What Makes The Smile Parcel Different?

So, what makes us different? – This is an important question for businesses, especially small businesses and especially, at the moment.

So, I wanted to tell you a little more about us, what we’re all about, and what does make us different.

We don’t offer continuous subscriptions…

We decided when we created The Smile Parcel, that we wouldn’t offer a continuous subscription, as we know it can be off-putting to feel trapped in a long term subscription, so instead we offer just 3, or 6 month subscriptions (or one-off parcels) which naturally expire after your last parcel payment is taken, it’s then completely up to you, if you want to re-order again (lots of you do, thank you!)

We don’t have many offers or sales…

You may of noticed that we don’t have a lot of sales, discounts or offers at The Smile Parcel, as we wanted to ensure our customers knew they were receiving value for money, always.

We do occasionally have a one-off discount, to celebrate our birthday or an anniversary, for example, as we want to treat our lovely customers from time to time, but otherwise, our prices are what you see.

We don’t bombard you with emails!

We routinely send just 2 emails a month, one to let those of you who have placed an order, know when they are on their way, so you know when to receive them, and one as a little update, or maybe to share a mental health tip, to those of you struggling.

When you place an order, you’ll receive an email as a thank you and confirmation, but this will be a personal email, not an automated one, and if you decide to cancel your subscription, we won’t send you emails begging you to come back, as we understand there could be lots of reasons for doing this.

We have amazingly loyal customers!

Now, this may be controversial, but I’m going to say it anyway, I’m pretty certain that The Smile Parcel has the best customers in the whole world!

We have such fabulously loyal customers, some of which have received every single monthly parcel.

We’re fortunate to have a very low cancellation rate, I can count on one hand how many customers have cancelled their subscription early over the last 3 years, and one of those sent a lovely email to apologise and explain why she needed to cancel! (of course, she didn’t need to do this!)

Basically, you lot are amazing!!

We’re not all about growth and expansion…

This is a difficult one, as we are a huge supporter of small business, and growth and expansion are important to run a successful business. But, for us, we’ve worked hard over the last few years to build The Smile Parcel into where we are today, and it’s where we want to stay.

The next stage could be to hand over our packing to a fulfilment centre, or give the reigns of customer service to an agency, but this isn’t for us.

We want to keep all our packing in-house, so we know exactly what’s going inside your parcels, and I know I may sound a little odd in saying this, but talking to our customers is my favourite part of the job!

Our ambition now is to continue where we are, keep sending smiles, providing great customer service and of course, wrapping parcels!

Karen x

Mental Health Awareness Week

I hope you’re all still keeping safe and well.

I wanted to do another quick little blog post today, as this week is Mental Health Awareness Week, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation – this year, the theme of their campaign is, kindness.

We hear a lot about how important it is to open up to others about how we’re feeling, and you may of noticed that ITV have been running a campaign for a while, telling us to share with each other and “Britain Get Talking”.

Being open about how we’re feeling can be difficult, especially if we’re not used to it, or it isn’t something that comes naturally to us.

Sometimes, it can be easier to start a conversation about something entirely different, until we feel more comfortable to share our emotions – you don’t have to be an expert, or a professional to talk, or to listen to others, it just needs time, courage and kindness to take that first step, it may not feel like much to simply ask “How are you?” but it’s often the smallest of things, that make the biggest differences.

You can find out more information regarding the work of the Mental Health Foundation here: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/


Karen x

February 2020 – Parcel Contents

Hello…it’s time for our February contents reveal, and this month the theme was “Love Yourself”.

The contents were all about the importance of putting yourself first and investing in a little self-care – you deserve some me-time!

February Contents:

The Pad Of Productivity –

Your February parcel is here! And, as this month is associated with all things “Love”, we wanted to celebrate the importance of showing yourself some love and self-care – something that is very easy to forget to do! This Productivity Pad is a great way to help unload our mind. It can be stressful thinking about all the daily tasks and chores we have ahead of us, so writing them, in a list, and the satisfaction of ticking them off, one by one, can be a great help!

“My Mindful Day” & Star Pencil –

We spotted these lovely sheets on Facebook and contacted the creator, “Tiny Acorn Mighty Oak” for a collaboration, as we thought they were a perfect fit for this month’s parcels. Mindfulness can be great for anxiety – it can sound daunting if you’re unfamiliar with it, but in short, it simply means slowing down, taking time to breathe, and allowing yourself to refocus and become grounded. This sheet is a great way to begin…we’ve even included a cute star pencil to help you get started.

Spotty Socks –

Now, when we’re thinking about self-care, we think, cosy, warm, snuggly…socks! So, these had to be included in your parcel this month, now all we need is a blanket, a hot chocolate and our favourite box set, and we’re sorted…

Home Sweet Home –

These wooden heart decorations look lovely wherever they are hung. Home Sweet Home is a safe place to lots of us, and where we can relax and take some much deserved me-time…there’s nothing wrong with investing a little time in ourselves and our own wellbeing…and taking advantage of that long overdue duvet day!

