A beauty range developed in Sydney, Australia, is taking the south west by storm, with new stores opening in Cornwall and Somerset in the next three months.
Aromatika, the life and love of aromatherapist Lisa Hosking, is set to launch three new stores in three months, as the flagship store in Exeter goes from strength to strength.
After several years of working in aviation, Lisa left the UK and went to live in Sydney for two years, where she developed her passion for ethical and vegan beauty products. She learnt how to make products by hand, and brought her business idea back to Devon to launch it into the UK market.
After setting up her business from home, Lisa opened her first successful store in Totnes in 2006. In 2014, the Exeter store opened, building on her already impressive reputation and more than doubling her client base.
Lisa has built a team of staff of 15 working across the two stores and in the production facility at Dean Court Farm in Buckfastleigh, where all of the products are handmade, hand potted and hand labelled.
Lisa said: “When I was in Australia, I was inspired by the range of ethical, vegetarian and vegan beauty products available. Being a lifelong vegetarian, I started to take note of what products I was using and how they had been made. I trained with a company and went on courses, learning how to create my own products.
She continued: “I decided to come back to the UK to see if I could make it work here too. I started small, on my kitchen table, but soon became busy enough to open a shop in Totnes. As well as selling the products we decided to start offering treatments and therapies, specially designed using our own products. The Totnes store grew and grew, with a lot of our clients travelling from the Exeter area to come and see us. That’s how I knew that Exeter had to be our next step.”
Lisa opened the Exeter flagship store in 2014, with three storeys including a shop downstairs and several treatment rooms upstairs. The business has continued to expand, and Lisa is getting ready for the grand opening of her latest stores in Truro and Frome, with two other locations in the pipeline.
Lisa said: “The success of the Exeter store has given us the opportunity to continue expanding. Exeter will remain our biggest and undoubtedly most successful, but these other locations are perfectly suited to Aromatika and we have really high hopes. In Exeter, we have established ourselves as a warm, friendly and approachable city day spa. Exeter is such a vibrant, amazing city with so much to offer. We are surrounded by like-minded businesses and people here on Queen Street and Gandy Street. I’m sure we wouldn’t have had the success we have without being based here in the city.”
Lisa’s team of 15 staff are spread across the two shops and production facility, and Lisa has just taken on her first apprentice. One of her staff members, Anabella, relocated from Lisbon in order to run the Exeter store.
Lisa said: “Exeter is a lovely place to live and work. Our central location means we are close to the train and bus station, dropping our clients off right on our doorstep. We spent two years looking for the right location, and we’ve got it perfect here.”
The beauty range includes everything from moisturisers, cleansers, toners and soap, and uses local produce wherever possible. Aromatika also sell products to other locations throughout the UK and internationally.
Victoria Hatfield, Economy and Tourism Manager at Exeter City Council said: “Lisa’s passion, dedication and enthusiasm for her job has resulted a hugely successful company that is proving popular not just in the south west but internationally. Her business is a specialist, high quality offering, which is what we do well here in Exeter. There are hundreds of hard working, creative and successful companies based in our city, and Lisa is a great example of this. We look forward to following her continued success in Cornwall and Somerset.”
For more information about Aromatika visit http://aromatika.myshopify.com/ or follow the team on Twitter @aromatika_uk. For more information about relocating a business to Exeter, visit www.investinexeter.co.uk or follow @investinExeter.