Love HeartWood’s Values – Or What I Really Care About

Love heartwood values

When I decided to see if people were prepared to part with money for my wood turning back in the Autumn of 2017 the last thing on my mind was ‘my mission’ or a ‘values statement.’ However, as I’ve developed the business I’ve faced choices and realised that my way isn’t everyone’s way of doing things. So I thought I’d share with you what’s important to me. Because that’s what buying from a crafts person is all about isn’t it? That personal interaction and individual point of view.


Natural materials are so much healthier and calming than synthetic ones. I believe we can connect with the natural environment through wooden products. That’s why I work with British woods like Ash, Silver Birch, Yew and Oak. I want people to feel the wood beneath their fingers, not a layer of acrylic lacquer. That’s why I don’t use the standard finishing products which are variations of plastic. My products are finished with natural hemp oil or a plant based wax oil which allows the wood to retain it’s essential character.


My design is inspired by the natural world too. I create tactile, organic shapes which feel comforting and calming. I want my products to act as a form of tactile mindfulness to help you feel ‘present’ in Daily Life.

My approach is very down to earth. I’m a great admirer of the Art and Crafts Movement and their ideas of truth to materials and form. I try to follow these ideals by championing wood and not hiding it beneath finishes that make it look like another material.

The most important thing for me when making a product is how it functions. Looks, although important are secondary. If it doesn’t work well and feel good when you’re using it then it’s not a good product in my book . In a world of cheap mass produced goods a well functioning product is rarity, especially as it’s looks that sell.


Wood turning is a wonderful craft. I’m following in the footsteps of the wood turners before me who took pride in their skills and the quality of their work. So it’s important to me to create products with character. They don’t come off a production line with a built in life span. Each one is created from quality natural materials, designed to last and contains a unique story.


I’m on a mission to improve my skills and understanding of my materials. I love experimenting and trying new techniques. My motivation for this, apart from my fascination with my craft, is my love of problem solving. It’s wonderful to listen to a customer’s needs and apply my skills to create the solution.

As well as learning for myself, I want to share my knowledge with others to increase respect for Nature and raise awareness of the benefits of natural, handmade products.


I choose suppliers that have a positive impact and behave responsibly. We’re lucky in the developed world that we have a choice. We can avoid cheap, disposable products made in factories without the minimum wage. Products with no history or identity. Instead, we can choose ethical products. Products that benefit the lives of the people who make them. As consumers we can do good and feel good about it. We can know about where our ‘stuff’ comes from and learn it’s fascinating story, thereby enriching our lives.

All of the materials I use are cruelty free and vegan friendly.


It’s in the name isn’t it ? Love HeartWood. My business means so much more to me than a means of generating an income. It’s a way to work from home and be there for my kids at the end of the school day. I also believe that by following my dream I’m being a good role model for them.

Through my quiet passion and sharing my values I hope to inspire people with a love and respect for animals, Nature and other people. Not at all what I was thinking when I had an open house to show off my wooden pieces for my friends back in 2017 but if you listen to your heart it’s amazing where it can take you.

“Follow your dreams and use your natural-born talents and skills to make this a better world for tomorrow.”
Paul Watson

The Be The Change Awards Ceremony

Be the change awards finalist

Those of you that follow this blog will know I wrote about the Be The Change Awards back in March when I found out I’d been selected as a finalist. To go back and read my first post click here.

I decided to enter because competitions and awards are a great way to gain recognition and exposure, especially for a tiny business like mine. To enter there is often an entry fee however not in this case. It was completely free to enter. All I had to do was submit a video explaining my background, what obstacles I’ve faced, what motivates me and what my biggest achievements have been. As well as outlining my goals and bigger mission. Not easy in under 3 minutes!

Love HeartWood’s entry for The Be The Change Awards

The awards ceremony was held at the Museum of Brands on Friday the 26th of April. All 12 category winners were announced by Sian Conway and Jo Salter and there was much drinking and networking in between.

Sian and Jo explained their reasons for founding the awards which, funnily enough, were the exact reasons I entered. To give a platform to independent, ethical & sustainable brands who are working towards Sustainable Development Goals and creating positive impact in inspiring and world-changing ways.  To attract enough sponsorship to allow entries for free was extremely tough but they felt it was important to provide access to all, no mater how small. It’s been hard work so thank you Sian and Jo for your dedication and passion.

