a rare disorder causing inflammation of the spinal cord, which limits her mobility. Having used aromatherapy all her life to easing migraines and, since her illness, to help with her tremors and nerve pain, Lucy realized she’d accrued in-depth knowledge that could be shared to help others.
It was during maternity leave from nursing, just before her third baby was born, in Feb 2021, that Lucy launched her business Calming Moments Aromatherapy. Unusual timing perhaps, being a busy and stressful period for any mum, but Lucy finds her work therapeutic for her condition, and her husband, who’s serving in the RAF, encouraged her to share her expertise to help others.
“I have used Aromatherapy for everything from colds and burns to pregnancy and birthing. My husband was fed up with me moaning and searching for chemical-free products to use in wax melts and reed diffusers that he said I should do something about it. He had been extremely supportive of me using aromatherapy during my pregnancies and births that he felt I should utilize my knowledge to help other mums, though he still can’t stand the smell of clary sage!”
Based from her home in Lee on The Solent, Hampshire, Lucy’s products are eco-friendly, cruelty-free and sourced from nature. She tailor makes wax melts, reed diffusers, soaps, candles and massage oils based on clients’ individual needs, focusing on physical and mental wellbeing.
“Each client will have a consultation with me about their needs and their product will be made with an essential oil blend suitable for them. I make products specifically for migraines, pregnancy and birthing, women’s health and mental health. I also offer blends based on the client’s mood, such as motivational blends, anxiety relief blends, sleep blends and more. I also offer children’s wax melts sets which have proved a hit to help children’s sleep environment before bed.”
Lucy is a qualified Aromatherapist. When she fell ill in October 2020 and couldn’t continue with neonatal nursing, Lucy took an aromatherapy course, which she passed with flying colours due to her considerable knowledge. She enjoyed creating blends as a hobby for a year before deciding that it could work as a business. What Lucy doesn’t know about oils and fragrance notes isn’t worth knowing, and she can list the ingredients in your favourite perfume.
“My experience as a nurse has been useful in helping to understand my clients’ needs and offer aromatherapy solutions; complementary therapy is huge in the NHS at present. I became quite isolated due to my condition and my mental health was affected. The business means I can sit make the products as part of my physical and mental rehab. It’s also been an amazing opportunity to share my knowledge with my older daughter who helps make, package and photograph the products.”
Lucy accessed a Start-Up Loan through X-Forces Enterprise, which covered the initial stock of materials, packaging resources, IT equipment and establishing her e-commerce website, which she built and manages herself.
“Essential oils can be very expensive, especially absolute versions. I also needed bottles, moulds, packaging, business cards and labels, plus I had to make prototypes of all my products for display. I really underestimated how much of an initial layout I would need to spend; it was quite scary, but the funds allowed me to source the best products for my clients and therefore stay true to my brand.”
Lucy has embraced all the opportunities to learn and build a network around her; she has attended several XFE workshops (supported by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity) and is a big advocate of the XFE Knowledge Hub (supported by the Royal British Legion).
“I had the knowledge to create the products, that was the easy bit, but I knew absolutely nothing about operating a business. From tax, to advertising, to web development to setting up social media; it was all new. This is where XFE really helped, I sent endless emails to Dax, my Business Support Manager, who was always there to guide me or point me in the right direction, and the workshops have been insightful. I use the XFE Hub regularly almost daily as the articles are fantastic for advice when you are stuck where to go or what to do and I have found new friends, colleagues and even collaborative partners in the Military in Business® network, including many ‘Milspos®’ like me. There’s so much available, I could really do with more hours in the day.”
Lucy has developed an acute insight into her market; she analyses the engagement of her social following and tailors her messaging for optimum timing and content. Market saturation is a challenge. Lucy finds it difficult to cut through the competition but states that the village of support around her has proved to be vital.
“As my disability affects my day-to-day life, I struggle to get out, so the online community has been vital. I really value the help of fellow military spouses running businesses, including experts on social media algorithms and mindset which have really had a huge impact. I’ve established collaborations with hypnobirthing practitioners and physiotherapists who use my wax melts in their sessions. I advocate to anyone thinking about starting a business that they work out their values and find people they can relate to and stick with them as their advice will be valuable at difficult times.”
There are many aspects to Lucy that are impressive. Here is a military spouse with medical complexities that cause daily pain and immobility, yet she has strength and resilience that few could find in such circumstances, combined with a thirst for learning and building her own business. Perhaps aromatherapy is the secret we all need to succeed!
– – – –
Facebook: Calming Moments Aromatherapy
Instagram: Calming Moments Aromatherapy