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Meet Lindsay Joy Taylor of The Joyful Jewelry Box in San Luis Obispo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lindsay Joy Taylor.

Lindsay Joy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
From the start, life was filled with a lot of hardship because my mom was killed when I was only one year old. As you might imagine, my childhood was pretty chaotic after that and I had to adapt and grow up quickly. Because I was so young, I don’t remember her and couldn’t possibly comprehend her death at the time but I was still acutely aware of her absence from our family.

In spite of losing my mother so tragically, I was a resilient and high-functioning kid so it wasn’t obvious that I was carrying such deep trauma. I was on the honor roll, had good friends, and rarely got into trouble but looking back, I can see how much I was suffering inside. I didn’t know anyone else who could relate to what I was going through which made me feel isolated and alone. I was chronically stressed, fearful, and always angry or upset about something. At the same time, the grief of losing my mom gave me a deep sense of empathy and as a teen, I knew I wanted to help and support others who were hurting too.

The next decade was filled with a lot of therapy, soul-searching, and schooling but after earning my degree to become a Marriage & Family Therapist, I realized it still wasn’t the right path for me. I wound up working for a mental health nonprofit for several years {which I loved} but unfortunately my position was absolved and I was laid off. Around the same time, my husband and I bought our first home and our dog {AKA kid} had emergency back surgery so he required 24/7 care during his recovery. Together, all these transitions forced me to get creative and find a way to work from home so I could help my family and that’s when I decided to start my own company.

Has it been a smooth road? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It definitely hasn’t been an easy path. For a long time, I thought I’d dealt with my mom’s death simply because I’d never fallen apart. But as the years went on, the more I realized how much I’d lost and my grief only became worse. There were few resources available and what little there were never spoke to my constant longing for someone I couldn’t even remember. I was anxious, depressed, and filled with bitterness but I refused to let that be the outcome of my mom’s death. Instead, I wanted to honor her life well and that’s when I finally understood she’d told me how to do that before she even died.

My middle name is Joy and my mom specifically chose it to represent the happiness I brought to my family in the midst of a really dark season. But no matter how hard things were, she always had an undying faith that encouraged so many people and I decided I needed to keep her memory alive by doing the same thing.

In order to do that, I had to start by honoring my grief first because pretending it didn’t matter wasn’t working for me anymore. I ignored society’s timeline that expected me to “get over it by now” or “believe everything happens for a reason.” I developed self-compassion and changed my belief that I was stuck, broken, or playing the victim just because I still struggled. I learned to give myself permission to seek joy without feeling guilty for it and how to give the good things in my life as much attention as I’d given to the hard things. I let it be okay for sorrow and joy to coexist and while it’s a constant practice that’s much easier said than done, it’s changed my life.

Tell us about your business/company. What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of as a company? What sets you apart from others?
When I began working through my grief and trauma, I remembered how I’d spent hours sifting through my mom’s jewelry box when I was a little girl because it helped me feel close to her. So after I was laid off, I decided to bridge the gap between my experience of loss and my background in counseling to provide a unique form of grief support.

Now I’m the owner and creator of The Joyful Jewelry Box where I help bereaved people commemorate their loved ones with memorial jewelry and keepsakes. My design process usually starts with a symbol, quote, or theme in mind and then I combine those ideas with beads, charms, birthstones, and initials to create the meaningful mementos I’m known for. I’m also a writer, speaker, and advocate who shares my story to raise awareness about the myths and realities of life after loss.

But what sets me apart even more is the beautiful community I’ve built online. There are so many survivors of death and tragedy who have come alongside me and proven that most of us grieve forever and that’s okay. I don’t have any magic answers and I miss my mom much as I ever have but I’m committed to changing the conversation about grief and helping others feel less alone in the process. Considering how much I fought to get to this place, I’m proud I never gave up and I know my mom is too.

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
I think my willingness to be vulnerable about my struggles is what helps people feel seen and understood. My customers trust me because I can relate to what they’re going through and I know how important it is to them to make sure their loved ones are never forgotten. In turn, I get to share my mother’s memory with the world and honestly, that’s the only success I care about anyway.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Asia Croson Photography

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