Super Derry sisters launch their own business during the Covid lockdown

Mia and Bella Doherty show off their entrepreneurial skills

Super Derry sisters launch their own business during the Covid lockdown

Mia and Bella Doherty have launched their own fragrance business.

Diamonds are a girl's best friend, Marilyn Monroe sang in the 1953 film, 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.'

There is not a girl/woman anywhere who doesn't like a piece of jewellery or an aromatic fragrance. You could include a few men in that, too!

Among them are two young Derry girls who love all things glittery and sparkly – and a nice fragrance – so much so, they have used their time during Covid-19 lockdown to start up their own fragrance business.

Sisters Mia, 13, and Bella Doherty, 11, from Cornshell Fields in the Ballyarnett of the city, named their enterprise Jewelled Aroma by Mia & Bella - a combination of their names – and after almost a year of research, trials and checking out regulations, they have their enterprise up and running.

At the minute, they are making wax melts of various fragrances and shapes along with room sprays to match the wax melts smells. They are also currently looking into other products as well.

Mia, who attends St Mary's College, said they began researching soon after the Covid-19 restrictions were introduced in March last year.

She added: “We  undertook online courses in candle-making to help our wee idea become a reality. 

“We tried out different types of soya wax and fragrances with our family being the testers, much to their delight for a good few months.

“We wanted to be 100% happy with our product before we decided they were ready for purchase. So the launch of Jewelled Aroma by Mia & Bella began  last month.

“We are both currently using our mum’s kitchen but she doesn’t mind as we clean up after ourselves and her house always smells so lovely for her.

“Also, by law, we have to follow certain regulations, so have to ensure CIP labels are made for every fragrance oil and then be presently packaged. This can all take a lot of time but we really love being creative and by adding glitter and colour and trying out different designs makes our wax melts stand out compared to others. Having nice packaging and how they are presented is very important to us

“We make wax melts by melting soya wax and adding fragrances oils and pour into moulds, although this sounds very straight forward there is temperature taking and a few step-by-step instructions that need to be adhered to in order to maintain a good quality product that will last.”

Despite the success and the enjoyment of making fragrances, Mia said she was looking forward to going back to school.

“St Mary’s is a fantastic school and I love getting up to go to school every morning.” She admitted she was a bit concerned about how much catching up she will have to do but said she was sure the teachers would put everyone at ease when they were all back in the classroom.

“We definitely missed school a lot, especially not seeing our friends was difficult but starting this business has helped keep us occupied and ease any boredom. 

“Learning our craft and keeping up with schoolwork has made the whole Covid situation  fly in for us. We are so busy at the minute with orders for delivery that our mum had to help out as well. She is able to help at the minute as her business is currently closed due to Covid-19 restric- tions. She was a great help at the start as she was able to guide us in the right direction - we have even roped dad into helping by doing the deliveries.”

She added: “I hope we go back to normality as I like the hands on physical activities at school like technology and science experiments.”

Bella, who returned to P7 at Steelstown Primary School on Monday last, said despite the enjoying of producing Jewelled Aroma by Mia & Bella products, school work was her 'priority.'

“I was a bit nervous about returning to school but it was great. I have a new teacher and she is really lovely. It was great seeing all my friends as well. This is my last year in primary school so I am really happy to be getting back to see everyone before I have to make the transition to secondary school.”

Bella said they had been inundated with 'very positive reviews' for their range of products.

“Everyone seems to love the product going by the lovely messages we receive. Customers wish us every success and return for more orders so this makes us very happy. 

“When we are back at school full-time and not able to commit our time as much to the business as school is the priority, my aunties are willing to help out to keep us well stocked up with our products. 

“The people in our city and beyond have been really supportive in shopping local, it feels good to know we’re doing something right.”

The girls' mother, Maria, is understandably 'so proud' of her two girls, being the owner of Miabella beauty salon next to the car wash on Racecourse Road in Shantallow which has been closed for nine months of the past year.

She said: “If there’s one thing I can take from lockdown is that I work too much and the girls missed me, so spending quality time and helping them out with their wax melts was amazing. I’ve learned so much from them and how much of a work ethic is instilled into them,

“I am so proud of them both and how they have juggled both school work and their newly established business.

“They both are managing perfectly so far and I can go back to work and know they are perfectly capable of staying on top of orders.

“As their mum, though, I will keep on top of the social media to ensure their safety - their page is linked to my phone so I can keep them safe.”

Maria conceded she has found lockdown 'extremely difficult at times.'

She added: “I really miss my clients, as a lot of them have become friends over the years. It’s always good to catch up with each other. I’m so looking forward to seeing each and every single one of them when I can return although  trying to fit everyone in will prove to be a difficult task.

“Somehow, I’ll man- age should I work night and day to get you all beautified again. I don’t like to disappoint anyone when they look for appointments, my clients are lovely and are very understanding.”

So Chanel, Jimmy Choo and Gucci, take note of the name - Jewelled Aroma by Mia & Bella.

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