We got a chance to sit down with our favourite wellbeing entrepreneur, Nicola Elliott, founder of Neom Organics to get an insight into how she built a global brand and her best advice for all budding business women!
What is the story behind the name Neom?
The name is an amalgamation of mine and my business-partners initials: Nicola Elliott and Oliver Mennell.
What is your daily skincare ritual?
My evening skincare ritual involves the new 100% natural Perfect Night’s Sleep Face Oil and Cleansing Balm, both jam-packed with nourishing super oils, as well as the Neom Tranquillity fragrance to help me sleep! I try to use natural and/or organic skincare wherever possible, Burts Bees for lips and Dr Hauschka for my face.
Since the launch of Neom in 2005 the company has gone from strength to strength, what is your number one piece of advice for aspiring business women?
You’ve got to truly believe in your idea because if you don’t, no one else will and it’s not about re-inventing the wheel – find something that already exists but do it better! Also, (if I’m allowed to have another!) – make sure you make time for yourself! The road to success is long (and hard I’m afraid) says me who’s only a few steps along it… you need to think of it as a marathon and not sprint. If you burn out too quickly you won’t be able to see the real fruits of your labour, so even though it’s tempting to skip the lunch breaks and work late every night, if you don’t make time for yourself then you simply won’t be firing on all cylinders for your team, your family, yourself. Your wellbeing is everything, get the basics right and the rest will follow.
At what point of your career have you been especially proud of what you’ve accomplished?
Ahh there’s been so many proud moments for me and Oli throughout this crazy journey! The launch of Neom into major retailers like John Lewis and Selfridges as well as the launch of our first store in Wimbledon, and subsequently Leeds and Chelsea. I feel incredibly humbled when I hear someone say they know of Neom, let alone when they’re willing to spend their hard earned money on it!
Wellbeing is such an integral part of Neom, what are your top tips on wellbeing?
I place a high priority on taking care of myself and my personal wellbeing and I really think women need to stop feeling guilty for taking that time for themselves, after all, we need to be healthy and happy ourselves to be able to take care of others. I try to take a little time out for myself each day, whether that’s a quick run in the morning, or a relaxing bath in the evening, just having that time to switch off from being a mum/wife/boss is super important for me. At Neom our mantra is “Small Steps Big Difference” – if you can do just one small thing each day, it can make a huge difference to your wellbeing in the long term. You’ll also see our ‘Neom Real Wellbeing’ campaign across our Instagram, it’s quite simply about looking after yourself in a real way. Wellbeing doesn’t have to be perfect green smoothies and crazy exercise/ dieting, it can be a walk around the park with your kids, a glass of wine with your girlfriends that boosts your mood, it might be a yoga class or a long run – whatever your version of wellbeing is, is cool, but let’s keep it real!
When you founded Neom from your flat in London in 2005, did you ever imagine it would become one of the most recognisable wellness brands in the UK?
I never really started out with that intention but I knew there was a big gap in the market at that time and no one else was producing 100% natural, luxurious wellbeing collections. I also knew that ‘wellbeing’ wasn’t and isn’t just a trend or a zeitgeist because those things pass. Your wellbeing is for the long term and it’s more important than ever and that’s exactly what we specialise in.
What has been the toughest challenge you’ve faced?
When we set out, we wanted to create 100% natural candles, which is actually a really difficult thing to do. Everyone said ‘you definitely can’t do that’ but eventually, we found a way and ‘Scent to make you Feel Good’ is still our mantra! I would be here all day if I listed all the challenges, all business start-ups face difficulties, but you have to stay positive, focused and remember why you started your journey.
We are all for getting a full 8 hours of sleep! How does the new Perfect Night’s Sleep Cleansing Balm encourage this?
The list of ingredients in this cleanser is INSANE. It’s packed with the most amazing and gorgeous oils like Peony, Cherry Blossom, Jasmine, Sweet Almond, Rose, Shea Butter, Cocoa Seed Butter, Soya, as well as the deeply relaxing Tranquillity fragrance which is made up of Lavender, Patchouli, and Chamomile, all expertly blended to help you relax and prepare for a great night’s sleep.
How is the new Perfect Night’s Sleep Skincare range different to any other of Neom’s products?
The 100% natural Face Oil and Cleansing Balm are the first products we have launched specifically for the face! We’ve developed a really powerful sleep formula, full of antioxidants, whilst gentle on the skin and easily absorbable.
What exciting things do you have planned for Neom in the future?
You can expect plenty more fab product innovations, new stores and loads more insightful wellbeing content across our platforms.
SHOP Neom Organics online at Hipandhealthy.com