Who we are, how we started and where we are going
WHO WE ARE
Sam - The Lightbulb
Sam, who looks after our product development previously spent 12 years at Boots, most recently managing their range of vitamins, supplements, traditional herbal remedies, homeopathic and naturopathic remedies. She’s passionate about health and nutrition and spends most of her days in the office thinking of new ways to unleash the power of fragrance and aromatherapy in the quest for a natural approach to common health concerns. Many of Sam’s lightbulb moments wake her up in the night.
Loves: Old houses, avocados, unicorns
Hates: Slugs, hypocrisy, Sage accounting software
Favourite smell: That aroma when you step off a plane in a hot, foreign land
Steve - The Doctor
Dr Steve is the cleverest person we know. He’s got a PhD in molecular biology and he knows how to use it. He runs our development lab and the production facility and spends lots of his time trying to make Sam’s crazy ideas come to life as well as having a few crazy ideas himself. Before joining the team Steve worked in a big international test lab. He likes it better here as he gets to listen to Absolute 90s all day while playing with test tubes.
Loves: Guitars, Lego, Sausages
Hates: Reality TV (except bear grills), Picking up Lego, Hayfever
Favourite smell: Mud and grass
Kate - The Glue
The multi-talented Kate runs the office and what she doesn’t know about Sage accounting isn’t worth knowing. A qualified auditor with a background in quality assurance, procurement and business administration, frankly we’d be lost without her. She bakes the best cakes and is a bit of a workaholic.
Loves: Purple, Cupcakes, Harry Potter
Hates: Decaf-Coffee, House work, Spiders
Favourite smell: Jam on Toast
Carol - The Oracle
Carol, our MD set up the business over 30 years ago and she’s our go-to for all things fragrance and micro-encapsulation related. She manages the money, dirty job but someone needs to make sure we pay our bills on time (which we always do!) and provides general guidance and good counsel to the rest of the team.
Loves: Her dog William, the sea, autumn
Hates: Bigotry, traffic, ice
Favourite smell: Roses
Monty - The Hypoallergenic Dog
Monty comes to the office a couple of times a week primarily to bark at the DHL driver. He spends most of the day asleep by the window only stirring to steal Kate’s lunch. He’s a cockapoo and doesn’t shed fur which is ideal as he lives with Sam and Theo who are allergic to other types of dog. Occasionally Monty is subjected to animal testing when he is sprayed with doggy-safe sweet smelling fragrance to mask the odour of whatever filth he may have rolled in during his morning walk. He is the only example of animal testing we engage in.
Loves: Cheese, cheese and toast
Hates: Pigeons, baths, cats
Favourite smell: Cheese on toast
Dace - The Doctor’s assistant
Dace knows more about wild mushrooms than anyone we know! Growing up in Latvia, she became an expert fungi forager. She knows her shitake from her puffball and is sadly disappointed by the limited varieties available in the shops here. She came to the UK two years ago with a degree in Chemistry and a dogged determination to become fluent in English. She joined us at the beginning of 2019 to help Steve in the lab and in the factory. She’s always on the go and loves a challenge.
Loves: outdoor swimming, animals, homemade cakes
Hates: early mornings, BMW cars, cacti
Favourite smell: the forest after rain
We’re passionate about the therapeutic power of fragrance and essential oils.
Sam was looking for ways to help her son, Theo, to cope with his hay fever, pet and dust allergies. He wanted to try a more natural approach as he found the side effects of antihistamines unpleasant. Armed with piles of reports, books and of course, Google, Sam set about identifying those essential oils which might help. A couple of weeks, dozens of essential oil samples, a few pipettes and test tubes later, the first Breaze formulation was ready to test drive. Theo found it made life more bearable, it helped clear his stuffy nose and eased the irritating itchy sensation that caused him to sneeze. Sam thought, ‘I wonder if we’re on to something?’
During the summer of 2016 Sam asked a few desperate hay fever suffering co-workers and people she knew to give Breaze vapour oil a try. To her complete surprise, they all loved it and told her it really helped. Not convinced that the feedback of 12 friends and colleagues was enough to rely on, (they were probably just being nice, she thought) she recruited a further 40 strangers from all over the UK to try Breaze Vapour Oil and Breaze Motion Activated Pillowcase in a structured user trial.
Over 80% said the products were helpful when their hay fever was problematic. Sam thought, ‘I think we might have something here’.
In 2017 Sam was busy moving the business and building a new factory. A few of the people who took part in the trial wrote to her and told her in no uncertain terms how cross they were that they couldn’t buy Breaze anywhere yet. ‘When are you going to get your act together and make it happen?’, they said. She promised to launch Breaze and in June 2018, that’s what happened. At the same time, researchers from the University of Lincoln’s Schools of Pharmacy and Life Sciences began an independent controlled trial to measure the effectiveness of Breaze products in helping to relieve the common symptoms of hay fever. By Summer 2019, the results will be in and Sam might finally allow herself to believe ‘We’ve really got something here’!