Ex magazine editor and busy mum, Nicola Elliott, is founder of Neom Organics, a luxury home fragrance, skincare and wellbeing brand, with therapeutic benefits to calm, de-stress or energise. 100% natural and made with organic essential oils, our favourites include the Happiness Scented Candle with mimosa, neroli & lemon and Perfect Night’s Sleep Facial Oil. We caught up with Nicola to discuss business positivity and how to unwind at the end of a hectic day.
We’d love to know what inspired your pursuit of wellbeing, ultimately evolving in Neom Organics?
I was working as a journalist in London and my life was pretty crazy, working 60 hour weeks, I travelled a lot, was partying at the weekends and I was totally burnt out at the age of 26! I really noticed my own wellbeing, and that of my close friends, was being affected by the stress and demands of modern day busy life – and the worst offenders were poor sleep, stress, low energy and mood swings. This kick started my own wellbeing journey; I trained as an aromatherapist and nutritionist and from there, together with my business partner, launched Neom Organics in 2005.
Tell us about the first product you developed for Neom.
Candles! It was at a time where when shopping for beauty, I was having to choose between products that were either organic but not luxury or particularly nice-smelling, and ones that looked lovely, felt luxury, but were full of harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrance. So we wanted to create a range of candles that were both purposeful and luxury. The first blend I ever developed was Tranquillity for my sister who was really suffering with sleep at the time.
What was your biggest challenge when setting up Neom?
Creating organic and natural products is really quite difficult, not to mention expensive – you can’t be sure if a particular plant or ingredient is going to have a good harvest or not. It’s not like working with chemical mixes where you just press a button and you can churn out as many as you like. So many people told us we’d never be able to create 100% natural candles but we did it! All businesses face challenges but you really do have to stay focussed and positive and remember why you started your journey.
Your product range has grown significantly in recent years to include skincare and perfume; how did you decide which products to develop?
We really listen to what our customers want. Also, I am the Neom customer – I’m a busy mum of 2 who just doesn’t have time to do yoga for 2 hours on a beach each morning to improve my wellbeing (if only!). So I understand the need for a shower to work twice as hard to give me a burst of energy at 6am, for a bath to relax me twice as deeply, for a candle to create a calming hub for all the family. These insights allow me to develop our product range to be as purposeful as it can be for the customer.
Neom has blossomed since its inception in 2005. What’s the most significant business lesson you’ve learned to date?
Invest in the best team you can possibly get.
What do you think sets Neom apart from other organic brands?
It’s our true therapeutic benefits to relive stress, aid sleep, boost your energy or lift your mood. We use only the purest possible essential oils with no harsh preservatives and only natural and organic ingredients. All of this combined with easy to follow wellbeing advice for our customers; we talk Small Steps Big Difference, the 80/20 rule always – no preaching!
Which must-have Neom products do you personally use the most?
My evening routine is my favourite part of the day, so our Perfect Night’s Sleep range. We’ve just added two amazing new products to the collection; a 100% natural Face Oil and a Cleansing Balm (available in April). I remove my make up with the Balm, apply the Face Oil, jump into a hot bath filled with our Sleep Bath Drops and then spritz my pillow with the Pillow Mist, read for 10 minutes and I’m asleep as soon my head hits the pillow.
Which would you gift your best friend?
I’ve converted all my friends to the Perfect Night Sleep Face Oil already; they’re obsessed!
What’s the highlight of your working day?
I am Creative Director so I have final sign off on anything creative that leaves the office, whether that’s online, in store, or for press events. So creative meetings are my favourite!
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This article was first published in ESTILA Vol 6/2018.