Introducing the Shop, Sarah and Jem

Jem and I have been running The Positive Psychology Shop since 2019 along my consultancy business  Appreciating Change to bring together the best positive psychology tools and games from around the world.

We established the shop so that coaches, consultants, trainers, or anyone in the field of personal and psychological development, can find everything they need in one place. We hope our carefully curated selection will support you to deliver great learning, training and development experiences in a positive, strengths-based way.

Below you can find out more about us, our journey, our ambitions for the future and our hopes for you, our customer.

First let’s introduce us

 Sarah Lewis

 

This photo was taken near Whistler last year (2023) where after the Vancouver International Positive Psychology Association conference, at which I gave a talk and Jem and I ran a stand. Just outside the photo is the horse I rode around the mountains for a day with a fantastic guide (who took the picture).

The whole two weeks away were fantastic. The experience pretty much combined all my favourite activities – performing (such a show-off!), selling (I just love running our stand, talking to people, hearing their stories, helping them), being with family (Jem is my eldest son, there are more members), riding, getting out in the country and visiting other countries. 

Jem Burton-Smith

 

 Jem has worked in the business on a part time basis ever since finishing his M.Sc. in Economics. Initially he helped me organise a busy itinerary of work and travel, more recently he has focussed on the nitty-gritty of running the shop -looking after customers, constantly working to improve the site, sourcing new products and liaising with suppliers. 

Like me, Jem really enjoys it when we can get out of the home office and out to meet our customers at conferences and trade shows. If you have a conference that you think our presence would enhance, please contact us – we’ll come if we can!

How it all began 

From my earliest beginnings I’ve had the desire to help others learn, starting at junior school when I would play teacher instructing my younger brother and sister. I’m not sure they learnt much but I loved it!

Sometime later, working at a charitable family social work organization with no training budget, I just took it upon myself to organise short workforce training sessions. I also arranged training sessions on child psychology, to help our parents. I just couldn’t seem to help myself, wanting to share what I found so interesting and useful about human psychology.

As time progressed, I moved away from social work and into consultancy, setting up my company Appreciating Change, where I worked to achieve positive changes in team or organization life. I also ran sessions focused on helping people develop greater skills or knowledge. 

I’m a chartered psychologist and when positive psychology burst onto the scene, I could see at once that this is what I had been looking for: a psychology that celebrated people’s strengths, that wanted to work out how to help people be happy and thrive in all situations, including work. I decided to research and write a book. Two years later Positive Psychology at Work was published. 

Creating our first pack of Cards

That was all well and good and the book was much appreciated as a focused guide to how positive psychology can be applied to workplace challenges, but not everyone wants to read a book. An irresistible urge to create a condensed ‘tool’, that allowed  people to work with positive psychology led to the development of the Positive Organisational Development card pack. Our (that is Appreciating Change’s) first product. (We now have five of our home-produced materials)

At the same time other people, such as Ilona Boniwell, Martin Galpin and Michele Deeks  and Amanda Potter, Tim Slack, and Sue Langley were producing great positive psychology tools and an idea was born. Why not create an online shop where people can find all the best positive psychology training and development tools in one place? We called it The Positive Psychology Shop.

This is me and Amanda Potter at an Association of Business Psychologists Conference. 

The Benefits of using Card Packs and other Tools

I have always loved working with games and tools to help bring training alive. I find people love tangible products.

For example, at our conference stands we always have the coaching cubes on display. People are drawn over by them and just can’t resist picking them up and giving them a good squeeze, and as they do so, they smile. Handling the cubes creates a pleasurable, tactile feeling; creates a little mini-boost of positivity.

Here's someone drawn to touch the coaching cubes at our stand at the Positive Psychology Summit April 2023

There is an aesthetic delight and physical satisfaction to be had in the handling of things. People become highly engaged when they are used in training, helping the learning to stick. Getting people to move about, giving them things to hold and examine, to touch and share, creates a different, more memorable learning experience. It can add the WOW factor!

And, of course, a pack of cards is the perfect take-away at the session end. Full of condensed knowledge, they help make sure people remember, not just the learning from the session, but the experience of being there, that they remember you and the fun time they had learning and developing with you.

I just love helping people grow and develop, and this is why I set up this shop.

Our Ambition

Our ambition is to become the ‘go-to’ place for coaches, consultants, facilitators, leaders, organisational development practitioners, human resources personnel, therapists, counsellors, lecturers, and of course psychologists, looking for ways to create interesting and engaging, informative and fun learning and development experiences for people that boost wellbeing as well as developing skill and knowledge. 