I’m not a great networker, especially if I arrive alone and know absolutely no-one in the room. Even the word ‘network’ puts me off, it’s so impersonal, making me think of faceless corporate suits throwing business cards at everyone they meet. However, once I took the plunge and started talking to people I discovered some wonderful stories and inspiring brands.

Love HeartWood and Nurture Collective
Miriam Pierre Founder of Nurture Collective (left) and Liz Pearson, Love HeartWood (right). Both Finalists in the Babies and Children category.

I made a point of trying to meet everyone who was a finalist in the Babies and Children category. I particularly enjoyed talking mentors and marketing with Miriam from Nurture Collective . The winner Happy Pineapple, is an eco friendly publishing company. The dedication and completeness of their approach is inspiring and has given me loads of ideas to make Love HeartWood more sustainable, behind the scenes, as it were.

My Finalist’s certificate alongside some strong tots from Adnams who were one of the event’s very generous sponsors.

I arrived at the event with a slight imposter syndrome and feeling very much a single unit. I left feeling inspired and part of something bigger and bolder than myself.

This year is only the beginning for the Be The Change Awards. Jo and Sian have big dreams. So to find out more about this year’s changemakers and their stories follow the Be The Change Awards Facebook Page over the next few weeks. Then stand by for an exciting announcement about plans for 2020. I can’t wait.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

– Margaret Mead

The Love HeartWood Rustic Wedding Collection

The idea for this collection came in the autumn last year when I was discussing possible new products with a group of friends. I was talking about making cheeseboards and somebody said “oh yes, you could do tiered ones for weddings, cheeseboards at weddings is really in at the moment.” That got me thinking about weddings.

After doing a bit of research I discovered that if you’re trying to plan an eco-friendly, low waste wedding sourcing everything you want involves a lot of searching and a lot of suppliers. It’s very time consuming and makes creating a cohesive scheme extremely difficult. It’s also hard to find sustainable favours and gifts that are handmade but aren’t edible or DIY.

These discoveries inspired me to create The Rustic Wedding Collection. It’s full of small items like favours, thank you gifts and accessories that can be tricky to find but through which you can share your values with your friends and family on your special day.

Eco Conscious

It’s easy to spend money on favours and gifts which don’t last much longer than the wedding day itself. By giving simple, functional favours made from quality materials your guests will want to take them home and enjoy using them. All of Love HeartWood’s products are sustainable, plant based, low waste and plastic free and the wedding collection is too. To reduce waste and make items as good value as possible many of them are dual purpose. Gift tags are made from recycled paper and the twine used is made from sustainable jute. Items are shipped in plastic free, recycled packaging.

Custom Choices

There are lots of custom choices available such as the type of wood, the tag and twine colour and personalising. All these choices add up to giving your day exactly the feel you want.


A handmade gift is much more personal isn’t it? But not everyone has the time or talent. Choosing a handmade gift from Love HeartWood allows your guests to receive a really, thoughtful unique gift that was lovingly made. To add your own touch choose to personalise your gifts by engraving. The engraving is also done by hand, using a wood burning pen. Alternatively, add a gift tag in which you can write your own special message. Another benefit of having someone hand make your gifts is that if you want something a little bit different we can have a chat and  see if it can be done.

Competition Time: To celebrate the launch of the collection (01.04.19) for the next 2 weeks Love HeartWood is holding a Giveaway Competition. To enter visit my previous blog post.

To see the full collection click here.

All photo credit’s go to Sapna Odlin Photography who did an amazing job photographing the collection in a wonderfully atmospheric Autumnal photoshoot. Sapna has written about the Love HeartWood Rustic Wedding Collection’s shoot, to find out all about it click here.

The cheeseboard idea is still waiting in the wings, it may be next. If you have any ideas or think there’s something missing from the collection please get in touch. I love to talk weddings and there’s definitely room in the collection for more great gifts and favours.

Love, Liz

Wooden Wedding Ring Box Giveaway!

