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Hello, I'm Claire, founder of The Herman Company and host of The Silent Why podcast (where the idea for Herman was originally born). Now, before I tell you about The Herman Company, it would make sense to first tell you what a Herman is. 

Here's a brief history of how Hermans became part of The Silent Why podcast, and part of my life:

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1800s
                (ish)

The Amish developed a sweet, cinnamon-flavoured friendship bread. It's origin being in the sourdough products made by the early American pioneers. Friendship breads are starters that

are passed from person-to-person and in theory can continue on forever.

1970s

Europe develops the concept into a Herman Cake and it starts to spread between friends, taking up space on many kitchen counters, breathing and making sucking noises (for more on that click here).

1990s

Countless children bring home Herman cake starter dough from friends at school - much to their parent/guardian's annoyance. 

2021

The Silent Why podcast is born and adopts ‘Hermans’ as something grieving people can share to help others in their grief.

2022

Many podcast guests are asked a new question for the first time, that no one has ever been asked before (because we made it up!) - What’s your Herman? And many answers are created and shared.

2023

Thanks to the financial donations of my regular supporters I pick up a crochet hook and decide to make Hermans come to life. A physical version people can gift to those that are grieving.

2024

Monday 8th Janaury 2024 - Hermans are officially launched into the world and available to buy.

I have a full explanation of what a Herman is, and why we ask all our podcast guests 'What's your Herman?' on our blog, and you can either read or listen to it in under 5 minutes here: 

So, we ask all our podcast guests what their Herman is, and we're still gathering answers. What do people who have been through specific griefs want to share with others either before or during their own experiences with loss, to encourage, motivate and provide hope? And we release episodes every now and then containing a Hermontage, where we put a load of them together, like this one: Hermontage I.

Then early in 2023 I realised Hermans needed to be available in a physical form too, and I dreamt of Hermans being gifted to people who might be going through a rough time to help them feel less alone.

I'd recently started to learn crochet (specifically amigurumi, if you want the big words) and I started to work on my own pattern for a crocheted friend that would be comforting to hold, and an easy companion to stay with you wherever and whenever you needed him. I worked hard to craft a face that wouldn't be too sad, but also not too happy, and I wanted him to be soft but also weighty to hold. 

 

The end result is Herman:

He's made of 100% cotton yard, sort of tear-shaped, stuffed with toy stuffing and a beanie bottom, and since we all get times when we feel a bit blue, this seemed liked the perfect colour for him.

It can be hard to know what to do to comfort someone you love when they are grieving, anxious, stressed, or sad. Sometimes you need something more tactile than a card, something that lasts longer than flowers, and a gesture that shows you care in a different way when you don't want your loved one to feel alone. And that's where Herman comes in.

A silent, squishy companion whose purpose is to help people feel less alone, and spread the message of hope.

All Hermans are handmade by me in Gloucestershire, England, and come with a small card explaining Hermans and a link to the website to tell the recipient all about him and how he came about through the podcast.

I take great care over the making of each Herman and often wonder who he will end up comforting when he reaches his forever home. I hope and pray each one will bring his owner much hope and companionship. After all, I think everyone should enjoy the company of a Herman.

If you'd like to support my work you can either buy a Herman for yourself or for someone that needs one, or you can donate in other ways:

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