The NEOM journey from burnout to 100% natural wellbeing
Being on the brink of burnout was the catalyst for Nicola Elliott to make a radical change. As a national magazine journalist, she regularly worked 60-hour weeks, flying around the world interviewing celebrities – a glamorous but frenetic existence. She loved her job but noticed her own wellbeing, and that of her colleagues and friends, was affected by the stress and demands of modern life.
So Elliott quit journalism to train as an aromatherapist and nutritionist and soon began creating her own aromatherapy blends. First was ‘Tranquillity’ for her sister who was having trouble sleeping. Then came ‘Real Luxury’ to help her own anxiety and stress, followed by ‘Feel Refreshed’ for her husband who played lots of sport and needed an energy boost.
The effect of these blends on her and her family was restorative and dramatic. So Elliott decided to take a further leap and turn her products into a business. Teaming up with friend and former investment analyst Oliver Mennell, the pair launched NEOM in 2005 to focus on improving people’s wellbeing through home fragrances and skincare.
Neom products are designed to deliver therapeutic benefits by using 100 per cent natural fragrances to boost the wellbeing of mind and body. Products are designed to help with four key need states: stress, sleep, happiness and energy, working either on your personal environment through candles and diffusers, or on your skin and body through skincare and bath & body products. All products are made in Britain from ethically sourced, sustainable origins, using only natural and organic ingredients, no petrochemical paraffin or mineral waxes, no artificial perfumes, only pure essential oils and no harsh preservatives.
Our own research into the wellness market had highlighted that consumers were increasingly concerned about their wellbeing, and having discovered Neom soon after it was established in 2008, we were attracted to the brand that could help customers make it easy for them to feel their best every day. As a result, we invested a significant minority stake into NEOM in late 2017 to enable the brand to expand its product range, develop the senior team, open additional stores and increase its international footprint.
Based in Harrogate, the business then employed 50 people and retail sales value had reached £18m. NEOM’s home fragrance and skincare ranges are now sold through its own website, and in leading department stores such as Selfridge, John Lewis, and Fenwick as well as on leading beauty online retailers. The business has a growing international presence in the US, Europe and Asia.