14-17 July 2019
HARROGATE

Meet the Maker - Vanilla Blanc

03-Jul-2017

So we caught up with the Cheeky Chappy who Co Founded the wonderful world of Vanilla Blanc, (In case you’re not one of their 10k Facebook followers… They are behind the uniquely packaged home fragrance range that managed to get stocked in major retail only 4 months after their official launch!)

So just when we are about to ask this bundle of charisma about his brand, he interrupts with his booming voice: “I hope this blog interview gets actually published! This is not a therapy session!” Awkward silence for 3 seconds… then he bursts out laughing pointing at me “Got Ya!”

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This is the unorthodox nature of this designer/entrepreneur and it is quite noticeable that this disposition has had an immense influence on the products Vanilla Blanc creates.

They launched their first range of natural reed diffusers in January 2016, which was instantly snapped up by retail giant whole foods and the prestigious Fenwick department stores.

So how did the Vanilla Blanc Movement come about?

My close friends will be the first to tell you that I have always enjoyed doing things differently to everyone else. I have been making my own unique scents for friends and family for a number of years but it was merely a hobby that I enjoyed. I used to present my blends in little velvet pouches and would gift them whenever there was an occasion that required a present.

It soon got people talking about how nice the scents were and how they loved the way they were presented.

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So when my friend Suki asked if I could do a scent for her lounge area, I instantly realised that this could be the beginning of an exciting business…

Vanilla Blanc was born.

How did you start the business?

Because I had a small budget to begin with, I tried to save as much as possible by attending free business seminars and exhibitions. I negotiated with suppliers that agreed to give us bulk discounts on first orders (Thank you Roger!) and we started working on our first collection.

Armed with a selection of scents and a small table, we took to Wimbledon Village on a market research journey, and got over 200 people to pick their top 3 fragrances from the selection we had. We made our first batch of 20 bottles that was instantly sold out, we made 40 more and so on…

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Your packaging is really unique, what was your inspiration?

People love receiving Vintage wine bottles in the traditional wooden boxes, it is a personal experience that is memorable and tends to make you feel special. That was my inspiration behind the Collection Naturelle signature wooden gift boxes.

Using my friend Ash Carpentry and joinery skills, we set about making the box. It was a challenging task that took months, but eventually we came up with the final design you now have come to know.

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Why the name Vanilla Blanc?

Well some people may not know that Vanilla used to grow only in Mexico and Central America. Using a simple technique of manual pollination of the vanilla orchid, vanilla was made available all over the world. So the name vanilla is a tribute to the manual simplicity that produces extraordinary results!

What about the Blanc Part?

I like the French language, it sounds elegant. ‘Vanilla Blanc’ say it! Say it! Doesn’t it sound elegant?

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What’s next for Vanilla Blanc?

We are currently immersed in our studio finalizing the design for the room spritz of the same collection, which we plan to launch in September 2017. We also just partnered with Aco fashion house in Germany and they are stocking our collection in their lifestyle store in Berlin THE FARM, we plan to collaborate on a new and exciting project!

You can keep up to date with all our latest news and updates through our social media links.

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And finally what do you want to achieve out of the show?

We would like to increase brand awareness, meet great people and gain wonderful business partners!

 

 

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Testimonials
  • It’s so important for us to be showcasing great British manufacturing here at the Home & Gift show. The footfall here is massive and it’s an opportunity for people to see the products, hear the story and for us to be able to show first-hand the quality of British manufacturing we have embraced here with the homeware and cooking range.
    Tom Kerridge
    Professional Chef, The Great British Exchange
  • We love the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere at Harrogate. It’s a must for buyers and a showcase for Yorkshire hospitality. We always enjoy the whole show experience, seeing new faces and meeting with some of our regular suppliers in person.
    Chris Fox & Julia Keeling
    Wishes of Cudworth, near Barnsley