Celebrate the launch of Love HeartWood’s Rustic Wedding Accessories Collection.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win this beautiful, tactile wooden ring box made from a piece of Silver Birch tree branch. It’s entirely handmade and eco-friendly including the felt inserts for the rings. Comes with 2 felt inserts, one single and one double so you can use it as a proposal ring box and on your wedding day too!

If you know anyone planning a rustic wedding why not share the competition with them?

The rest of the collection can be viewed here.

Good Luck!


Be The Change Awards

I am amazed and delighted to announce that I’ve been shortlisted for the 2019 Be The Change Awards!

The Be The Change Awards are an up and coming new initiative for the social impact sector, recognising ethical & sustainable brands with a powerful impact story to tell.

Around the world independent, ethical & sustainable brands are having a positive impact on communities, people and the planet. The awards will recognise, celebrate and raise the profile of those brands who are working towards sustainable development goals and creating positive impact in inspiring and world-changing ways.

There are 12 different categories each judged by experts in their field. Love HeartWood is one of 5 finalists in the Babies and Children category. This category is being judged by Holly Daffurn Editor of Natural Mumma Magazine. It’s a wonderful magazine that Love Heartwood was featured in last year so I’m really hoping I get to meet her.
My submission had to be a 3 minute video telling my story. Speaking to the camera was daunting but distilling my story, motivation and goals was a really helpful exercise in clarity.
The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in London on Friday 26th April at the Museum of Brands.

All the Finalists have been put through to the People’s Choice Awards.
This is an opportunity for you to find out about all the finalists and vote for your favourite (hopefully me!) There is a Be The Change Awards YouTube channel containing all the Finalist’s entry videos. The votes will be based on how many likes a video gets, so please go and have a watch and vote for your favourite (links below). This event is all about raising the profile of some of the most inspiring, impact driven brands so please share the videos with your friends. Voting will close at 12 pm GMT on the 12th April.

Unfortunately YouTube have currently suspended the Be The Change Awards channel. While the appeal is in progress you cannot view the videos. The Awards organisers, who haven’t been informed why the channel is suspended, are working to remove the suspension as soon as possible. Follow the Be The Change Awards Facebook page for the latest info.

Babies and Children Category Video Submissions:

Nurture Collective –

Love HeartWood –

Suffolk Babies –

Plastic Free Party Bags –

Happy Pineapple –

Be The Change Awards Categories:

  • Fashion (Sponsored by Dress Ecode)
  • Accessories
  • Beauty
  • Food & Drink (Sponsored by Adnams)
  • Travel (Sponsored by Green Tourism)
  • Babies & Children
  • Home & Gift
  • Business Services (Sponsored by From Scratch)
  • Changemaker of the Year
  • Tech For Change (Sponsored by CoGo)
  • Community Organisations & Campaigns
  • Brands That Give Back (Sponsored by Ethical Brand Marketing)
  • People’s Choice Award (open to public vote, all shortlisted entrants will automatically be put forward)

For further information visit:


I hadn’t been posting on Instagram for long when I stumbled upon the #MarchMeetTheMaker challenge. I wished I was taking part. So here I am, a year on and here comes the #MarchMeetTheMaker challenge again. This time I’m ready. I downloaded the prompts sheets and planned my 31 posts, one for each day of the month. I’ve tried to make them as visually pleasing and interesting as possible and I hope you enjoy following them. If you don’t know what I’m talking about though here’s a bit of an explanation.

#MarchMeetTheMaker is a 31 day Instagram Challenge, set by Joanne Hawker (and solely Joanne!) that runs throughout March every year. But it’s more than just a challenge, it’s a creative community that comes together to show people what they can do. It’s about building each other up, making new connections, telling your small business story, growing your confidence (and Instagram following) and most importantly, it’s about putting yourself out there.

The challenge was created in 2016 by Joanne herself. At the time, she was in bit of a creative rut with Instagram and couldn’t find a way to pull herself out of it. Feeling determined, she went in search of challenge aimed at small creative businesses but couldn’t find one. Feeling inspired, she went ahead and created a 31 day challenge which aims to show the different aspects of her business and asked her creative, small business friends to take part. And that’s how #MarchMeetTheMaker was born. Little did she know that it would take off and gain 25,000 posts in 2016, a further 80,000 posts in 2017 and 165,000 posts in 2018!

