As part of Dying Matters Awareness Week, I have asked a couple of people in the Funeral and Bereavement industry to come and guest blog on my site. The second of my guests is Zoe Fallows of Prints of Tales – jewellery and gifts to “capture those very special memories of loved ones in precious metals so that we have something to hold forever.”

Zoe is cousin to a friend and ex-colleague of mine from many years ago. We’ve recently been introduced due to her work with bereaved families. I found her story and passion so interesting that I wanted to share!

Here’s Zoe telling you all about what she does:

“Prints of Tales became an idea in early 2018. My dad was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer. It was a very uncertain time and I was really struggling with this news while having everything else to juggle (work, hubby and four kids). When we received the news that my dad would need 5 weeks of radiotherapy everyday and a life changing surgery to follow if all went well with treatment, it hit me that this may well be the last months of his life. After my dad started his treatment I started to think about the possibility that he might not be with us for long and I started to look for ways to keep him with me. Lying in bed one night on my laptop I just decided that I wanted to do this for other people who had been in my position and felt how I was feeling so I started my research.

I decided to start with Fine Silver Fingerprint Jewellery after finding a course. I spoke to my dad and he lent me the money to pay for my course and buy the kit I would need to start making my business a reality. What followed were hours and hours of research and failed attempts but I kept going and finally started to make pieces that were eye catching, the excitement was building.

My dad was loving seeing me create and build something from the ground, my hubby was able to spend more time working to further himself and my kids were loving having their mum pick them up from school and being around more. So, in July 2018 I decided to hand in my notice at work. For the next 18 months I made items and reinvested any earnings into creating new lines and new ideas and Prints of Tales became a small business who offered a personal service with such a wide range of products that there was something for every kind of person.

I run my little business from home, it fits in well with family life and to me it isn’t work at all. I get to speak to people and offer them something that I know makes a difference to how they feel. Over the last few years I have heard some of the most heartbreaking stories but on handing over an item to a client their faces fill with love and peace. Knowing that I can offer a way for them to feel close to their loved ones or preserve a special memory, fills me with so much thankfulness for what I am able to do.

It has been hard working to grow my little business and it has taken a lot of dedication but my clients are the reason I am still going, as the best form of new business has been recommendations and word of mouth. I remember the most amazing feeling came from when I first realised that I was being recommended. A lady got in touch with me and stated that she had popped a post on a local site asking if anyone knew of someone who offered the services that I did, she told me that 13 people had recommended me. The feeling was out of this world and I couldn’t wait to tell my family.

Just as my business was building, 2020 came, and so did lockdown. This was a devastating blow, as it was for many, but I decided that this time brought about an opportunity to raise much needed funds for the NHS so I designed and made a rainbow pin. I popped a picture on my page and explained that £2 from ever pin sold would go to the NHS Charities Together fund. I hoped to raise £100, it became clear within 2 hours that I had greatly underestimated this goal.

Over the next month I made pins and my children mucked in by helping me with the packaging and all of the organising, we worked as a family and raised £1288 selling 644 rainbow pins. We were absolutely over the moon that we had managed to contribute to the pandemic in a positive way and I was so thankful to all of my amazing clients. This experience really turned a lot the negatives of lockdown into something positive and I was grateful for this opportunity.

My business offers clients 100’s of different products with the ability to finish each one in over 150 ways, every item I make is different and unique. I love every item I make and each one is very special but if I had to choose a favourite item it has to be the Sterling Silver and Cubic Zirconia rings and the fingerprint Jewellery.

This is me, Zoe Fallows, aged 34, married, with four children and a small, much loved business.”

Thank you so much Zoe for sharing this; your passion shines through! The pieces that you make are beautiful.

For anyone wanting more information, you can find Zoe and Print of Tales in the following places: