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Nicole Eckels Founder of Glasshouse Fragrances

Nov 20, 2017

Nicole Eckels, founder of Glasshouse Fragrances – one of Australia’s leading fragrance empires for the past ten years. I met Nicole recently when she was presenting at an event I attended. Her story is inspiring.

Nicole Eckels moved to Australia in 2005 from New York, craving a sea change and new lifestyle for herself and her son.

Searching Sydney Nicole was on the mission to find a new candle to replace a beloved candle she had previously purchased in New York City . She walked into David Jones – a high end department store with a reputation for the finer things in life

What she didn’t plan on was walking out of David Jones unsatisfied. There was nothing that was good quality or locally made.

You can listen right here on the Healthy Numbers website – click here

You can listen to the full interview on iTunes click here.

You can listen to the full interview on Stitcher click here.

Full transcript:

 

This is another in my audio white paper series where I describe the business startup journey of a business that I find inspiring…..

I’m your host IT and as always in this podcast I aim to bring you inspiring and informative stories from people who have started their own business so that we can learn from their experience. If you are thinking about getting started in your own business and have any questions please email me directly Ingrid@healthy

Have you ever been out shopping, knowing exactly what you are looking for and nothing is what you are looking for…..?

Then all the sudden you realise “this thing I’m looking for is missing in this market….. and I could be the one to make it”

Well that’s how it all started for Nicole Eckels, founder of Glasshouse Fragrances – one of Australia’s leading fragrance empires for the past ten years. I met Nicole recently when she was presenting at an event I attended. Her story is inspiring.

Nicole Eckels moved to Australia in 2005 from New York, craving a sea change and new lifestyle for herself and her son.

Searching Sydney Nicole was on the mission to find a new candle to replace a beloved candle she had previously purchased in New York City . She walked into David Jones – a high end department store with a reputation for the finer things in life

What she didn’t plan on was walking out of David Jones unsatisfied. There was nothing that was good quality or locally made.

At this moment, Nicole knew there was a gap in the market that she needed to fill.

She was a single mother and make-up artist – and had no knowledge of candle making when she decided to go ahead with her candle business plan. But she did have a degree in Marketing from her early adult years and she had considerable experience in the corporate world. Coupled with the frontline retail experience she’d had as a makeup artist at SAKS Fifth Avenue, the combination of those skills definitely worked in her favour.

As one of four children in a family where money was “always tight”, Nicole says she became fascinated with ways to make money from an early age, first selling hand-made bracelets as well as biscuits and chocolates at school. Clearly her ‘inner entrepreneur’ was there from an early age.

After months of research and strategising, Nicole launched the Sapphire Group in 2006. This was thanks to her determination, commitment and drive to launch a superior quality product that was lacking in the Australian market.

The company grew quickly and Glasshouse Fragrances began to dominate.

Nicole says she never aspired to own a fragrant candle business. But after the David Jones shopping trip, a seed was planted that would lead to the entrepreneur creating a $50 million business.

“I was hooked. I was an entrepreneur and I loved the financial freedom that making money on my own gave me,” she said.

Sapphire Group now has over 100 staff members and the business continues to be successful year on year. They are constantly evolving every aspect of the business. The Group has two different brands, both started by Nicole. Glasshouse Fragrances and Circa Home. Her products now also include bath and body products and diffusers and wax melts.

To keep Glasshouse’s market share, with more and more competitors on the market, Nicole says she her strategy is all about delivering a “world-class product”.

She also believes that networking events and mentoring have also played a crucial part in her success. She said:

“Once you’re in that environment, that circle of trust, women naturally open up and share in a way that men don’t. I myself have a mentor so I knew that when I had an opportunity to share what I’ve learned with others I would take it. I want to do my part to get more women in leadership positions.”

Nicole maintains a hands-on role in the Sapphire Group as the company’s Creative Director.

Glasshouse Fragrances continues to rise in popularity, and David Jones, the store that Nicole felt was once lacking in quality candles now stock a wide range of her Glasshouse Candles. She also has a strategic partnership with the Peter Alexander stores who also stock her candles. Peter Alexander stores sell all manner of high quality sleepwear and sleep related accessories – candles and fragrances are a perfect fit.

Finally, Nicole’s tip: “You have to make it easy to do business with you, you have to take ownership and follow up – and remember there is always a way in, a way over, a way around or a way through.”

I could talk for ages about Nicole’s tenacity and her totally dedication to her business. Nicole is a busy woman and I’m working on it to have her as a guest on the show so she can tell her own story.

As always there is a transcript over at HN website

My book is the same name as this podcast and if you want to grab the first 20 pages head over to ….

Thanks for listening. Ideas without action … are just that: Ideas

What are you going to do to take action today?

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