Focus on your unique strengths. It’s easy to get caught in a competition mentality or to compare your beginning with someone else’s middle. Both are negative mindset traps. Instead, celebrate you and your uniqueness. People will come to your business because they want to interact with you more so than your product or service. You are the only you. There is no competition.
The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.
As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lo Bannerman.
Lo Bannerman is a birth and wellness professional turned entrepreneur. At the start of the pandemic, she felt called to go beyond her wellness company and began dreaming big with her husband. Together, they created Positive Post Co. and are now helping others connect and spread love through sustainable stationery.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
My family always emphasized the importance of writing letters. The rule was: write your thank you note before playing with your gift. To this day, I have never seen an address book as large as my mother’s. It was a massive binder enclosed in a zippered sleeve. She exclusively sent Hallmark greeting cards and rarely let an occasion pass without reaching out through the mail. I thought it was silly (maybe even obnoxious) while growing up, yet here I am embarking on a new journey through my own stationery company. Talk about coming full circle!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“The greatest gift you can ever give another person is your own happiness.” Abraham-Hicks
As with many others, I was raised to be a people pleaser and bottle my emotions. I couldn’t tell you my preferences or how I felt in any given moment because my identity was so entwined with the desires and feelings of others. Through my spiritual growth, I realized how much I matter and became my own best advocate. I focused on doing things that made me happy and allowed others to do the same. Their actions no longer dictated my emotions and I was able to put myself first, guilt-free. Taking care of myself is the most important part of my day. I encourage you to allow yourself that freedom as well!
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
Destiny of Souls by Michael Newton cracked open my spirituality and helped me see the oneness of humanity. It helped me remember I am so much more than my physical body and I am always guided by and connected to a greater source. It reminded me: I am never alone; I have an entire spiritual team on my side if I’m willing to ask and allow. This book also shed light on the intertwined nature of our souls. There is no “us versus them”. Something that hurts another, hurts me. At the same time, an act of kindness is beneficial to both parties. That’s where I focus: how can I instigate the ripple effect of positivity knowing it always comes back expanded? And that’s where my business landed: helping others connect and spread love.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?
At the start of 2020, I rebranded my wellness company to Nourishing Families LLC where I was on a mission helping young families foster mindfulness and nourishment from the start. The rebranding was how I finally claimed my holistic approach to wellness instead of feeling trapped by my clinical nutrition roots. I learned reiki, started working with new clients, and launched online courses. Then, the pandemic hit. People’s incomes were uprooted. Their connection stifled. I knew it was time to pivot and expand.
What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?
Like many, my day-to-day routine was uprooted when the pandemic and quarantine restrictions began. My daughter was in a care program a few hours a week which equated to my working hours. That all ended very abruptly. I stopped seeing clients and basically paused my business, turning my focus on myself and my family. It was beautiful at first, but then my creativity and passion started asking for a better outlet and everyone seemed to be craving more. After many evolutions, I landed on: Mail hasn’t stopped. Let’s connect via snail mail!
Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?
In the middle of quarantine mandates, I felt called to connect with people in a tangible way. I had never been one to video chat friends or family and always preferred written word. My daughter had recently turned one and I realized we never shared any photos with our loved ones. The lightbulb turned on in my head: Everyone loves baby photos. Everyone loves happy mail. Let’s send a family photo card with a cute rhyme letting everyone know we’re thinking about them.
We thought we would be flooded with other photo cards like those sent around the holidays, but eight months later, we haven’t received a single one. We received amazing feedback from our card and it even sparked a few video calls with friends, but still…we received nothing in the mail. So we started thinking, what are the barriers to sending mail? Generational norms (a preference for social media and tech), time, stationery, postage stamps, etc. We decided we could easily remove a lot of these barriers and help other connect and spread love through sustainable postcards. And from there, Positive Post Co. was born!
How are things going with this new initiative?
Positive Post Co. is the most soul-filling journey I’ve experienced. My partner and I are connecting on new levels and we’re headed toward a better work/life balance together. Sales are increasing and we’re now seeing our postcards reach our customers’ friends and loved ones. The positivity ripple effect is beautiful to watch! Every Sunday, we send out an email with business updates and a piece of positive news from around the world. I get so excited to search for the article and share it with our growing list. It’s been an uplifting and unexpected perk of this pivot!
