Mayor Warke visits Jenna's store, Devine Scents
Jenna Devine, owner of Devine Scents Ltd in Derry, has witnessed her business grow from strength to strength.
She credits the Council's Business Innovation & Growth programme for helping her grow her business.
Jenna is a qualified herbalist and through her business she develops essential oil products to help with different pains such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Her products have also found favour with parents of autistic children, who have been able to come off melatonin thanks to her products.
Jenna registered for the Council's Business Innovation & Growth programme and is encouraging other businesses in the city and district to get on board.
The idea for Devine Scents began when Jenna was making wax melts for friends and family. The responses were overwhelmingly positive, with loads of people saying how calming the melts were.
Jenna began to use essential oils instead; as these penetrate the skin and go into the brain, benefitting the body in endless ways.
She then enrolled on both a Diploma in Essential Oils for Business and a Herbal Product Making Diploma.
These, coupled with a psychology degree have set Jenna up for success in business.
Jenna initially registered for the programme when she was working from home, but the business was growing rapidly.
She said: "When we first started the business, it was click and collect from my front door. When we began getting queues around the block, we realised that we needed to get premises.
"Our business was beyond the start-up stage, so we weren't eligible for financial grants - the practical advice through the free BIG programme really was a welcome pillar of support.
“Small business owners regularly approach me and the advice I always give them is to take advantage of this support."
Jenna had left her job one week before the first lockdown to focus on her business, and with her time taken up keeping the business afloat, she turned to the BIG programme to gain one-to-one support on securing premises, employment rights, contracts and tax.
She continued: "The BIG programme took the pressure off me and allowed me to focus my attention on creating more products and ultimately helping more people.
“Not only customers have benefited from the business – I employ two single mothers, and as I'm empathetic to their needs, I am able to exercise more flexibility and understanding to their time constraints than other employers may be able to.
"I developed a strong bond with my mentor Carrie; who was responsive and flexible around my ever-changing schedule. A second set of hands when starting a business is truly invaluable."
The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Alderman Graham Warke said: "It was great to visit Devine Scents and to see how their business has developed first hand.
"Devine Scents is a thriving local business and another success story of the Business Innovation and Growth Programme which seeks to support small businesses and drive innovation and productivity through tailored one-to-one mentor support, workshops and seminars.
"Congratulations to Devine Scents on their continued success and I wish them all the best moving forward."
Jenna hopes to open a second store, with the goal to create more employment in other cities in Northern Ireland.
To register for the BIG programme, or for more information, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org or 028 9069 1027 for more information.
You can find Devine Scents at Unit 28, North West Business Complex in Skeoge.
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