Scents of Tranquility

A chance col­lab­o­ra­tion showed the burn­ing pow­er of influ­encer mar­ket­ing in this week’s sto­ry of find­ing your pas­sion and cre­at­ing a niche from Han­nah Chap­man, founder of Ava May Aro­mas.

As told to Miran­da Wilkin­son

I start­ed hand pour­ing can­dles at my par­ents’ kitchen table two years ago when I was 23. Now, I employ more than 20 staff across 10 indus­tri­al units and have sold almost half a bil­lion wax melts. 

Ava May Aro­mas’ ini­tial suc­cess came from a chance col­lab­o­ra­tion with Insta­gram clean­ing sen­sa­tion Mrs Hinch which changed every­thing for me. 

I reached out to Sophie in July 2018 along with a few oth­er Insta­gram home accounts to see if she want­ed to try my prod­ucts. At the time, the Mrs Hinch page had just a few thou­sand fol­low­ers — I had no idea how much this would change. Sophie loved my prod­ucts and start­ed to fea­ture them in her posts, just as her stratos­pher­ic rise to fame was begin­ning.

As Mrs Hinch’s army of fans grew, so did Ava May Aro­mas.

I’ve gone from hav­ing to bor­row mon­ey from my dad to buy ini­tial sup­plies to being able to employ him as a direc­tor in the busi­ness. 

But the Hinch clean­ing effect didn’t stop there… 

As we entered the first Lock­down last year we noticed a real change in the types of scents our cus­tomers were order­ing. Demand for our prod­ucts inspired by fab­ric soft­en­ers and clean­ing prod­ucts began to soar. 

‘Clean’ real­ly seemed to be the fra­grance of Lock­down — and it’s hap­pen­ing again in this third nation­al Lock­down, too.

I guess that the pan­ic going on out­side makes us want to ensure our homes are as clean, hap­py and tran­quil as pos­si­ble. 

Usu­al­ly, our best­sellers are our design­er dupes such as Alien Inva­sion, which is inspired by Thier­ry Mugler’s Alien, and Aven­tos For Men, which is inspired by Creed’s Aven­tus, but our top 10 has com­plete­ly changed through­out the Lock­down peri­od. 

We’ve been real­ly lucky that we’ve been able to car­ry on trad­ing through­out Lock­down as an online busi­ness and actu­al­ly our sales have been up year on year. 

Our Spring Awak­en­ing scent which is inspired by Lenor’s Spring Awak­en­ing range and ZoFlo Linen Fresh which is inspired by Zoflora’s Linen Fresh range were our top two scents through­out the whole of the first lock­down and con­tin­ue to be now.  

But my advice to any­one read­ing this is that Lock­down can be a real oppor­tu­ni­ty to turn that hob­by or side hus­tle into some­thing real. 

A great thing about being born in the mil­len­ni­al gen­er­a­tion is that the num­ber of oppor­tu­ni­ties open to us is greater than ever before. Jobs and roles that didn’t exist 10, 20, 30 years ago such as con­tent man­agers or video­g­ra­phers are now avail­able to us. 

But it can be a bit over­whelm­ing to know what you actu­al­ly want to do as a result. Take your time and find your pas­sion, don’t rush or wor­ry about what every­one else is doing, this can often cloud your judg­ment when mak­ing deci­sions. 

Once you do find what you love, think about how you can cap­i­talise on that as a busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ty. Sud­den­ly it’s not work, but a pas­sion project.   

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