, decorations that I was told were brought in that day for my pitch, which is expected to air sometime around the holidays.
Then it was time to go in. I stood with a crew-member and camera guy for a few moments, before I was given the cue to enter the set, walking past the iconic shadowed wall and down the staircase. I hit my mark and launched into my 90-second pitch, immediately noticing that I couldn’t see a single camera pointed in my direction, an atmosphere that really does make you forget you’re being taped!
I am not able to say the result of what transpired, but I can say that it will definitely make for a fun and interesting segment. I can also say that I am happy with how it all unfolded. Meet me back here in 6 months or so to hear my thoughts, with full, no-holds-barred disclosure on how the whole thing went down…
I seriously can’t wait!
New Baby • Congratulations • Keepsake
They say that at the very moment we are born, while our parents are gazing and
giggling and crying tears of joy, so is a very special creature – a perfect little pixie designated just for us. A keepsake like no other, this bouquet carries with it the energy of the pixie – a small and mighty guide offering love, guidance and protection. Intended to be kept for the child until their 18th year, Pixie is to be given to new parents who have welcomed a perfect little pixie of their very own. This bouquet has an added customization feature for boy or girl!
So your handsome prince has popped the question and now you’ve got the exciting task of asking your most important gal-pals to be a part of your big day. If you’re like most of us ladies, chances are you’ve already picked your bridesmaids (and ran through a fantasy version of your bachelorette party in your head several dozen times.)
But before you go calling all your girlfriends and blurting out a rambling verbal ambush, let’s consider a few simple tips that will help you pop the question in a way that will rock their worlds.
We don’t have to tell you that each one of your gal pals are perfectly unique. Of course you already know this by the way your sentimental friend, the “Charlotte” of the group, tears up at the drop of tic-tac, the way your “Fighter Friend” refuses to admit she cries EVER, and of course the way your “wild-child” buddy never fails to get you into trouble. Thus, each one of these bridesmaid requests should be approached a little differently.
Instead of blanketing your social circle with bouquets of Affinity (Friendship), take a moment to consider each personality and select your bouquets accordingly. For instance, your sentimental friend might appreciate the Rainstorm, a bouquet that offers soothing vibes, your tough pal might fit the Warrior in honor of her inner strength, and the wild-child might appreciate the sizzling hot energy of the trailblazing Wildfire. Not only will this tailored approach make for more fun when they compare notes later on, but it also offers each friend a keepsake that applies uniquely to them.
Speaking of special, your maid of honor is the queen. (Aside from you, of course, your majesty...) She’s laughed with you until the point of tears, and cried with you until the point of laughter. Therefore, we suggest honoring this truly special friendship by doing something a little different. Perhaps you include a riddle in your secret message that hints at her honored role, or maybe you simply choose a bouquet that no one else receives. (Hint: our Affinity bouquet is a great one for the maid of honor as it was created for the very best of friendships.)
When it comes to writing your secret message, you don’t have to get too fancy. When you send a Little Box of Rocks, we’ve already taken care of all the poetics for you. Each of your bridesmaids will receive a special letter with her name, your name, a brief history of the LBOR tradition, and a riddle that hints at the theme of her bouquet. When she opens her gift-box, she will find a beautiful card explaining the theme of her bouquet and the meaning of the crystals. So, when it comes to the secret message, sticking with a simple “Will you be my bridesmaid” will have quite a bit of impact.
Of course, when it comes to asking a friend to be a part of your wedding, you’ll want to give as much advance notice as possible, without giving so much that schedules and priorities shift and change. The general rule of thumb in terms of when to ask a friend to be your bridesmaid is 6-9 months before your wedding. So even if you’re planning a Christmas wedding this year, it definitely isn’t too early to officially pop the question!
And finally, not everyone who is special to you can be included in your big day as a bridesmaid, but let’s not forget that it’s just as important to honor them too! Whether it’s a Wildflower bouquet as a keepsake for your flower girl, or a Karma bouquet to say “thank you” to your mama for her help, we’ve made it just as easy to remember all the other Gems in your life. Check out the official LBOR Wedding Guide (below) to find the perfect bouquet for everyone who will be working to make your big day ROCK.
Here comes the bride...