Words and photo by Tristan Ovington.
Unpleasant smells can lead to life-changing ideas according to Leanne Ford, 33, owner of English Rose which makes diffusers, bath salts and skin balms.
“We love our dog but don’t love the doggy smell,” explains Leanne. “To combat the odour we were spending a lot of money on diffusers, air fresheners and candles, so we found that using essential oils to make our own products was more effective and cheaper.
“When friends came to visit they were always struck by how nice it smelled and so I decided to open a business selling these products.”
Leanne continues. “I use all natural products to create reed diffusers, skin balms, bath salts and massage oils. I avoid synthetic products to make them healthier.
“I also put dried petals in the container for the reed diffusers which make them more aesthetically pleasing and unique as gifts.
“When I was thinking of a name for the business, I thought of my nan’s pretty name, Rose. This is a theme for my products, which are all named after my family, like the Rose and Geranium aroma which is called Marlie after my daughter.”
Leanne considers the challenges she overcame to get where she is today. “The biggest challenge is that customers like variety, meaning new products. This makes it difficult for testing as you need to ensure products are safe while keeping new products coming in quickly.
“The amount of time to do this can vary, because I have to make it at home and try it with my family. For example, the winter balm took two years to get sales-ready.”
But the positive feedback makes it all worthwhile. “I recently did a craft fair and a lady’s son suffered sinus problems and had trouble sleeping. But after using my Winter Balm decongestant, which contains eucalyptus, lemon, peppermint, and rosemary, she told me he had the best night sleep he’d ever had.
“Often, people tell me that my products are much better than far more expensive brands, which I love to hear as it saves people money and helps my business grow.
On what of her future plans? “I want to bring out a new diffuser set, more aimed at men, with woody aromas like cedar wood and other scents. I love what I do and it’s always exciting to bring new products into my range.”
Insta: @english_rose_fragrance, Facebook: @EnglishRoseFragrance