In this inspiring interview, we sit down with Sian, the visionary founder of Pockets of Bliss, to uncover the profound journey that led to the creation of her unique online gift service. Born from a period of personal hardship, Pockets of Bliss emerges as a beacon of hope, offering thoughtful gifts and tokens of kindness. Sian shares the raw and honest story behind her venture, the challenges she faced, and how she transformed adversity into a purpose-driven business. With a steadfast commitment to vegan and cruelty-free products, eco-friendly practices, and a heartfelt mission to support mental health and cancer charities, Pockets of Bliss stands out as more than just a business—it's a movement towards compassionate, mindful giving. Join us as we delve into Sian's journey, her approach to sustainability, and her vision for the future, offering invaluable insights for anyone looking to make a meaningful impact through entrepreneurship.

1. Can you share with us the story behind Pockets of Bliss? What inspired you to start your business, and how did the idea come to life?

Of course! Back in May 2023 I started feeling unwell, it started with vertigo and it kind of came out of no-where, well at the time it felt like that. I didn’t think I was outwardly stressed but I know know my body and mind definitely were inwardly working hard to stay in one piece. Following the vertigo I started getting extreme stomach pains and my chest was tightening everyday, one day I just broke and my husband took me to A&E; from there it was a downward spiral.

I was prodded with needles and so many different tests, I had at least another trip to A&E and 3 rounds of strong antibiotics because they thought I had an infection somewhere. Cut along story short, I didn’t, my body was reacted to my mental state, I was on the cusp of a mental breakdown.

I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety coupled with panic attacks. It was a hard time and one I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. I now know from talking to my therapist that I had had a lot of stressors over the previous 2 years, including losing a friend to suicide, closing my business down and hitting a financially hard place plus other hard times, and I hadn’t dealt with how they all made me feel, unfortunately we can’t really suppress feelings long term, they will come out eventually and be detrimental to our health. I also learnt that our mind and body is connected, so although I felt mentally drained my body was taking a battering too.

My appetite was depleted and I lost weight rapidly, I cried every day, I hurt in my head but in my physical form too, my tummy was so sore, my limbs ached and I walked around with my shoulders rigid and up like a protection from myself, it hurt to lower my shoulders or relax my tummy; I was a feeble mess and I know I really worried my husband, my mum, my children and any friends that actually knew what was going on.

Depression of that calibre is a dark dark existence and is very hard to see any light at the end of the tunnel, I was so lost and so scared.

I finally gave up on trying to get better just holistically, although it all helped towards my path to recovery I just couldn’t get over the hump so I took the antidepressants that I had been fighting against and to this day I’ll always be grateful for those pills getting me to where I am now.

Whilst I was in that deep and dark state, I started thinking about all the little gifts, messages and items that had helped me and my desire was to start a online gift service to allow others to treat someone they love, to cheer someone up or to simply say I’m here for you or thank you for being here for me. And pockets of bliss was born.

I took my time, I researched, I built my own website with help from my husband and slowly started to get items in for my boxes.


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What would you say sets your business apart from others in the industry?

I don’t claim to tell my story like a fairytale. I’m a very honest and open book.
Pockets of bliss came from a hard and dark place and the struggles were real. I often read the kitchen table triumphs from other business owners and this is in no way a negative towards them, I think its great and I am almost certain they have all had it hard too at some point, and I to use my lovely kitchen table, however my story will always start from an horrendous place and I will always speak honestly about this because starting a business is hard in itself, but starting a business when you have such bad mental health is crazy hard but yet liberating, its been a slog and I’m still learning and constantly trying, battling with my own self-doubt, but I know that the heart of POB comes from a very raw and meaningful place, so much so, It drives me everyday.

I have days when I think what’s the point, the sales haven’t come, or the engagement on social media is horrendous, then I pinch myself and remind myself why I love POB and how much it’s actually given me a purpose and focus to help others. 
I am also a truth teller, I don't pretend to be doing amazing on social media, social media can be a blessing but also often a curse, we are made to think that life is perfect and everyone is doing so well, yet for a lot of people this just feeds into their own insecurities or worries that they are failing. Comparison is something that social media can bring to peoples life and is not healthy. What you see is what you get with POB, I talk the language of a everyday truthful person who others can relate too.
I have a long term goal, and that is to be able to donate to mental health charities and cancer charities; two things close to my heart.
Pockets of bliss is a place where you can feel connected to how others may be feeling, offering kindness and giving others hope. I write very honest blogs and have had some beautiful emails in response. If I can help just one person open up, then I’m winning.

Launching a new business comes with its set of challenges. Can you discuss some of the obstacles you've faced on your journey and how you've overcome them?

