Pedddle‘s featured stallholders this week are all about offering fabulous fragrances which can uplift your mood, de-stress and help you unwind, and we can’t wait to introduce you to them; Holistic Earth, Emotiv Aromatherapy, Wriggly Tin Soap Co., Denbies Candles, Poured by Fi & Zelenci Natural Health. There’s quite a variety of products to be discovered, from candles and wax melts, diffusers, room and pillow sprays to body soaps and bath soaks!
The world was thrown into chaos in 2020 and since then, many of us have been increasingly prioritising self care, wellbeing and investing in yourself…something we all need to do a little bit more of! Get to know these lovely scent makers a little better in our Meet the Maker Q&A below, where we chatted about relaxing and the importance of me-time, what inspired their businesses and what’s next for them in 2021.
Pedddle: Tell us a bit about where your business originated and the inspiration behind it.
Holistic Earth: I have always been a maker and creator. I am a fine jeweller and had a desire to create beautiful items that are not just aesthetically pleasing to adorn, but feel-good wellness and sustainable products that would aid both personal wellbeing and the wellbeing of our planet Earth. To that extent, the brand strategy and its values are the core of the business. At the moment, Holistic Earth‘s product line consists of home fragrance and self-care products, these may evolve and change but the items will always mirror the brand’s core values!
Wriggly Tin Soap Co: I began my business in 2013. I was living with my husband in South Africa at the time, we had our own farm and we were trying to be as sustainable as possible. One of the areas I was struggling with was skincare, as I suffer with psoriasis, so I began making my own soap. Shortly after purchasing goats, I discovered you could use their milk (which there was always an excess of!) in soap. It was perfect, as it prevented waste and it added fantastic benefits to the soap making it creamy and mild. I began the business under the name Wriggly Tin Naturals, which was named after our farm Wriggly Tin Farm. In early 2019, we left South Africa and my best friend took over and continued with it, while I started Wriggly Tin Soap here in the UK (which I run with the help of my wonderful husband).
Poured by Fi: I was gifted a DIY candle making kit for Christmas a few years back and really enjoyed making it, so decided to have a look at making my own candles! I’d also just finished an aromatherapy course, so I decided to combine the two and that is where Poured By Fi came from! I then started to focus on creating different blends that would specifically help people. I have suffered badly with headaches and wanted to create a blend that would help ease them without having to take tablets!
Zelenci Natural Health: My day job is in the corporate world. It’s very stressful and far removed from nature. I love nature, and always holiday in nature rich locations. About five years ago, I discovered the country of Slovenia. Slovenia is part of the former Yugoslavia, nestled between Croatia, Italy and Austria. It is a magnificently diverse country, with mountains and lakes in the North, Venetian ports in the South and a fairytale like capital with castles and rivers. Slovenia is also the home of the Zelenci Nature Reserve, a paradise of turquoise lakes and wildlife. This is what my company is named after. I have always been heavily involved in the healing power of nature and plants. I’m now qualified as an aromatherapist, and I wanted to source natural ingredients from wonderful places to soothe our bodies and minds.
Emotiv Aromatherapy: The healing powers of plants inspire me. The mood boosting scents, the joyful colours, the incredible variety of therapeutic properties. Essential oils have helped me enormously in times of stress, with jet lag, or bringing out a feeling of sunshine on dark days. I wanted to share it with the world – to help other busy women to de-stress when they have little time to indulge in self-care. I am a qualified aromatherapist, but also design and create beautiful things as a product development consultant for large companies. After many years of helping other people visualise their dreams, I have created one of my own with Emotiv Aromatherapy. As a corporate escapee who has experienced serious illness through chronic stress, I wanted to create 60 second de-stress tools to fit into the busiest lifestyles. Mood boosting aromatherapy blends…and so my ‘Aromatherapy Mood Shots’ ™ were born.
Denbies Candles: I have always had a passion for candles, and decided to learn about candle making when my daughter was very young to give me something to do in the evening. I went on a candle making course and I started making them as a hobby and selling at local fairs. I never had the intention to start a business as I was due back to work after my maternity leave, but I was made redundant out of the blue just a couple of weeks before I was due back so I decided to change focus! Soon enough, I’d found a new passion and my product range steadily began to grow from my initial eight different fragrances! Fast forward nearly four years and I now make candles, wax melts and reed diffusers in over 40 fragrances. I have my own website and stock a number of independent retail businesses too. I went full time with the business last August, and I’ve certainly faced challenges during lockdown, as well as having a four year old daughter to homeschool!