The text above was taken directly from the MarchMeetTheMaker website.

Click the icon below to follow along on Instagram and find out my responses to the prompts each day. Follow the hashtag #MarchMeetTheMaker to discover loads more amazing makers too.

If you’d like to know more about the challenge or Joanne visit the MarchMeetTheMaker website.


Trading Fair – How and Why It Makes Sense for Love HeartWood

It’s Fairtrade Fortnight at the moment so I’d like to share with you how and why Love HeartWood trades fairly.

I often use the word ethical to describe my business and what that boils down to for me is being fair. I need to source a lot of things from wood and finishes all the way through to gift bags, strings and labels. My suppliers fit with my values: natural, ethical and honest. Their products are not the cheapest but I know my purchase is having a positive impact. I believe my customers also share these values and are prepared to pay that little bit more for a far more superior, fairly made product.

I’d like to share a few of my choices with you to show you what I mean.

The Acorn Jewellery Collection

When I was looking for a cord to create my Wooden Acorn Pendant I could have gone with a cheap leather cord from China. That would have meant I didn’t know what conditions it was made under and how much the workers were paid. Instead I chose to support Ines Jewelry Finding, a small business much like my own based in Santarem, Portugal. Their cork is sustainable, handmade, vegan and top quality. The air miles are also a lot lower than from China.

The Blue Sky Toy Collection

During my research on wooden toys I noted they’re coated with bright, cheerful paints. One of the constituent parts of a paint is the binder. The binder imparts properties such as gloss, durability, flexibility, and toughness. Most binders are synthetic resins such as acrylics, vinyl-acrylics, vinyl acetate/ethylene (VAE), polyurethanes, polyesters, melamine resins, epoxy, silanes or siloxanes. In other words paint is plastic. I wasn’t happy about coating my beautiful natural toys in plastic so I had to look for an alternative. I eventually chose Lakeland Paints. Their website proudly states:
“After 6 years of product development, Ian West and John Ashworth created the world’s first complete range of odourless, solvent free, non-toxic decorative paints.
Launched in 1989, to this day we stay true to our promise. All of our organic paints and varnishes are hand crafted and colour matched at our factory in the Lune Valley, North Lancashire.”

I love the company’s passion for what they do. Their plant based wood washes give my toys a unique look, allowing the beauty of the wood to show through. Because they are a niche product their prices are higher however the benefits are worth it for me.

Ethical Gift Bags

Many of my gifts come in a printed, cotton drawstring bag. I have to confess when I started my business I ordered these from China and they cost 1p each. When it was time to reorder I decided I needed to know where my bags were coming from and how they’d been made. That was when I discovered Where Does It Come From?

Where Does It Come From? make its own brand of gorgeous, ethical clothes and accessories that are fully traceable. Jo from Where Does It Come From? helped to have my bags handwoven and constructed from ‘khadi’ cotton (a sustainable process) in a Co-operative in Bangladesh. The photo at the top of the page shows one being sewn. Soon I will receive a traceable code I’ll share with my customers to see where their bag came from. These handmade, ethical bags are fairly made and cost more in monetary terms than the 1p bags from China. But because I know they’re handmade by people receiving a fair wage, under fair conditions makes them meaningful to me and therefore valuable.

It’s important to me to support small, handmade businesses, like myself. Their eco credentials are paramount. Buying fair trade adds so much to my products. It reinforces my values and shows I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak. Yes, it does cost more but the result is a truly handmade, ethical, sustainable product. I believe that’s a gift really worth giving.

If you’ve enjoyed this you might like:

My Top 5 Family Friendly Vegetarian Dinner Recipes even for Picky Eaters

Feeding a family who all have different dietary requirements is not easy. My husband needs as much iron as possible, my 8 year old is vegetarian, my 7 year old is extremely fussy and I’d like to eat a vegan diet. Thankfully, the 2 year old will eat whatever is on someone else’s plate. Most days I am preparing 2 -3 variations on a meal or 2 separate meals. My wish is that one day I will cook one meal and everyone will eat it and enjoy it. The following recipes give me hope that one day we’ll get there.

