NEOM’s Nicola Elliott
Fabled talks to the founder of Neom about the inspiration behind the brand and the key to a good work/life balance.
Neom is the combination of mine and my business partner Oli’s initials - Nicola Elliott and Oliver Mennell. Back when I was working as a magazine journalist, I was working crazy 60-hour weeks and often weekends on top. Although it was fun, it was intense and non-stop and I really started to struggle with everything. My moods were all over the place and the fast-paced life really took its toll; I was feeling constantly anxious and stressed. And it wasn’t just me. I was surrounded by women who were really stressed - they were either lacking energy, sleeping badly, or just in need of a mood boost. I had started training as an aromatherapist and nutritionist after work, so I started creating little essential oil blends and tinctures for them and it went from there!
I am absolutely the Neom customer. I am the busy working mum who is juggling work, family and a social life. I don’t always get it all right! I follow the 80/20 rule always; I lead a healthy lifestyle but I like a glass of wine or two at the weekends. I don’t have time to practice yoga every day for two hours (if only!) or go running each night, but I try to take small steps to look after myself. It’s those small steps that can make a big difference to your overall wellbeing.
I wanted to create products that were luxury as well as purposeful. Eleven years ago, what was available to buy in the shops was pretty uninspiring. I had to either choose something glam that was full of synthetic chemicals or head to a health food shop to buy something with great organic credentials but stuffed in a brown paper bag! We create products that are 100% natural with true wellbeing benefits: to relieve stress, calm and relax, aid sleep, boost your energy or lift your mood and more than ever we are helping people manage their wellbeing better.
You have to stay positive and remember why you started. When we set out, we wanted to create 100% natural candles, which is actually a really difficult thing to do. Everyone said ‘no you can’t do that’ but, eventually, we found a way. Now ‘Scent to make you Feel Good’ is our mantra!
I suffer with anxiety and if it flares up my skin gets bad. I have to commit to making healthy lifestyle choices. It sounds obvious but cutting back on alcohol and cutting out caffeine and bad food really helps. I also go running out in the Yorkshire fresh air - this definitely helps to give my skin a natural glow.
I try not to sweat the small stuff. I’ve learnt to recover quickly from mistakes – we make so many, all day, every day, you’ve got to move on and not dwell! I have also become pretty resilient in my day to day life.
Our Perfect Night’s Sleep Pillow Mist is a favourite of mine. And with good reason. We conducted the most brilliant survey on our Scent to Sleep range last year... 88% of people said they had a better night’s sleep after using our sleep regime and it’s a constant sell out because of it. My husband and kids all have bottles beside their beds, we have a panic if we travel without it now!
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