Pedddle: The past year has been quite unpredictable. What sort of changes and challenges have come with running a business during a pandemic?
Emotiv Aromatherapy: Online markets have become important during the pandemic. I have had to get out of my comfort zone, learning how to do live videos and embrace technology in a whole new way. Before the pandemic, I was just starting to grow my very popular in-person workshops, where we discover and choose essential oils, and make our own products for calm or sleep. They were such fun, but it all had to go on hold. I just couldn’t find an effective and affordable way to share the myriad of possible aromas online.
Poured by Fi: To be honest, I have only ever traded during the pandemic. I am actually looking forward to seeing what life and running a business is like when things are back to “normal”!
Holistic Earth: I have noticed a huge impact on the supply chain throughout the pandemic. Manufacturers of the raw materials of my products were working to a limited capacity and thus supplies have been, a lot of the time, very difficult to get hold of. The pandemic has also seen a vast increase in small businesses setting up, particularly candle and soap businesses, which has also impacted the availability of materials due to the incredible increase in demand in this fast-growing sector. It certainly has been quite challenging at times!
Denbies Candles: As an online business, I already had the platform in place to sell online. However, I’ve had to work very hard on being visible in a crowded market. I’ve really focused on my digital marketing by posting more frequently on social media, showing the face behind the business so potential customers can read about me, writing newsletters and blogs more frequently and doing more videos and lives! I still find it very nerve racking showing my face, but I know that it benefits my business.
Zelenci Natural Health: I started during the pandemic, so for me the changes are starting to come now. I am excited about live markets, and having my products in local shops!
Wriggly Tin Soap Co: During the pandemic, I had to really consider how to stand-out online. The online world is very busy…at markets, people are drawn in by the atmosphere and smells of the products, you can engage with people and they can ask questions and see everything. It’s so much harder online to describe a product and give advice. It feels very one-sided and a bit impersonal. Locally, I started offering free delivery to people within my postcode, which works well as our local market has not yet re-opened so it means people could still get the products they needed and send gifts to friends. I did sell online prior to the pandemic but only a small percentage. Now online selling is a huge part of my business!
Pedddle: We’re just now getting back out to in-person markets, but in the meantime, online markets have proved to be another great way of connecting with your customer base. What do you enjoy about selling at markets as a whole?
Denbies Candles: I started selling at local craft fairs from the beginning of my journey. Events are not only a great opportunity to speak face to face to your customer, but because of the nature of the products I sell, allowing a potential customer to smell the different fragrances is really important as it is often a key factor in whether they purchase a product. I did my first market in 14 months a couple of weeks ago and it was so exciting! I’ve really missed the buzz of doing events and talking to customers face to face about my products and recommending scents that they might like. It’s the next best thing to having a shop. I also love the vibe of events and the craft community is such a supportive one to be part of.
Poured by Fi: I started Poured By Fi last April, just as the first lockdown started, and so other than on my website and Etsy, virtual markets were the only other option! I found them so helpful in boosting my confidence as a business owner, and for growing my business as a whole! It was amazing to take part in markets with so many other like minded creative people. With in-person markets returning, I’m looking forward to people actually being able to smell my candles. I’m still so grateful that people have taken a chance on my candles without even being able to smell them.
Emotiv Aromatherapy: Meeting all of you wonderful people in person felt essential. Trying the oils, choosing the aroma that suits your mood, discovering through your senses. It is always great to chat and connect with everyone I meet at markets. I love the smiles and conversation. Seeing someone take home something that delights them. I also love meeting other stall holders, as it feels like a lovely supportive and friendly community.
Wriggly Tin Soap Co: When I started in 2013, I began at a small local craft market and it was such a buzz. In person-markets make such great marketing exercises as you get in front of so many people in a matter of hours. I quickly grew to love them, as it’s wonderful to meet so many different people, and you’ll always receive useful feedback and ideas for future products by chatting and listening to your customers. The other traders are like family, and when you go out to markets, there is always plenty of laughter and a real sense of community. During lockdown, it was something I really missed. I’ve so been looking forward to interacting with people, seeing other traders again, listening to the sounds, music…and the dogs! I love watching dogs at markets. They’ve got their own little conversations going on below the knees, which always makes me smile!
