I wanted to create my own business, based on my desire to leave the world a better place than it was when I entered. I take this philosophy wherever I go, even if it's something small like picking up a piece of litter or helping someone - the world would be a much better place if everyone aimed to leave every place they've ever been, better than when they arrived! This is really what drove me to create luxury brand that's not just carbon neutral, but carbon positive. Just buying our products makes the world a better place.
Henry is such an important part of your story, so it feels only right that he has his moment too! Tell us a little about Henry's story.
His story is really the spark that led me down the path of natural scents. I let him sniff a reed diffuser and almost instantly he got inhalation toxicity, frothing at the mouth and behaving very strangely. It was only because I acted fast and that the vet was only around the corner that they were able to save Henry and I am thankful every day he did - he is my best friend.
You've set out to be different by challenging the world of synthetic fragrances and hidden chemicals, how did you start with this?
It was one of those things I'd never considered before. I would see a picture of a fig on the packaging of a candle from a trusted brand and believe that that's what it was, without any consideration that it is synthetic. Fig, like most soft fruits doesn't have an oil locked scent, like citrus fruits do. I went on to discover that it's legal to hide 6000 synthetic chemicals in home fragrance and cosmetic products and I just felt this needed to change.
What is your favourite product?
This is by far the hardest question! All my scents are based on my happiest memories, so I would find it impossible to choose. Coastal Breeze will always have a special place in my heart, it was the first blend I created and represents my memories of me playing on the beach in Kilve, Somerset when I was a child.
What is your favourite part of running your business?
Without any doubt, the ability to enhance the lives of my customers and my team, while enhancing our environment. This combination is a dream come true and I hope it becomes a blueprint that other businesses will adopt. Mary Portas coined A Kindness Economy and my team and I very much subscribe to this unique way of doing business.
Have you faced any unexpected challenges and how did you overcome them?
The biggest and most obvious was when the global pandemic hit us March 2020. I had just invested a lot in opening outlets in various craft markets around London, which were all shut within a few weeks of starting. I literally had to go back to the drawing board and reformulate our strategy. This ultimately led to us getting our beautiful store in Shoreditch, 10 Cheshire Street, London and I'm thankful we were able to turn the negative into a positive outcome.
What's your proudest moment so far?
Opening my store. Even just two years ago, it felt like a bit of a pipe dream and here we are. It's my living embodiment that dreams do come true, you just have to believe in yourself and have vision.
If you could give a little piece of advice to anyone looking to start their own business what would it be?
Even if you don't know what you want to do or sell, just doing something and follow your instincts. Believe it or not, I started Twoodle Co making cushions and throws, before the incident with Henry turned my attention to natural scents, following my instincts to where I am today. Developing good instincts is an important part of having a successful business and this starts with developing good habits. We are hard wired to recoil from danger and having good instincts means taking risks, so you could say that to get good instincts, you have you reprogram your fight or flight response to risk taking. A mentor of mine, Jim Fortin has a mantra: You are your habits, so forming habits that will cultivate your instincts, will take you a long way.
Where is Henry's favourite place to go for walkies?
During the first lockdown, Battersea park became a sanctuary for me - taking me away from being stuck in our tiny little London flat, it's like a little piece of the countryside in the middle of London. I would often take my laptop and Henry there and Henry would trot around sniffing everything and getting fuss from random strangers, while I worked away on my laptop.
What do you get up to when not being the boss?
I'm a huge advocate of self improvement and a lot of my energy goes into trying to be a better person. I love reading 'self help' books (Love Yourself Life Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant was a game changer for me), but I also like to use techniques like Feng Shui, mediation/self-hypnosis and affirmations. I think that these techniques are very misunderstood as being weird and mystical, when they are simply tools that help to bring our conscious and subconscious minds into alignment - maximising our life experience. 80% or more of our life is experienced through our subconscious mind and I believe these techniques and tools are there to help us cultivate our subconscious mind.