Oh wow, so many. I have had complete mental blocks where I can’t actually get on with anything as I literally feel like I’m getting nowhere. Lots of self doubt and a few tears along the way.
On launch day, I was excited, but the truth is I had no sales for the first 6 weeks of my business and that felt gut wrenching, but I didn't give up and got some sales just before Christmas 2023. Im still not rolling in sales and yet, I am surprisingly calm about this, why, because its ok, I am such a new small business, I don't pretend to always know what I am doing but I show up every day and do my best. 
The key for me is not to be hard on myself, if I can do one hour and not a whole day then that’s fine, if I can’t manage anything then that’s also ok, the more you push yourself and beat yourself up, the harder it becomes.
I take my time, I talk out new ideas with my husband and I flow with what I feel could benefit someone else.
Another truth is, don’t look to close at other businesses that are like yours and doing really well, it makes me worse, it makes me feel like I’m losing and serves me no real purpose other than negativity. So now I scroll less and just cheer small businesses on, because that’s feels so much better and I want other small businesses to succeed.
Be patient with yourself, Rome wasn’t built in a day and businesses take time to become establish. Enjoy the ride and be kind to yourself .

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Sustainability and ethical business practices are increasingly important to consumers. How does Pockets of Bliss address these concerns?

This is a big one for us and me personally. I lead a vegan lifestyle, so importantly all products must also follow this. I will only ever sell boxes that contain vegan & cruelty free products, there is no movement on this.

All our packaging is recyclable or biodegradable, including our stickers you will find on our packaging, I use a lovely little business and I get mostly all my inserts and stickers from her as she is completely eco-friendly.

I have just started trialling pre-order for certain boxes like mothers day because that way I can just get in the stock I need rather then have waste. I can't stand waste and feel this could be a good way to roll.


Running a small business can be incredibly rewarding but also stressful. How do you manage the pressures and maintain a healthy work-life balance?

So true! I take time out. If I feel overwhelmed I stop what I am doing and come back to it when I feel calmer. I usually take my dog for a walk, have a cup of tea and read or lay on the sofa and listen to Fearne Cottons Happy Place podcasts.

I don't allow myself to get to a point where it will affect my health, I have done that before and paid the price.

I also make sure I still spend time with my husband, son and daughter. They will always come first and so we make sure to chat, go out for the day, watch a movie together, just being present. 

Can you share a moment or decision in your business journey that you're particularly proud of?

Sure, although this may sound cheesy, my proudest moment was just picking up my pad and pen and writing my ideas that allowed POB to come to life. I started writing what I wanted POB to be and where to start whilst suffering from daily panic attacks, lots of anxiety and depression, so I guess I am proud of myself for fighting through even when I was fighting myself.

How do you stay motivated and inspired to continue growing Pockets of Bliss, especially during tough times?

This one is easy for me. I think about how I was last year and how far I have come. I never want to feel like that again. This really helps to motivate me to keep moving forward, to get up and show up everyday and remember that POB is the good that came from the bad. Its a labour of love and a focus that I enjoy.

Are there specific routines or activities that help you maintain a healthy work-life balance, and how important do you think this balance is for entrepreneurs?

100%! I use the first hour of every morning for me. Even if this means waking up earlier than your usual working time. I brush my teeth, I have a cuppa, I don't look at my social media, I usually read or put a podcast on and then I start work.

I also take a break to take our dog Itchycoo out for a walk, this gives you a well needed fresh air break, exercise and vitamin D.

Ive come to realise there is no point in running yourself into the ground, yes your business may do better but at what cost to your own health; health is wealth after all and it will only feed your sleep deprived body and mind and in my case certainly would cause me anxiety. I try to go to bed around 9:30 each night too. I found that when I go to bed late, the tiredness the next day always make me in a more heighten state of anxiety and I am less productive all round.


Looking towards the future, where do you see Pockets of Bliss in the next five years? Are there any exciting projects or expansions on the horizon?

In my mind, I hope Pockets of Bliss will be that little well known business that contributes to making a difference, however small that may be. Id love POB to be that business that raises awareness, donates towards charities and gives a voice to the voiceless. Thats truly the dream. 

Finally, for other aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start their own business, what advice would you give based on your experiences?

Be patient with yourself. The fact you have had this idea to start a business is exciting, however its not a quick game and building a business from scratch requires resilience, a lot of patience and hard work; but don't make that hard work become you being hard on yourself, this is no good for your well-being and YOU are super important in being able to run a successful business in the first place.

Sian's journey from personal trials to the creation of Pockets of Bliss is a testament to resilience and the power of turning hardship into hope. Sian's story and mission continue to inspire and spread pockets of bliss around the globe.



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