Beauty Idol: Hope Jikiemi from Epoh-Ireti
I met Hope Jikiemi at a friend's birthday dinner last year where she told me about her candle brand, Epoh-Ireti. It consists of ethical luxury soy candles which are hand crafted in Britain. Hope started the company to celebrate the pending birth of her son. She sent us the Vanilla and Black Pepper Candle to review and I was impressed by the stylish packaging and gorgeous aroma. She took some time out of her busy schedule to give us an insight into her career. What made you decide to set up your own beauty business? I used to work really long and crazy hours in the hospitality industry and I was just about to go on maternity when an idea sparked after having a conversation with my husband one day. I knew I didn't want to work those kind of hours again once my new born baby arrived; so I turned my love for candles into a business whilst on maternity leave.
What is the concept behind Epoh-Ireti? Epoh-Ireti stems from 'Hope'. Epoh means my name Hope, backwards and Ireti means Hope, in Yoruba. Our vision is to spread hope to others by way of beautiful scents and candlelight; to help one create a "feel good" atmosphere from our essence. It's all about feeling good.
What sort of research did you do to find out what sort of candles your customers wanted to buy? Honestly, there was no research to see what the customer wanted. It was more about hoping to give someone else the same feeling I get when I light candles. My research went into how to craft and perfect an organic candle. I fully immersed myself in the world of candle making, learning about different waxes, scents and all things of natural goodness.
How do you source the material for your candles and decide which scents to create? Epoh-Ireti uses raw materials all sourced from Britain. Our candles are sustainable and 100% biodegradable. My scent inspiration comes from things that I love. For example, peonies are my favourite kind of flowers so that was a given I'd make that scent apart of the collection. I love chocolate- so Chocolate Oudh was born.
How did you decide on the look and feel of the brand? Chic, classy and clean were my focus areas when deciding on the feel and look of the brand. I call it the triple C's appeal. I also believe in 'less is more'.
What are your future plans for Epoh-Ireti? To continue working on becoming an international household brand. Expansion of our range; having some of our favourite shops like: Liberty's, Saks Fifth Avenue and Harvey Nichols stock our collection. Watch this space. From my mouth to God's hears.
What are your favourite beauty products? Ohh I love experimenting with beauty products but I must say I've had a long time love affair with Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser. I am obsessed with Glam Glow Mud Masque and Eye treatments and I hardly ever go anywhere without my tube of papaw ointment. It's the best.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to set up their own beauty business? Create quality vs quantity. Focus on delivering superb customer service. Stay true to your brand and fully believe in it. If you don't, then who will. Be in it to WIN it.
You can follow Hope on Twitter.