Ostara: The Goddess of Spring and the origin of our brand name - not that we’re claiming to be goddesses (!), but as a metaphor for new beginnings, it seemed the perfect start for the name of our new venture.
The Spring Equinox has arrived and (despite the recent snow and the Easter predictions), all the signs are here for the re-awakening, the re-birth and fresh start that comes with the change of the season. Spring: expansive, full of energy and exuberance, marking the natural world coming alive, the flowering of trees and plants - a profusion of daffodils, primroses, crocuses and catkins.
And so it seems an appropriate time to catch our breath and take stock; count our blessings. It was just a year ago we began this next chapter in our lives, embarking on the creation of a company. Fulfilling a dream to create a beautiful product, run a business and echo the make-believe play of our childhoods - creating ‘perfume’ with tiny bottles, water and rose petals in the garden.
From concept to branding, packaging to fragrance development; we had very clear ideas from the start of the look and feel of the brand and products. And it’s been gratifying (and an absolute relief!) that it’s all been so well received.
We really value all the partnerships we’ve formed. From the designers who breathed life into our musings, to the ‘alchemist’ hand pouring our candles and reed diffusers. We’ve loved the serendipity of finding that The Fragrance Foundation award winning perfumer, Marina Barcenilla, practised her craft locally to us and that she was happy to collaborate on fragrance creations with us.
To finally, after months and months of preparation... having our first products arrive. And with that, the fresh task of actually selling them – a whole new set of skills to master! Cue SEO and many other acronyms, social media minefields and pitching!
After launching as an online store only, we were delighted to be approached by Battersea General Store, with their request to stock us and soon after to be positioned in E J Churchill’s country store in High Wycombe.
We’re equally thrilled to be located in all our stunning boutiques and destination shops and love the very personal relationships we are establishing with them. Shout out to the rest of our wonderful stockists! The only downside in dealing with all the high end boutiques - with the most gorgeous pieces, and the interiors and gift shops - with the most covetable trinkets, is that we can’t treat ourselves every time we pop in to replenish stock!
We thoroughly appreciate the connections we’ve made with various fabulous networks of women (in Somerset Ladies in Business, Successful Women in Business and Women Mean Biz, to name but a few). They’re our new go-to gangs! And it seems timely that we have just marked International Women’s Day along with this new trailblazing tribe of women - celebrating the achievements of women past and present. What a generous and inspiring band you are...
Thanks must go out to The Fragrance Foundation for their very warm welcome to the world of perfumery and The Perfume Society for their support and for featuring us in their latest edition of ‘The Scented Letter’ - the bible of all things fragrant.
And last, but certainly not least - we want to thank our lovely ‘Friends of Nostara’ - our customers and subscribers whose support, generosity and appreciation of our brand is helping us make our own mark in the industry.
How’s the journey been so far? Mad, fun, stressful, joyous, satisfying... all these and more on the Nostara rollercoaster! So here’s to a happy anniversary, happy Spring time and an excitable look forward to the flourish of summer (with the abundance of flowers and sunshine we hope it will bring). We’ve no doubt that it’ll be here before we know it!
Well, it’s all over for another year! We hope you all had a lovely Christmas with your loved ones. It sometimes feels that all the hype is over all too quickly but it’s one of the holidays when you make time for your family, and those nearest and dearest to you.
Love it or loathe it, it’s coming! We're in the 'love it' camp, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. But, one thing's for sure, if only due to time alone, our Christmas preps are a bit different this year.
There'll be less cards written and more focus on keeping things simple. And, it’s not just us. There’s a whole movement of less waste and valuing what we have...