Nicola Elliott launched her brand on the basis of aromatherapy and relaxation back in 2005, and now the term wellness is bigger than ever. So talking to the a&e almost 15 years into the brand, the businesswoman chats through changes in the industry, rewarding moments in her career, and the myth she’d like to dispell about the work she does.
The Founder of Neom Organics, Nicola Elliott, chats through the word wellness and her brand's place in the industry in 2019
After working for years as a magazine editor in the UK, Nicola Elliott felt the pressures of modern life – 60-hour work weeks weren’t doing much for her wellbeing. And when she looked around her friend circle, she noted that she wasn’t the only one struggling.
Hence why Nicola decided to embark on her own wellbeing journey, doing so in a way that invited so many others along for the ride. After training as an aromatherapist and nutritionist, she went on to launch Neom Organics in 2005 – a home fragrance, bath, body, skincare and fragrance brand that champions natural ingredients and genuine wellbeing benefits.
But now nearly 15 years on, the industry has dramatically changed: not only is the word ‘wellbeing’ popping up wherever we go, but the market is significantly more populated than it was back then. Speaking to a&e, the Founder chats through her career to date and Neom’s place in the industry in 2019.
a&e Interview Nicola Elliott, Founder of Neom Organics
Talk us through how Neom was born…
I started my career in journalism, I worked my way up and LOVED it, however, I got to a point where I was burnt out, and that was only at the age of 26! I had started paying attention to my own wellbeing more and trained as an aromatherapist and nutritionist to help with my anxiety. I fell in love with plant oils and the way they could help me sleep better, stress less, energise me and lift my mood.
I really felt I could inspire people to lead naturally healthy lives and at that time, there were very few products out there that were both luxurious and purposeful. There was a clear gap in the market and I knew I had a great idea! I partnered with a family friend, Oli and we launched the brand in 2005 out of my bedroom in north London. A couple of years later we moved to the North of England where I grew up and our Head Office is still there now, I am Co-Founder and Creative Director of the brand and am still very involved.
What sets Neom apart in the market?
We are the experts in blending 100 per cent natural fragrances to boost your wellbeing. We use only the purest possible essential oils, made in Britain from ethically sourced origins. We don’t use any petrochemical paraffin or mineral wax and no harsh preservatives! We’re here to help our customers feel their very best, in the most simple ways; for us, it’s all about the small steps that make a big difference.
How do you keep Neom fresh and relevant in an ever-expanding and over-saturated market?
We listen to our customers. They don’t want to be told to meditate for an hour a day or to go running every morning in order to boost their wellbeing. They want practical, easy to follow advice and that’s what we give them (and we never preach!) We make beautiful, modern, luxurious products for the every-day needs of our consumers; wellbeing starts with the little, everyday moments and that’s where we step in.
If you could only gift someone one product from Neom, what would it be and why?
I am so fickle, it’s hard to choose just one. But our Perfect Night’s Sleep Pillow Mist is a great one for you and all the family – it’s a potent blend of English Lavender, chamomile and patchouli plus 11 other essential oils. A few spritzes of this on your pillow will help you drift into a state of calm. It’s a staple in all my family’s evening routines and it comes everywhere with me when I’m travelling. Our Wellbeing Pod is the perfect gift too, it’s our first electronic essential oil diffuser – it not only looks beautiful but can scent large spaces in your home, filling it with wellbeing-boosting fragrance.
What excites you right now about the industry you work in?
I’m excited about what we’re able to develop now in the 100 per cent natural fragrance space… watch this space!
What do you make of the term ‘wellness’ right now?
It’s become a real buzzword, hasn’t it?! I think it’s amazing that it’s at the forefront now – it’s not a trend but I think it’s versatile and it’ll evolve over time, but I also really think it’s quite personal, what wellness means to you, will be completely different to the next person.
What has been the most rewarding moment in your career to date?
The launch of our first stand-alone stores, we have four now.
What do you still want to achieve?
Launching more Neom stores and the development of amazing products that really work.
Who else do you admire or respect within the industry?
Anyone and any brand that is helping to fly the flag for natural beauty and wellbeing.
What’s the one myth about your job you’d like to dispel?
Ha! People tend to think my job/our office is really relaxed and “zen” – I can assure you we don’t sit around meditating all day. It’s really hard work, but we all have fun along the way and that’s important.
How would you like the world to remember yourself and your business?
They’ll hopefully remember me as unconventional, happy and passionate and Neom should be remembered for being the brand that has inspired people to lead naturally healthy lives.
Neom Organic products are available in-store at Harvey Nichols and Bloomingdales and online at Ounass.ae.