Hi, I’m Anikka. Thanks so much for taking the time to listen to my story.
I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer at the age of 33 and was sent lots of lovely bunches of flowers. It was obviously wonderful knowing I had such strong support behind me, but I never actually got to see many of them. Most people don’t realise that many hospitals do not allow flowers on the wards due to risk of infection. I was also sent bunches of flowers to my house while I was in hospital, that unfortunately had died by the time I got home. It was just such a shame as people had obviously sent them with the very best of intentions.
I wasn’t working during my treatment and needed a distraction from the 2 years of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and several operations. I realised there was a gap in the market for gifts that could be used during cancer treatment and welcomed on hospital wards, and set about creating an e-commerce gifting website with a personal touch. We launched in 2013.
The business has grown beyond what I first imagined and has become something I hadn’t at first envisaged. We started by providing gifts for cancer patients and those in hospital due to a variety of reasons, as well as general get well gifts, but quickly become more of a lifestyle gift-giving brand with gifts for mums-to-be, new mums, birthdays, Christmas and other special occasions.
In recognition of the fantastic support, I received during my treatment I also wanted to give back to some of the charities that supported me and am proud to have donated over £25,000 for them through the business.
When I first set up the site I was the only place offering cancer care packages and hospital hampers here in the UK. There are now more and more businesses popping up offering similar gift offerings and I am proud that we led the way!
But there was still something I really wanted – to start a family. I was told that the intensive treatment had left me infertile, which was a further blow and absolutely heart-breaking. But in 2016 I was incredibly blessed to become pregnant, and in January 2017 I had my gorgeous little boy. This is part of my story that I know brings hope to other young women having to go through treatment that has the very real potential of leaving them infertile.
I feel incredibly lucky to be a mother and very proud to be a working mother who has built a business which is not only successful but has a real purpose. We receive a lot of feedback, not only about how our gifts have really helped and have been lovingly received but also from customers and other cancer patients who were also inundated with flowers and gifts they were unable to enjoy during treatment and recovery.
We offer gift wrapping, handwrite the messages and cards and ensure that gifts arrive looking lovely and we ship worldwide. We realise that the way the gifts are presented is almost as important as the gift itself – especially in this world of Amazon chucking presents in massive boxes with the message impersonally printed on a sheet of paper. You can see our fantastic feedback here.
Visit Not Another Bunch Of Flowers.