Hampers of care inspired by grief

Founder’s journey from sadness to support

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LOOKING down from the sky, Richard Harley would be proud of his daughter – a young entrepreneur from Potts Point.

Georgia Harley was a finalist in the NSW Business Chamber Awards for a venture she came up with while he was at death’s door.

“The hardest job I ever had was caring for my terminally ill father in 2013,” she said.

“It was during this dark time that I saw friends and family members turn away as they did not know what to do or say.

“Some visited with flowers, others sent generic hampers, but none of these gifts were right for the situation. Let’s be honest, shortbread and chutneys do not go well with the ulcerated tongue of someone who is on chemotherapy.”

Ms Harley started putting together her own care packages – crosswords and moisturiser for her dad, and inspiring quotes and candles to help her mum relax.

After her dad died, she launched her care package idea into start-up mode, redirecting her grief into passion for the business.

With no background in ecommerce, Ms Harley‘s website Caring Canary was up and running in May 2015 and provided a one-stop shop for people to send a heartfelt gift.

“I have 32 sets of packages... a lot of people go and order the packages online,” she said.

“There are ones for new mums and babies, there are chemo kits ... there is quite a broad range.

“But I also work one-onone with customers who want to create a unique gift.”

After years of hard work, Ms Harley was recently named one of the finalists in the 2017 Sydney City Business Awards in the Young Entrepreneur category.

“I am incredibly proud of being able to use my business as a platform to have a larger positive impact in my community,” she said.

“Being recognised as a finalist in the awards shows that you do not have to chose between starting a business for profit, or doing good for the world.”