1. Perfect Pasta with Bolognaise Sauce

This is a firm favourite with my whole family. It’s quick, vegan and best of all everyone likes it. The Young Veggie website is run by The Vegetarian Society and contains lots of info and resources that my oldest son and I find helpful.

2. Hidden Veggie Tomato Sauce

My picky son does not like lumps, or vegetables. Texture is a big put off for many kids. Blending the sauce means there’s one less hurdle for him to get over. The My Fussy Eater website is a very helpful site. I especially like Ciara’s idea of serving soup as pasta sauce. None of my sons like soup, mostly because it’s difficult to keep on the spoon. Changing the way something is served can often make something acceptable. It’s not just about taste.

3. Cauli Cheese Macaroni

This one isn’t all the way there yet. Mr. Fussy has the plain mac n cheese while the rest of us double up and have the cauliflower too. This is just one of 39 Vegetarian kids’ recipes from The BBC Food Website.

4. Lentil Pasta Sauce

None of my sons like lentils. So this is a great way to get all their benefits without the texture. Hopefully, they’ll get used to the taste and eventually be able to eat them unhidden.

5. Fishless Fish and Chips with Tartare Sauce

All kids love a fish finger! The choice of sauce is up to them. There are also plenty of veggie versions of kid’s freezer favourites like non-chicken nuggets available. The Vegan Recipe Club is run by Viva! a UK-registered charity which educates people about the realities of factory farming and how it impacts our health, the planet and animals.

If you give any of these recipes a try, let me know what you thought in the comments box below.

Is Choosing a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet a Good Idea for your Family?

Image by Maddi Bazzocco from Unsplash

My 8 year old son and I are currently vegetarian. He wanted to stop eating meat last year for animal welfare reasons. When he’d suggested it the previous year I’d put him off saying he needed meat to grow properly. This is the message I had received from my mum. She comes from a generation who remembers the meat rationing during and after WWII and certainly believes you aren’t eating healthily if you don’t eat meat. So I did some research (mostly to arm myself against my mother’s objections) and found out that her fears, and mine, were pretty much groundless.

Eating a vegetarian diet for a child helps to combat childhood obesity, diabetes and tooth decay. All of which are on the increase in the UK. There are also already more than one million people in the UK following vegetarian diets. A vegetarian option is available in lots of nurseries and schools. So I made the decision to give up meat. The main health considerations with a non-meat diet are getting enough protein, iron, calcium and vitamins. Here’s a list of which foods which can help to keep your intake up:

Protein – Good choices of protein include lentils, beans, soya and soya products, milk, cheese, nuts and eggs and they’ll need 2 to 3 portions of these a day.

Iron – Meat is a good provider of easily absorbable iron so you will need to offer alternative sources to ensure your growing child gets enough. Foods that provide iron include wholegrain cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, beans, lentils, bread, fortified breakfast cereals, dried apricots and figs. Remember vitamin C helps our body to absorb iron from non-meat sources so try to include fruit and vegetables at every meal time.

Calcium – Be particularly careful that vegan children get enough calcium to support their growing bones and teeth. Milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu, some dark green leafy vegetables such as kale all provide calcium. Fortified soya drinks, as well as other dairy alternatives, often have added calcium but remember to check the label.

Vitamin B12 – Vitamin B12 is typically found in products from animal sources. Milk and eggs are important sources of vitamin B12 for vegetarians. For vegans, who eliminate animal products, useful dietary sources include fortified foods such as some fortified breakfast cereals and yeast extracts.

(extract from

My son isn’t a bad eater but he isn’t keen on lentils, pulses and nuts so most of his protein and calcium intake is from dairy foods and faux (fake) meats. I also insist that he takes a daily vegetarian multivitamin that contains nutrients, vitamins and iron. I hope to widen his food tastes as he gets older.

Unfortunately the rest of the family isn’t following the veggie diet, at least not all the time. My 2 year old is pretty much vegetarian but my middle son is a fussy eater. I don’t mean a bit fussy. At the age of 3 he only ate 8 foods and they were all orange. He has never eaten dairy on its own and didn’t eat a piece of fruit till he started nursery. This wasn’t for a want of trying on my part believe me. As far as we can tell his pickiness and liking for extremely bland food comes from his extreme sensitivity to smell and taste. He finds most foods just too much. So I don’t limit his food choices at all. Every food that he eats or is willing to try is a win for him. He also takes a chewy multi vitamin and a chewy calcium supplement.

