Frogglebaggle, a crafts business that uses recycled materials to create bespoke, hand painted gifts whilst providing a form of art therapy for mental health sufferers, has launched in Rotherham.
The business, which was recently a recipient of a £500 Kickstart grant from UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE) – an organisation tasked with supporting growing businesses in areas affected by changes to the steel industry – is based around a concept whereby the focus is placed on the crafting process, rather than the end product, as an alternative mechanism to cope with mental health issues.
Business owner, Paula Johnson is working to overcome her own mental health challenges and founded Frogglebaggle in April 2019 as a means of expressing herself by directing the emotions she was feeling into her crafts.
The funding from UKSE contributed to the purchase of crafting tools and inks alongside display equipment that allowed Paula to exhibit her work for the first time at Sheffield’s Gage Gallery.
Paula commented: “Frogglebaggle is a name I created although it has turned into a concept, a process, a state of mind. This is my journey out of the ‘dangerous zone’ of a very troubled mind.
“In order to create the pieces, I use materials from around my house and garage, as well as rescuing other materials from going to landfill. My hope is that the art will inspire others and allow them to believe that there is always light at the end of the tunnel and that crafting can be an excellent way of taking a step towards that.
“Frogglebaggle is not about making an endless stream of identical artworks, it is more about the emotional response that the art brings to the person who owns it and I’m delighted that the funding from UKSE has allowed me to turn my passion into a business where I can hopefully share my journey and help others.”
Looking ahead, Paula hopes to set up a charity that reaches out to those in mental crisis and provide a form of respite through sharing the creative expression that crafting allows.
Alan Stanley of UKSE added: “At UKSE, our aim is to support new and growing businesses in local communities and I’m extremely pleased that our Kickstart funding has allowed Paula to create and share her work.
“It’s great to hear that Paula is hoping to launch her own charity to support others in the same situation as herself. This is an excellent initiative that will go a long way to helping those in Rotherham with mental health challenges and we’re delighted to have been able to support Paula in bringing her vision to life.”