Business scents keep me afloat
Kent Messenger Friday 17 April 2009
by Helen Wagstaff
A FORMER nurse who now makes natural aromatherapy products says her business is booming despite the recession.
Jackie Gillard from Sutton Valence puts the secret of her success down to the fact that her lotions and potions are all natural and produced locally.
After years of working as a nurse, Jackie, 46, started becoming interested in alternative therapies after a friend introduced her to reflexology.
“At first I just thought it was all nonsense,” she said, “but then I started feeling it work and gradually became more and more interested in alternative therapies.”
At first Jackie was just making things for friends and family, but three years ago the gift of a new computer promoted her to take her business Blended Therapies Ltd more seriously.
She started selling the products through village fetes and other local events. Then a visit to Sissinghurst Gardens took the venture to a much wider audience.
Jackie said: “I noticed the local craft section and approached the manager to see if they would be interested in taking my stuff.
“As chance would have it they were looking for someone to do a local toiletries range.”
From this discussion was born Jackie’s range Essence of Kent, which is now sold in all but one National Trust Property.
The business has also grown to such an extent that Jackie has taken over a unit at Grafty Green Garden Centre to house the products.
She said: “As a former nurse I have always been passionate about people’s health and realise that if you can deal with ailments naturally all the better.
“I think it is doing so well because it is local and as natural as possible.”