My husband is also non veggie as he is suffering from a mystery illness which is not allowing him to absorb iron. He is on iron tablets and we are boosting his iron intake through his diet as much as possible. Because of this we are eating more green leafy vegetables and whole grains but he does insist on a regular steak too.

This family split results in me cooking 2 different meals, or variations of the same meal. This requires planning on my part which I do on a Friday evening before the weekend food shop. However, I have managed to get us all to eat veggie spaghetti bolognaise, using soy mince, and have substituted veggie scampi without my middle son realising. I’m hoping I can continue this trend till they are at least 50% veggie.

The main reason I support my son and became vegetarian myself is the environmental impact of meant production. I believe we must find a sustainable diet which doesn’t create global climate problems such as deforestation. Ideally I would like to move towards a vegan diet but with my family’s current situation I don’t feel it’s viable. The fact that my vegetarian son is so reliant on dairy foods means he would struggle to be healthy and the others are not ready either. I will keep moving us towards it though and help my children to understand about a healthy diet. I will keep trying them with vegetables and other challenging foods (they all struggle with spices and herbs).

In conclusion I think going veggie or even vegan as a family can be done and gives great benefits to your health and the planet. The younger your kids are the easier it will be. However, you need to read up to make sure you are eating a ‘healthy’ veggie or vegan diet. You also have to consider if your family are ready for such a change. Mealtimes should be an enjoyable, social time of the day for everyone in the family. Introducing such a big diet change could cause a lot of unhappiness and stress if not done in the right way.

 If you’d like to give it a go I recommend starting off going meat free one day a week. Launched by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney in 2009, Meat Free Monday is a not-for-profit campaign which aims to raise awareness of the detrimental environmental impact of eating meat, and to encourage people to help slow climate change, conserve precious natural resources and improve their health by having at least one meat free day each week. If you start there who knows where you’ll end up?

Further Reading:

NHS Guidelines on Vegetarian Weaning and how to keep healthy:

Article about Vegetarian and Vegan Nurseries:

General healthy Eating Advice for all ages:

Great family friendly veggie recipes:

A great resource for facts about the effect of meat production on the planet, as well as vegetarian and vegan diets and recipes:

All about veganism and gives you a link to download their VeGuide App:

The New Blue Sky Toy Collection is here!

My aim when designing and making the Blue Sky Toy Collection was to create beautiful, functional toys that are safe, healthy and as eco friendly and ethical as possible. I am happy to announce that the collection is:

– Sustainably Produced
Blue Sky Toys are made from locally sourced Beech and Ash wood. The wood is Beautiful, durable, safe & sustainable.

-Natural                                                                                                                            It seems a shame to make a beautiful wooden toy and coat it with conventional paint and  varnish since these are essentially plastic.
The paint and oil used on Blue Sky Toys is plant based and organic.
That means zero VOCs, zero solvent and zero heavy metals !
No Fumes, No Smell and No Toxins. The toys are safe for everyone including babies and those with Asthma, Allergies, CFS, MCS.

– 100% Safe
All toys sold within the EU must conform to the Toy Safety Directives and be CE marked. Sadly most handmade toys are not. The Blue Sky Toy Collection has been designed to be safe and proved so by thorough testing. The collection conforms to Toy Safety Standards and is CE marked to show this.
We know that children do not play with the toys that are designated theirs. Siblings of different ages often play together and share toys. That’s why all Blue Sky Toys are safety tested for ages 0+.

– Plastic free, Recyclable & Ethical
I reuse postal boxes, or if that’s not possible, the new ones used are made of 78% recycled fibres sealed with paper tape. Inside the box is recycled tissue paper, invoice paper and stickers.
The postcard that comes with some toys is digitally printed by an eco friendly print service on 100% recycled board using eco friendly inks..
The gift/storage bags which come with some toys are also handmade ethically from ‘khadi’ organic cotton in a farm co-operative in India.

I hope you enjoy the Blue Sky Toy Collection!