Zelenci Natural Health: I love talking to my customers and answering their questions about aromatherapy and natural ingredients. In-person markets make it so much easier to chat with customers – what problems I can solve for them, whether it be by way of a bespoke prescription or a new range. I have already been asked to formulate a good natural deodorant!
Holistic Earth: I decided to start selling at markets soon within my first year of business. Besides it being a quick route to your market, I think it’s a valuable experience when starting out, particularly meeting and greeting your customers, so they can get to know the brand and also hear first-hand customer feedback. Although a major selling point of my product range is its appearance, the aroma of my products is a major influencer to sales. The waft through the air of my scented products can be like a moth to the candle – literally! But speaking to customers is a great way of doing a bit of market research as well, finding out what people are looking for.
Pedddle: It’s no surprise that mindfulness, well-being and self care has become a priority for many during the pandemic. What does it mean to you personally?
Wriggly Tin Soap Co: Self-care is very important right now as many people have struggled this past year. It has been traumatic for people. I think it’s important to not be too hard on yourself, take small steps and set yourself some ‘me’ time. Mentally, most people (including myself) are drained…I am trying to drink more water, cook healthier food and indulge in my guilty pleasure of a 30 min foot soak once a week. Even a good long soak in the bath can do wonders!
Denbies Candles: Wellbeing has always been important, but it has really been brought to the forefront of people’s minds due to the pandemic, as we have all been affected in different ways. Taking time out is something that we should all do, though I know from personal experience how difficult that can be. Life is busy, and we can be pulled in all sorts of different directions at the same time! I have found balancing work and homeschooling extremely difficult, as well as all the day to day chores and household admin that needs doing! I try to take some time to myself to read, watch one of my favourite drama’s or a hot bath with a candle of course! It is also really important that we are not too afraid to ask for help when we need it.
Holistic Earth: Practising self-care not only allows us to help ourselves but to help others as well. As the saying goes “you cannot pour from an empty cup”. So, prioritising your wellbeing is absolutely paramount: mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Holistic Earth’s product lines are centred around this ethos, from a variety of feel-good wellness products to treating yourself to a little me-time with a long soak in the bath with aromatherapy salts, scented candles and essential oil infused soaps, shampoo and conditioners.
Emotiv Aromatherapy: This last year has been tough for all of us in many ways, not least through the lack of social contact. Connecting with others, touching, talking, hugging, smiling, laughing, sharing…these things are essential to our wellbeing. Without this daily dose of connection, we need to actively find other ways to look after wellbeing. Connecting with your senses, finding ways to ground yourself, stepping away from the endless zoom calls becomes particularly important!
Zelenci Natural Health: Self care and looking after our own minds and bodies is so important. I favour a holistic approach; exercise, nutrition, meditation, relaxation, sleep and ecotherapy. We often feel self-indulgent taking time out for ourselves or being nice to ourselves. What we forget is that when we are running on empty, this lead to all kinds of health and emotional difficulties. We should include at least one self care item on our to do list each day, even if it’s just having a warm scented bath.
Poured by Fi: I think self care is so important and I feel like people are now taking it a bit more seriously, which is great! Taking time for yourself can be so helpful and can really help with so many different things! As a mum of a toddler, life can be very busy and I want to be the best mum for my little boy. For me, having a bath with a candle on is the perfect way to recharge!
Pedddle: What is the importance of supporting small businesses?
Poured by Fi: I think it is really important to shop small/local as people really put their heart into their products! I am really fortunate to live near Hull, which has an amazing independent scene and with so many amazing small businesses to support!
Holistic Earth: There is, of course, a sustainability benefit to shopping small, with a lesser carbon impact on the shopping, but currently there is a huge social issue with advanced consumerism through big retail, and through increased online shopping throughout the pandemic, which needs to be solved. It drives business away from our local town retailers. The result impacts the whole of society in terms of the fabric of our local environments and the long-term validity of our towns for retailing and leisure.
