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.