As I’m still playing around with the style this blog is being written in, I thought this would be a good time to have a little mash up. This feature is all about the amazing Holly, who some of you have met before on my giveaway post. Why not read all about her and her small business journey from her point of view with no interruptions from me.
Hello everyone! I’m Holly from Quintessence Aromas – a handmade home fragrance business previously known as “At home with Ivy” and we are based in Bristol! We love providing luxurious products while also keeping the health of our planet in mind. Our products highly scented and are vastly made from biodegradable materials such as soy wax, and plant based glycerins and our packaging is all recyclable, biodegradable or reused. I’m honoured to be taking part in Hevs new adventure with her blogs and can’t wait to see her bloom!
We became “Quintessence Aromas” on the 1st of June 2020 after the great pandemic and lockdown provided us with the perfect opportunity to close down for a couple of months and evaluate the business. Although my main reason for wanting to take a break was because I was actually pregnant with my daughters, Ivy, little sister. First trimester wiped me out. The time away from selling and making provided us with the much needed head space to reflect on our products and refine our image. We wanted a much more professional and luxurious look and although I don’t feel like we are quite there yet we are certainly getting closer!
Why “Quintessence Aromas”?… I hear you ask… Well, with another baby on the way, and our business growing from strength to strength we wanted a name that both of our children can be part of. I’d no longer be making to products “at home with ‘just’ ivy.” – In fact… Our products would no longer be made at home at all! We have officially outgrown our little kitchen set up. Lock down not only provided us with the time and energy to rebrand and set up our own website, but to also take things to the next step! So a leap of faith we took and with the help of my very hardworking parents we now have our own workshop set up in their garage. It’s by no means pretty or ‘insta worthy’ as I like to put it. But it is now a workable space and fully functioning. At least it means I can carry on creating fabulous home fragrances, and a place to escape to while we also have our house renovated! I know right – rebrand, baby on the way, new workshop, and house renovations aswell. Must be mad! I definitely don’t do things by halves.
That says a lot about me really. I didn’t get to where I am today by just dipping a toe in. I got here by taking risks, and jumping in feet first. Don’t get me wrong, mistakes have been made. Money has been wasted. There’s many things I know I could have done better and would do differently if I was to do it again. But that’s how we learn right? Take risks, make mistakes, and learn from them. Although there is a couple of bits of wisdom I can share with you all.
1 – Although it’s great to have no fear and push yourself to take risks – don’t be silly about it! Do your research! Market research, legal research, product/materials/ingredients research. Feel comfortable knowing that your financial investments won’t be wasted because you suddenly find out its illegal to sell those items without expensive licencing! (Yep, been there!). Or you waste £100 on bulk buying an ingredient that actually turns out to be diabolical quality (Yep done that!). Or you have this amazing idea for a new product line, you do all your legal research and product research, spend another £100 investing in this item, only to realise your current customer pool isn’t that interested. Guess what, got the t-shirt for that one!
2 – Find an inner circle that you can lean on. Whether that’s a group of other small businesses (local or virtual), or its brand representatives that turn into life long friends. However you find your inner circle, and whoever or wherever they may be, lean on them. They will inevitably be your life line and back bone. They will be the people that will support you, and help carry you to the top of the world. Don’t feel like that you can’t ask them for help. Small businesses need all the help they can get. It can be stressful, and lonely, and sometimes feel damn near impossible. But those people will be the ones to help you pick up the pieces and put them back together more perfectly than they were before. I absolutely wouldn’t be where I am today without the continued support, loyalty and friendship of by brand reps and fellow small businesses.
And finally 3 – Don’t be afraid. Fear will hold you back. Dont be afraid to experiment. Dont be afraid to express your personality within your business. And don’t be afraid to show yourself to your customers/followers. The good the bad and the ugly. Perfection is hugely overrated. Watching someone progress, and blossom, and grow is much more satisfying and exciting. So share your story, take them on the journey with you.
The journey, that’s the fun part! No one wants to skip straight to end. And I definitely don’t think we’ve reached our climax yet! So what else do I have up my sleeve for the second (and hopefully better) half of 2020?! Well of course we have new scents in line, I’ve recently been adding to our autumn, Halloween, winter, and Christmas ranges! We also have subscription boxes which are now available to pre-order ready for the release of our autumn scents. And of course I have a few cheeky new products in line that I will actually be collaborating with a few other small businesses for.
As you can see I have no intentions or plans to be out of action for long when the new baby arrives. But I will by no means be doing any of this alone. I’m sure, as always, Chris my husband will play a huge role in keeping the orders flowing out the door while I recover. Like I said, it’s okay to lean on others in times of need.
So that is me, Holly, 25 years old from Bristol. Crazy badass mum entrepreneur with no fear and limited understanding of taking it easy. If you want to follow me on my crazy hectic manic journey you can find me on Instagram via the link below and if you fancy trying any of our products my website is also below. Hev has been a rep with us from the very beginning! So for 15% off of our items be sure to use ‘Hev15’
P.s on the side of all that, I also host and run monthly virtual market nights for crafty small businesses across the UK! (With the help of a fabulous team of ladies!) – come check it out, I’d love your help in supporting these amazing small businesses.
Enjoy your cuppa,
All Images on this post are copyright of Quintessence Aromas, Hev’s Home Crochet has been given permission to use them for illustrative purposes.
If you prefer this style of guest features leave me a little comment below so I know to carry on letting small businesses write there own stories.