Denbies Candles: I am a huge fan of shopping with independent businesses – I live in a small village full of them and always try to go to any of those businesses when I need something. I always browse the other stalls at the events I attend for gifts! Businesses like these are an important part of our community as they invest back into it. They are the ones that will sponsor your local football team or Christmas lights switch-on. I also appreciate from experience the amount of work and effort that goes into running your own business and the many hats we have to wear behind the scenes. I’d much rather spend my hard earned money supporting these businesses. I also run a Facebook group for independent retail business for my village, which gives a platform purely for them to promote themselves. It’s been great to discover the really small businesses that are run from home too.
Wriggly Tin Soap Co: Shopping small and local is so important. As a small business owner, I absolutely adore my customers and I thrive on making people happy. I take so much pride in planning, creating, making, wrapping and packaging my products to provide the best experience that I can! It is great to support small businesses as they work so much harder to be noticed too and you know that when you support a small local business, the money is being used towards that person’s family and within the local community.
Zelenci Natural Health: It’s like a little bit of mindfulness in itself – you’re really doing a good deed. In my view its a no brainer. The quality of what you buy is generally better, you should receive great customer service and we are transparent and many of us striving to be eco-friendly. Plus, we try to make shopping a little more of an experience, writing articles, giving tips and more!
Emotiv Aromatherapy: Every time you buy from an independent business, an actual person does a happy dance. It really is true! If you can connect with the actual person who is making something beautiful it sets up a chain reaction, a happy vibration from them to you and back again. When you shop local, you help to create a vibrant and interesting local community, where people both live and work. We can all see the devastation of our high streets. Right now, it is more important than ever to help in any way we can.
Pedddle: We’re almost halfway through the year! How has it been, and what’s next for your business in 2021?
Wriggly Tin Soap Co: Going forward, I am going to continue with online and local deliveries. I have recently launched my own range of shampoo bars and masculine scented soaps including Hops and Barley (which has beer in it!). I have a new range of pretty botanical soaps planned for this summer and I have also booked my first events for the year, including larger markets at Haddon Hall, which I am so excited about as I have never been there! Lastly, I am starting to actively look at wholesaling my soaps to other shops later this year.
Denbies Candles: This year, I launched a wax melt subscription box which is my first subscription product. For only £12.50, you receive over 200 hours worth of wax melts in five different fragrances delivered straight to your door! I have also been working on a brand new candle range for the past 10 months, which I will be launching in September. Testing candles is a long process, as you have to make sure the candle burns well and has a great scent throw! The new collection will have around 16 different scents, including Christmas fragrances (because it’s never too early to mention Christmas!). I’ll also be launching two scents in reed diffusers and more wax melts too. It can become quite addictive launching new scents, as there are so many fantastic ones to try!
Emotiv Aromatherapy: There are so many things I want to grow, the hardest part is choosing! I am working on a shower collection at the moment. As with all Emotiv Aromatherapy products, it is about creating moments for wellbeing seamlessly into a busy day, without needing acres of extra time. So shower rituals could be perfect. My new aromatherapy room sprays are very popular. They are paired with little felt plants or animals to create a zen desk space or sleepy sheep for beside your bed. You spray the felt and it holds the aroma for hours. One day soon, I would love to do some more workshops for groups of friends or workplaces. We all have so much fun. I really miss them!
Holistic Earth: Recently new to the Holistic Earth product range are the Pick & Mix Wax Melts. If you’re new to the Holistic Earth home fragrance range, these sets are the perfect go-to purchase to try a selection of each scent. Each set comes with 6 melts of your choice in a beautiful branded organic cotton drawstring gift bag. I have a couple of potential new product ranges I’m working on in the background that I’ll be launching later on in the year. For me, it’s always about providing what people want, listening and taking note of customer feedback is everything. I’m always looking for new ideas, new fragrances, new products to develop and welcome hearing from my customers what they would like to see next from Holistic Earth.
Zelenci Natural Health: My range is a capsule one at the moment. New products are currently undergoing rigorous cosmetic safety testing. This is one of the foundations of Zelenci – safety. At the moment, I have two ranges. The Neroli range, which is best suited to day time use, has a fragrance of orange blossom. I also have my Rose and Frankincense range. This is best suited to evening use to help you unwind, and the fragrance is elegant and relaxing. I have a new range launching soon aimed at those who love the outdoors; hikers, bikers, skiers, gardeners etc. There will be a gorgeous foot butter and a protective hand and face balm. I am excited that it contains a rare and secret essential oil from Bosnia. From the mountains…for the mountains!