 Go At Your Own Pace –

We’ve included another inspirational postcard from “Katie Abey Design”. Remember to take a moment to breathe, to step back and to enjoy the journey – it’s Okay to go at your own pace.

Smile Cards –

As always, there should be a couple of these little cards in your parcel, I’ve written one for you, and the blank one, is for you to write a short inspirational or positive message, and give to someone you know, or leave somewhere for a complete stranger to find – but this is of course optional, there’s absolutely no pressure to do this if you don’t want to.

Parcel Assistant –

Your pompom Parcel Assistant who helped (or hindered!) us with packing your parcel this month, was…Robert!


Karen x

Make Time For Me-Time!

Self-care is something we hear mentioned quite a lot, and it can sound somewhat self-indulgent, and ‘fluffy’ – but it certainly isn’t selfish, in fact, it’s essential!

Self-care is a very personal thing, and can be interpreted differently from person to person, basically, it’s the routine of doing something you enjoy, and essentially doing it, for you.

It could be down to simply being kinder to yourself. Our lives have become so busy and hectic, that most of us operate on auto-pilot. We are so consumed with work, household chores, and family…and now, technology and social media have been added to that list too, so we forget how important it is, for our own health and wellbeing, to, just, press pause.

Investing in some well-deserved self-care is important to help prevent burnout, and allows us to take time out to recharge our batteries.

The practice of self-care has lots of great benefits, both physical and mental, it can help boost our self-confidence too, by taking part in activities that we are good at, and enjoy doing.

One excuse for not making time for ourselves, is that we just don’t have the time. But, the best thing about self-care is that it can fit into our routine, and can begin with small little habits implemented each day.

Ideas may include going for a walk and unplugging from technology for an hour, or trying mindfulness, and just, being still. Taking time to laugh, whether socially, or while watching a funny sitcom, or maybe, if you enjoy physical exercise, spending an hour at the gym, listening to your favourite music, or going for a run.

It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it is good for you, and helps you to reconnect with yourself – the key to self-care, is little and often.


Karen x


It’s Just One Day…

At this time of year, we’re surrounded by festive cheer, laughter and talk of spending time with friends and family, but sadly, that’s just not the case for everyone.

For lots of reasons, Christmas can be a difficult time for lots of people, so it’s important to be kind to yourself over the Christmas period.

The prospect of attending gatherings or parties can be daunting, and even the fact that our usual daily routine is disturbed at this time of year, can cause additional anxiety.

Try not to put pressure on yourself to please everyone else – remember it’s your holiday time too…don’t spend it feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

If you’re feeling anxious and need to step away for a moment, do it, find a quiet area, simply breathing in and exhaling, slowly and deeply, can help your body settle down to a more natural, resting state, and ease feelings of anxiety.

If you can, keep doing the activities or hobbies that you enjoy during the rest of the year, so you don’t notice the change of daily routine too much, and remember, it is just one day…


Karen x

Volunteering & New Creations…

Hello! It’s been a while since we had a little catch-up and an update post, so when better, than when the rain is pouring down outside my office window, and I’m tightly clutching a “huge” cup of hot tea!

The last few months seem to of been full of sorting and organising, and before we know it, Christmas will be knocking on the door – or coming down the chimney!!

We introduced our ready-to-go range, of one-off parcels earlier this year, and you’re loving them, which is great. We are hoping to continue increasing this range, and also extend into more occasion gift parcels, for particular recipients, and birthdays etc. These will be primarily available in our Facebook shop, as it offers a super quick way for you to see exactly what we have available, and payment can be directly through Facebook Messenger, using our new instant PayPal link, which makes ordering even easier.

Our latest addition is a “Look for Rainbows” themed inspirational gift parcel, which is £19, and of course, like all our parcels, free UK delivery.

I wanted to give you a quick personal update in this post too, as I’ve now been working as a Crisis Volunteer with mental health charity, Shout, for a whole 10 months!

I began my volunteering journey this time last year, when I began my 25 hours of intense training. It was tough going and covered some very difficult, hard hitting subjects, such as self-harm and suicide. But I have to say, since completing my training last December, and spending all of this year volunteering, and helping those experiencing crisis, it has been one of the best things I have ever done.

I won’t lie, it can sometimes be very challenging, as you never know what each shift will bring, but the training I received was great, and the continued support from the coaches and supervisors while on shift is invaluable.

The service that Shout offers is very much needed, and it’s in no doubt, is life changing and lifesaving. The stories we hear from those texting in, are both heart-breaking and heart-warming, but nothing can take away from the feeling, when someone, who thought they had no reason to continue living at the beginning of the conversation, tells you they feel calmer, and they now know they can face another day, and find the determination to fight on.

The charity is always looking for more volunteers, so if this is something you could be interested in, take a look at their website here: https://www.giveusashout.org/

Remember you are never alone, if you, or someone you know is struggling, reach out, support is there, free of charge, 24 hours a day.

Karen x


September 2019 – Parcel Contents

Wow, September seems to of been a super speedy month! But, I have to admit, I’m loving seeing the little blasts of Autumn-ness, that are now starting to arrive.

