Jewellery with a Twist

This week Katie Ser­vice, author of The Beau­ty Brief, jour­nal­ist and Beau­ty Edi­to­r­i­al Direc­tor Har­rods talks about how her love of essen­tial oils trans­formed into a beau­ti­ful busi­ness.  

As told to Miran­da Wilkin­son

I’ve always loved essen­tial oils but it wasn’t until the start of lock­down last year that I real­ly began to lean on them prop­er­ly. It sounds cliché, but my life before Lock­down was filled with trav­el, excite­ment and adven­tures – I have worked for years as a beau­ty edi­tor for mag­a­zines like ES Mag­a­zine, Sun­day Times Style and InStyle and I went from glam­orous press trips to South of France and Tokyo to being deskbound with a tod­dler and liv­ing back with my par­ents in one foul swoop. First world prob­lems I know but land­locked, house­bound and cou­pled with the under­ly­ing anx­i­ety that we all felt so relent­less­ly in the first lock­down, I was find­ing show­ing up at my desk each day a hard task. I think I must be aller­gic to zoom. 

I had been col­lect­ing essen­tial oils on my trav­els for a few years – a pep­per­mint from New York here and a jas­mine from Mar­rakech there – and I took my big box of them with me to my par­ents’ house and start­ed real­ly using them. Rub­bing them on the soles of my feet, sprin­kling them in a morn­ing bath and tip­ping them into a dif­fuser on my desk. I found that smelling cer­tain oils dur­ing peri­ods of stress, ten­sion and iner­tia could help keep me from spi­ralling into a state of wor­ry or pro­cras­ti­na­tion. Oils like plai (from the gin­ger fam­i­ly) made me actu­al­ly feel awake and moti­vat­ed and ho leaf (from a tree that is has been used force cen­turies to make Japan­ese sword han­dles) help soft­en that scratch of pan­ic each time the lock­down was extend­ed. I even start­ed to make my own oil blends and send them to friends in the post to help them sleep, feel more moti­vat­ed to exer­cise, keep them smil­ing etc.

Once the first lock­down eased I was find­ing it hard to tran­si­tion my essen­tial oils into the real world – can­dles and room dif­fusers were great at home but you couldn’t take them with you and I was inter­est­ed to see that roller­balls weren’t pop­u­lar with every­one. So, I struck on the idea of com­bin­ing an oil blend with a beau­ti­ful piece of jew­ellery. I scoured the web and found that you could scent pumice stone beads with essen­tial oil blends and thread them along­side beads on a bracelet for jew­ellery that looks super chic but real­ly smells amaz­ing and actu­al­ly does help man­age your mood. I’m not sure I had a big big­ness plan at the start but I was deter­mined to share my cre­ations and my oils with the world – since using them had helped me so much. I launched my estore online before Christ­mas and was absolute­ly over­whelmed by orders! I had to draft in my imme­di­ate fam­i­ly to help me bead overnight – I joked we had a lit­tle bead sweat­shop round my kitchen table. After the Christ­mas rush I imag­ined things would die down but I have been amazed and delight­ed by the con­tin­u­ing orders.. the feed­back also has been so moti­vat­ing and reward­ing – I have head moth­ers tell me that the bracelets have helped daugh­ters get through anx­i­ety attacks, oth­ers telling me they wear them to get to sleep and even some using them to wear their reg­u­lar per­fume.

I nev­er thought I would be start­ing an aro­mather­a­py jew­ellery brand but I am so pleased it has hap­pened and excit­ed to see what comes next. It was the most hope­ful way to end 2020 for sure. 

You can browse and buy Aro­ma Beads here: katieservice.co.uk
and fol­low on Insta­gram here: @katieservicebeauty