I love Aromatherapy and discovered a new aromatherapy brand at the Formula Botanica confererence.
Today I have the pleasure of introducing Rebecca McKnight, qualified Aromatherapist, Botanical Formulator and founder of Emotiv Aromatherapy.
Hi Rebecca, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I think I am a bit of a free spirit. I love exploring, travelling, discovering new things and am constantly learning. I also love light, space, sunshine and vibrant colours. As a corporate escapee, I am really enjoying the freedom that comes with working for myself. Never one to be stuck in a box, my work is varied and interesting.
I value experience, true friendship and wellbeing any day over image, popularity or having the latest brand. You can find me searching out a sunny courtyard, stroking a friendly cat, mixing and stirring aromatherapy potions, taking photos of beautiful things that catch my eye, or cradling a hot chocolate over a cosy chat. Simple pleasures.
What drew you to Aromatherapy?
I have been drawn to the healing power of plants on so many levels since discovering aromatherapy many years ago; but I think my love started well before that, as a child. When I was a little girl I remember making ‘tea’ for my teddies using herbs from the garden. I also remember my grandmother teaching me about Rosehips and how you could make a medicinal syrup.
Essential oils have had such a profound effect on my mood over the years. During a particularly difficult stage of my corporate life I wore a blend of Bergamot and Rose every day for 2 weeks. The effect was magical. I can only describe it as my view of the world turning from black to gold, bringing with it a feeling of immense acceptance and brightness. It felt like coming out into the golden sunlight at the other side of a very long dark tunnel.
It is not just mood though. Physically, aromatherapy has helped me with jet lag, insect bites, or stopping a sore throat in its tracks. I never travel anywhere without a little stash of my favourites, even though I love to travel light. The potent power of essential oils is truly incredible. I love it and there is always so much more to learn.
Tell us about your experience studying with Formula Botanica
I love the community that is available with Formula Botanica. Attending the conference this year was wonderful. I got to meet people that I have been chatting to on-line and felt I already knew them.
I was wowed by the talk from THE ‘Robert Tisserand’. If you are an aromatherapist that is pretty hard to beat, but there were so many interesting speakers. Formula Botanica is welcoming, continually supports its community, and provides access to information and experts second to none.
What inspired you to start your brand?
I am truly inspired by the mood boosting and healing properties of aromatherapy. So sharing it with the world feels good.
On a practical note, I have many years experience both as a retail buyer and as a product development consultant for large companies, helping to create beautiful things.
Because I love learning, I have also trained in graphic design, in botanical formulation and in aromatherapy. I know! Those things don’t all seem to go together. They are just all things I love.
Creating my own brand tied it all together though. I do the design, the product creation, the aromatherapy blends and the practical retail stuff. It felt like finally pulling all the separate strands of my life together and tying one big beautiful bow.
After many years of helping other people visualise and create their dreams, I am actually creating one of my own with Emotiv Aromatherapy.
Tell us about your products and what makes your brand special?
Aromatherapy Mood Shots are ready-to-roll essential oil blends. Created for busy women who need a moment to re-connect in a busy day, they are portable, handbag friendly and easy to apply wherever you are.
Each one suits a mood, whether you need a moment of calm, a kick of energy, a lift to your spirits, or a soothing dose of deep relaxation.
The 1 minute ritual brings the power of aromatherapy to your fingertips. Just roll, inhale the aroma and hold. Then exhale and repeat. Because our smell centre is right next to the emotion centre in our brains, inhaling these powerful oils is the quickest way to feel their benefits.
We all need to make time for self-care but sometimes we simply can’t be taking an hour to lie on a massage couch or in an aromatic bath. Even the idea of fitting it all in can be stressful. So these powerful little mood boosters can help you take a moment wherever you are and without the time pressure.
What are some of your favourite natural and organic ingredients?
Wow, where to start, there are so many incredible plant ingredients in the world!
Right now I am loving Sea Buckthorn extract and Cucumber seed oil. I have super sensitive skin on my face and am prone to Rosacea flare-ups. So I make my own facial serum including these ingredients and it is really very good!
My favourite essential oil varies with my mood, but I do love Neroli. It comes from the blossom of the bitter orange and has a hauntingly beautiful aroma that never fails to lift my spirits.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What does a typical day look like for you?
There is no such thing as a typical day, that’s the best bit! I can be designing my packaging one day and working out formulations, allergen percentages and ingredients lists the next.
Other days might be as varied as running a corporate workshop, to hand labelling and filling bottles, or setting up new product codes on my website (despite being a technophobe).
Just as well that I love variety and learning new things, because you get this in bucket-loads as an entrepreneur. Most of all though I have loved meeting others on a similar journey. The support, collaboration and company of other indie beauty brand owners has been incredible.
What challenges did you face starting your own brand, and what advice would you give to aspiring beauty entrepreneurs?
Growing a business really is a marathon, not a sprint. You can’t do everything at once when there is only you. To start with there are a lot of costs and a lot to learn because you have to do most things yourself.
Even with all the expertise I already had in retail, product development, cosmetic legal compliance, packaging design and aromatherapy, I had little in social media, accounting and website building. So these things took me a lot longer to do at the start.
The important thing is not to drown in these new things at the expense of losing your vision and the things you love or are good at. Sometimes you have to outsource the stuff that just isn’t you.
It can also be a lonely journey plagued by self-doubt if you let it happen. Joining communities of others setting up their own businesses helps massively and is such a good thing to do. Put yourself out there and share. Join in. Go to events. Meet people. I find that helping others is not only rewarding and sociable but helps me see my own issues and solutions with much greater clarity.
Lastly, my advice to anyone starting their brand is that sometimes you just have to start. You can titivate and tweak and change every single thing until it is absolutely perfect…and then do it some more and not put anything out there.
Start small but start. Put something out there. Something is better than a perfect nothing. That way you will get real time feedback on what your customers actually want, not what you think they want. If you stay flexible with low volumes to start with you can react, evolve and adapt quickly as a small business.
What’s next for Emotiv Aromatherapy?
So many exciting ideas for next year, I can’t wait.The main focus will be on easy-use aromatherapy for travel, sleep and calm. Practical products all suitable for busy people who don’t have time to wedge ‘self care’ into their demanding days but do need a moment to re-connect and recover.
I also plan to expand our aromatherapy and wellbeing workshops, both for corporate events and for groups of friends wanting a chilled out yet fun afternoon. It is such a rewarding thing to do together and everybody who has been to one has loved it. So this seems like a natural way to share the incredible power of aromatherapy.
Thank you Rebecca for taking out time to share with us.
Shop the products at www.emotivaromatherapy.com