Working with the Happiness At Work Game

Our Customer Service Orientation

We’re a small and specialist organisation, run on a part-time basis (I still have my consultancy business to manage, and an autobiography I’ve been working on for, oooh, two years now! And Jem spends the bulk of his week dealing with the vagaries of another business), with over 1500 satisfied customers from all around the world. 

We pride ourselves on the quality of our products, sticking to our aspiration that they be designed by experts and backed by science. We scour the world to find them. Our product creators alongside ourselves include, Dr Amanda Potter from the UK, Sue Langley from Australia, Dr Ilona Boniwell from France and Scott Crabtree from the USA. Recognised positive psychology experts all.  We expand our range with care. 

We average a two-day despatch out the door and we’ll bend over backwards if it’s clear that someone needs the products urgently, running around the post office to set up a special delivery, often the same day. We’ve never yet had a customer complaint and if things do go wrong, like a mistake is made in the order (it happens, we’re human, but vanishingly rarely!) or the goods go missing in transit or they arrive damaged, we set things right as soon as possible. If, as occasionally happens, goods get stuck at customs and eventually bounce back to us, we immediately re-imburse the customer.

We want to build a loyal customer base that thinks of us first when pondering a workshop design, and we’re getting there.

In the last twelve months we’ve been viewed in over 123 countries and taken orders from 35 different countries worldwide. Proof enough, I think, that what we offer is unique, and offers worldwide appeal.

Our Vision, and why we’re dedicated to supporting you

Our vision is a world of healthier, happier people working for healthier, happier organizations and we can’t do it all by ourselves, we need you! The value of the tools we provide increases exponentially when used by you.

That’s why we provide expert help on the site with our guides to choosing tools, ideas on every product page of how to use the tool, our tool comparison charts, and our growing collection of detailed workshop exercises. We’re also very happy to have conversations with you about how any particular tool can add value to your training or development experience.

Of course, it’s the unique combination of your expert knowledge, clear values, facilitation or coaching skill and the individual flair that you bring to the party that truly exploits the inherent versatility of the learning and development tools we provide. We encourage you to experiment, and to report back on innovative, effective exercises so others can benefit.

We know the challenges as an independent trainer of making your mark, as a coach of responding to many different clients, as a leader or consultant of persuading people that learning and development activities are a good use of their precious time.

Everyone wants their sessions to be memorable, impactful, enjoyable experiences that produce real change, while also embedding you in people’s minds as someone with the excellence, commitment and ability to create great learning and development experiences. Your first step is exploring the store.

Why choose us?

 We believe we offer a number of compelling reasons to choose us. We reward loyalty. We help you save money throughout your lifetime with us. We offer a personal, friendly, knowledgeable service, we have a small carbon footprint, we help local businesses, and, as accredited professionals, we understand your training and development needs.

We help you save money as a regular and loyal customer

  1. We reward loyal customers. Keep coming back for orders and you’ll join our VIP club with a permanent 5% discount, which is added to any other discount offer!
  2. We also have a points scheme you can join, and points mean additional savings in the future
  3. We offer an initial discount for subscribing to our newsletter. And further discounts on featured or new products in every newsletter we send you.
  4. We offer volume discounts on selected products

We offer a personal, friendly, knowledgeable service. As a small boutique shop we are able to offer a receptive, personalised, service. So please do contact us, Sarah and Jem with any queries you have about the products or the service.  

We have a small carbon footprint

  1. We work from a home office and keep our stock in our attic, making no additional energy demands by having a separate office or a warehouse
  2. We frequently recycle the various boxes we accumulate as a household to pack our parcels to you. So don’t be surprised if your box has Nespresso written on it, be assured your order is inside. And yes, we recycle our Nespresso capsules!
  3. Most of our envelope packaging is made for recycling
  4. We switched from polypropene packaging for our own products to cardboard to facilitate better recycling

We help local business by giving the bulk of our delivery business to our local post office through the ‘drop and go’ scheme, and by holding our occasional ‘strategy meetings’ in local coffee shops, pubs or cafes.

We’re accredited professionals.

             

We use our own products

Many of our products I use in my own training and development and coaching work. If you have a query about a product in use, its likely I can answer with the experience of having used it in practice.

Initial Savings Offer

Hope you enjoy browsing and remember, when you sign up to the shop newsletter, you can get 10% off your first order as a thank you from us

 The Positive Psychology Shop is a trading name of Jemstone Consultancy Limited, Registered Office 17 Lambsfrith Grove, Hempstead, Kent, ME7 3RU. Company No. 4869221 England and Wales. VAT registration 778 456374