Drogheda & District Chamber Spotlight - AromaBuff
· Where did the idea come from?
Following a sudden family bereavement in 2000, I attended a reflexologist who was also anaromatherapist, and felt that these treatments benefitted me enormously during my time of grief. As a result, I went onto study and attain a diploma in each of these healing arts because I felt that I would have much to offer other people, and support them, in whatever health challenges they might be facing. However, from the start, I enjoyed working with pregnant women, and specialised in this area. During my aromatherapy training, I had also learned of the potentially harmful ingredients in mainstream cosmetics, and really liked the idea of creating alternative body products that were kinder both to people and the planet, and that fundamentally drew upon the therapeutic benefits of essential oils. I went on to study the formulation of natural skincare products and began by making products for myself, as well as my pregnant clients. This diversified however, as an increasing number of people were enjoying the products, and often asked if they were only for pregnancy!
From 2012 to 2017 the products were branded under my own name, and then were rebranded completely and relaunched as AromaBuff in early 2018. This new offering included the new men’s range, women’s products, and a separate pregnancy range, AromaBump, all presented in the visually striking glass and wood packaging that you can see today.
· How has the business had a positive impact on Drogheda and District?
During the years that I worked as reflexologist, I cared for over 2000 pregnant women from in and around the Drogheda area, hopefully having a positive impact on their pregnancy and birthing experiences! Many of these women are also my customers today.
This has also forged a very strong connection with OLOL Hospitalin that myself and a midwife colleague facilitate workshops teaching midwives how to use aromatherapy to support women in labour. I am very proud to say that AromaBuff’s organic essential oils are also used in the Midwifery Led Unit of the hospital
I love supporting local as much as possible, and I am very proud to say that I work with Bammedia who has designed all my packaging and branding, as well as having redesigned my website. I also avail of Gary Reilly from GM Print’s printing expertise for all my labels and literature.
I have also been lucky enough to have been a stall holder at the wonderful Cottage Market, normally held on the first Saturday of every month –this highlights all the impressive local talent that is available to us here on our doorstep.
AromaBuff is also partnered with a number of other Drogheda-based ventures including Reforest Nation which plants a native species Irish tree for every AromaBuff order placed, the Love Drogheda Gift Card, and we also have our Drogheda orders delivered by Pedal Power Delivery. Since April of this year we are also very pleased to be part of Miriam Simon’s Retail Powerhouse which is an incredibly supportive network and training hub made up of retail business here locally, and also nationwide.
· What do you think has been your biggest achievement with the business?
With the support of the Local Enterprise Office, I was fortunate enough to be selected as one of three businesses in 2020 and 2021 to represent Co. Louth in Showcase Ireland. This has been pivotal because it was the start of AromaBuff being stocked in retail outlets and gifting businesses. The PR associated with these events (which included a feature on RTE Six One News) as carried out by Karen Devine of White Light Consulting, provided a huge surge of interest in AromaBuff. Our latest stockists include Foxford Woollen Mills and, for their upcoming instore Christmas Market, Arnotts in Dublin.
Another achievement of note was having our Aromatherapy for Midwives workshop accredited by the Nurses and Midwives’ Board of Ireland in 2019, and to have OLOL and Cavan General Hospitals use our products.
· What’s next for the business in Drogheda?
As AromaBuff grows, it is my intention to seek larger premises in and around the Drogheda area in which to produce the products. The aim is to build on brand awareness, grow sales both nationally and internationally, and continue to raise the profile as Drogheda being a great place to do business.
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
“Act as if it were impossible to fail”. Dorothea Brande