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Positive Post Co. is a family business. When I think of one person for whom I’m grateful, it’s definitely my husband. I go to him with some crazy ideas and his reaction is typically “how can we engineer this to make it work” instead of “you’re crazy”. He’s always taken a team approach to our relationship and now our business. With other business ideas, he’d always say “you”, but talking about Positive Post Co. (even when it was first discussed as postcards for new mamas and 100% part of my previous business), he always said “we”. It was a little clue that I was onto something that he saw himself in as well. His support and encouragement are unmatched by anyone else in my world.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?
Positive Post Co. has helped me learn more about the inner workings of our mail system than I ever imagined! For instance, some towns don’t process mail at all. They simply send it to a larger town nearby even if a letter is being sent within the original town. I also know more about the history of postage stamps, mail vehicles, and letter sizes and shapes than ever before. When our little post office was out of extra ounce stamps, we decided to stop at a larger location while on vacation. I hopped in line planning to buy 100 stamps to hold us over for a while and my well-meaning mother-in-law walked over to the DIY machine. She thought she’d be faster, but you can’t buy books of stamps there, only individual labels worth a certain amount of money. By the time I finished buying my 100 stamps, I walked out to find her laughing at the machine with a stack of labels in her hand all worth fifteen cents! They were only about halfway through printing and the entire process took at least twenty minutes. It was the least sustainable experience our earth-conscious business has encountered, but we promise to put them to good use!
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- If you can dream it, you can do it. Walt Disney was spot on when he spoke these words. The only limits we have are in our own thinking, as our thoughts are self-fulfilling prophecies. Visualizing your goals is the first step to achieving them. Dream big!
- You’re never a solopreneur. In the beginning, I thought I was on my own, but any business decision I made effected my family on some level. I had to shed the “I’m on my own” mantra and ask for and accept the support my family was willing to provide. This shift was crucial as it transformed a business that was taking me away from my family to one we all thrived on together.
- Focus on your unique strengths. It’s easy to get caught in a competition mentality or to compare your beginning with someone else’s middle. Both are negative mindset traps. Instead, celebrate you and your uniqueness. People will come to your business because they want to interact with you more so than your product or service. You are the only you. There is no competition.
- Do what lights you up. Passion can pull you through any business low. Focus on why you got started and your personal and business mission and let them guide all decisions.
- You are here for a reason. The world needs your light. Share your story and find confidence in your life purpose. We need you. Keep going.
So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?
Mental wellness starts from within. Realizing I am the only person in charge of my happiness and other emotions was the most enlightening and freeing discovery. To help avoid slipping into depression or “negative” emotions, I regulate my interactions with news. Instead of absorbing whatever is thrown my way through news feeds and commercials, I seek out the information I want to discover. I look for uplifting stories and ask friends to tell me what made them laugh today. I curate the positivity in my world and afford myself the space I need to reset and cultivate happiness.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I would love to revolutionize social media and news outlets to become platforms for positivity. I strayed from social media for a long time. It didn’t resonate with me and I wasn’t a fan of reading melodramas or gut wrenching news. It was a truly toxic relationship for me. I recently took two months away to meditate on it and reset. Then, I discovered the power I have to use social media as a vehicle for positivity and sharing my light with the world. It would be silly to pass that up! Instead of the drama and negativity of before, I would love our main sources of information and connection to be filled with positivity, oneness, and love. We are all in this life together. Let’s use our lives to support the greater good and share a smile with the world.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
I would love to have lunch with my current mail lady, Nisha. She is the kindest soul and a diligent worker. Even though she’s always on the go, she delivers packages with care and always stops for a moment or two to engage with my daughter whenever we’re playing outside. She is a highlight of my daughter’s (and my) day and I would love to get to know her better.
How can our readers follow you online?
While social media initially felt off-brand, we are now embracing our corner of the internet @positivepostco and www.positivepostco.com (sign up for our weekly newsletter at the bottom of the page!). We’d love to see you there and watch the positivity ripple effect in your life!
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!