It’s time for our parcel reveal this month, and our theme for September was, simply, “Home”.

The contents were all about enjoying being back at home again, as the long Summer holidays come to an end, and making that home, a cosy and happy place to be.

September Contents:

Photo Frame –

This month, your parcel theme is simply “Home”. The long Summer holidays are coming to an end, and it’s time to celebrate being back at home again, and making it, well, homely! Your first item is this lovely photo frame. We love the quote and wanted to include something to help fill your home with memories, people, pets or places you love.

Jewellery Dish –

We all need a safe place to keep keys, jewellery, and other essential trinkets, that seem to find themselves getting scattered randomly around the house. This “Choose Happy” ceramic dish seemed the perfect choice – pop it on the dressing table, coffee table or anywhere else, and never loose the “little things” again!

Prosecco Rose Candle –

Candles are a great way to add an instant cosy feeling to a home. This tin candle is made from soy wax and is in the lovely fragrance of “Prosecco Rose”. It has been handmade in North Yorkshire by Charlotte, over at Crafts Uniquey.

“Kindness Rules” Button Badge –

This button badge may be small, but it comes with a very big message – kindness definitely rules! And not just kindness to others, but just as importantly, kindness to yourself. Day to day life can be exhausting, work, chores, family and friends…sleep, repeat. Remembering to show ourselves a little kindness too, is vital, so pin this little badge on your coat or bag, as your personal reminder!

 “Hard Times Don’t Last Forever” Postcard –

We will all go through tough times at some point in our life, that is sadly unavoidable, but when we do, it’s important to remember that things are always changing. Change can be difficult to deal with on its own, but those hard times are only ever temporary, hard times don’t last forever, and we will come out the other side – and there’s always something better around the corner. Postcard from Katie Abey Design.

Smile Cards –

As always, there should be a couple of these little cards in your parcel, I’ve written one for you, and the blank one, is for you to write a short inspirational or positive message, and give to someone you know, or leave somewhere for a complete stranger to find – but this is of course optional, there’s absolutely no pressure to do this if you don’t want to.

Parcel Assistant –

Your *Parcel Assistant this month is Larry. Larry loves being snuggly at home, and is very excited to be moving in with you, getting comfy on the sofa, and watching a boxset!

Karen x

*Parcel Assistants are cheeky little pompom chaps who help (or hinder!) us with packing your monthly parcels!


May 2019 – Parcel Contents

The last day of May is almost upon us, and soon Summertime will be in full swing!

Our parcels for May were all about the importance of taking a well-deserved break, making time for a cuppa with a friend, and having an overdue catch-up and natter!

The theme this month was “Cuppa Break”.

May Contents:

“I Can’t Adult Today” Travel Mug –

This month’s parcel is all about those times when we need to give ourselves a break – and even better, a cuppa break! We chose a travel mug, so you can, well, take it with you, so there’s no excuse to not have a well-deserved cuppa break, wherever you are. We loved the quote on this mug…in fact, I’m not sure that I will be able to “adult” tomorrow either!!

Pukka Tea Bags –

Obviously, we couldn’t give you a mug without including a couple of tea bags. Having a cuppa is a great excuse to meet up with a friend, and have a good old catch-up! We’ve included 2 different tea bags from Pukka – Vanilla Chai and Night Time, so whether you’re looking for a warming lift or to relax before sleep…we’ve got you covered.

The little “Tea Time” packet has been made by Mel over at The Kraft Package, you can find Mel over on Etsy here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TheKraftPackage

Biscuit Tub & Coaster –

This cute biscuit tub is perfect for popping in the car, or in a handbag, just to have a sweet treat ready at hand, just when you need a little pick-me-up. Asking “How are you?” may seem simple, but it’s easy to forget how important it is. Life is busy, we’re always on-the-go, and sometimes we just need someone to ask “Are you Okay?” without feeling like we should reply with “I’m fine”.

Heart Plaque –

We love the rustic style of these heart plaques, and their unusual design, as the text has been laser engraved – “There’s always time for tea and cake” …so true!

They have been made by Scorching Designs (great name!), who you can also find over in their Etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ScorchingDesigns

 “Breathe” –

Our theme this month is all about encouraging you to take a break, and if possible, meet up with a friend. Sometimes, we all need a moment, just to breathe, and be reminded that, whatever is happening in our lives, we are strong, and we will get through this. We don’t always need someone to tell us the answers to our problems, we just want someone to listen. Postcard from ‘Katie Abey Design’.

Smile Cards

As always, there should be a couple of these little cards in your parcel, I’ve written one for you, and the blank one, is for you to write a short inspirational or positive message, and give to someone you know, or leave somewhere for a complete stranger to find – but this is of course optional, there’s absolutely no pressure to do this if you don’t want to.

Parcel Assistant

Your *Parcel Assistant for May is, Bobby. Bobby doesn’t really get on with our other Parcel Assistants, so if you still have some living with you, from previous parcels, I recommend keeping them apart!

Karen x

*Parcel Assistants are cheeky little pompom chaps who help (or hinder!) us with packing your monthly parcels!