Part of our mission, when starting Nostara, was to engage with our creativity in a way that our previous incarnations (as a teacher, lawyer and as mums) had not enabled us to… except for the occasional PTA extravaganza!
From the beginning, we had very clear ideas about how we wanted our brand to come across (control freaks? us?!). 'Understated, with a flourish' was a phrase that was bandied around to describe what we were aiming for, and it still seems on the mark for what we’ve created.
And so to the branding - it certainly helped that we met the lovely guys at Rocketbox who led the way for our brand creation. They just 'got' us. One our favourite parts of the process so far has been watching our initial ideas for Nostara grow into a fully fledged luxury brand identity.
With Rob at Rocketbox steering the ship, Sophie (our designer) intuitively seemed to know what we hoped for. It was a real joy to see her and the rest of the team (thank you, Harris!) breathe life into our brief. We loved watching it unfold into proposals and ultimately what will appear on the shelves in luxury boutiques and in your homes.
Whoever we have dealt with on our journey (from Debbie and Jessica at the bank, to Sophie in the studio), everyone has chorused 'Oh! I love scented candles!'. And so our vision for Nostara has infectiously been passed on with everyone’s passion for our luxury home fragrance. From our gorgeous rose gold candle lid, beautiful frosting on our glassware to our distinctive iconic brand logo - we think we’ve struck (rose) gold!
It’s all about the scent - we were determined to be 'fragrance led' and to let all the other luxurious details be the icing on the (rather delicious!) cake…
Luckily, developing our first collection was an olfactory delight. We had the pleasure of working with Louise from our International Fragrance House (just how many fragranced tea lights will fit on a kitchen table?!)
It all went like a sweet smelling dream: we salivated over the gourmand offerings and were intoxicated by the dark, seductive aromas...bliss!
How incredible is the power of scent: to whisk you back in time, as a nostalgic smell transports you back to your childhood? How amazing that an aroma can instantly uplift or relax. The worst part of the process has been editing the fragrances down to our perfectly curated launch collection of 6 - we wanted them all!
Our final selection was a real triumph; not least because we feel we’ve chosen the right fragrances for our collection but also because we feel there’s a favourite fragrance for everyone.
With the promise of a glass (or two!) of Prosecco, our 'Research and Development' team (actually a bunch of willing friends) soon got into the role of chief testers. Evenings of 'fragrance testing' showed how diverse everyone’s tastes were. Some of our friends adored floral notes, and so the voluptuous bouquet of our Ebony Rose was a hit. Others craved the clean scent of freshly laundered sheets and so our Linen and White Gardenia was a winner for them.
Nikki & Alex
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...