Our "Spotlight On..." series allows us to introduce you to the creative, intelligent and all-round brilliant women who inspire us. Everyone one of them is a #lilyandlionelgirl.
After spending seven hectic years working 60 hour weeks as an editor for Glamour magazine, Nicola Elliott decided to switch up her career entirely. Kickstarting her journey to better wellbeing, she trained in aromatherapy and nutrition, before eventually founding Neom Organics in 2005.
We photographed Nicola in one of her beautiful stores, delving into her favourite Neom products, and gaining an insight into her life and style.
Tell us about your career path and what led you to create Neom?
I started my career in journalism, I loved it and had the opportunity to work across a number of leading titles. But I had got to the point where I was totally burnt out and had started suffering with anxiety. I started my own wellbeing journey around that time; I studied aromatherapy and started creating 100% natural blends to help me - they worked! I blended fragrance for my sister with insomnia, my husband to boost his energy after playing sport... when he left the house one day with 32 bottles for the whole football team I thought we may have something! I joined forces with my business partner, Oliver Mennell and in 2005 we launched our first range of natural candles!
What's a typical day like for you?
I really don’t have a typical day! But I do achieve a hell of a lot every day. I may be designing products, writing campaigns, training, working through windows, talking to the press, filming… the list goes on!
Your range is ever-expanding, but what is your favourite product you've created to date, and most used by yourself?
To be honest, I’m fickle! But right now I’m LOVING our new natural skin range which launches on the 1st September. It’s the perfect antidote to the skin issues that are caused by a modern lifestyle. We’ve got two new ranges, Ultimate Calm and Great Day Glow, both are packed with natural ingredients and a blend of super effective essential oils!
How would you describe your personal style?
I’m usually smart causal, somewhere in the middle of comfort and style and love to mix pattern and colour.
Three items in your wardrobe you can't live without?
1. Converse/my white Veja trainers
2. A colourful printed midi skirt or dress
3. A nice handbag
What's your routine to relax and unwind?
I’m religious about a sleep / relaxation routine. I take a bath at 9.45pm with some of our Perfect Night’s Sleep Bath Oil. I light a candle if I’ve got time, if not I get my (NEOM) wellbeing pod going with the Perfect Night Sleep essential oil. I practice mindful breathing in the bath, breathing in for 7 seconds, out for 11. When I get into bed, I always read for at least 10 minutes, I write my diary, then I spritz our Perfect Night Sleep Pillow Mist and I’m away...
What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
It’s hard to choose just one, but I live by the mantra of “learn to be calm and you’ll always be happy” (always working on that!) and “head down, bum up” (just get on with it...!)
You live in the gorgeous Yorkshire countryside, but when visiting London, where are your favourite places to go for drinks, a meal, a gallery or museum?
I commute to London every week for work and I love the contrast of the city life and leafy Harrogate. I’ve fallen in love with Petersham Nurseries, I’ll always try and visit when I’m there at the weekend. During the week after meetings, I’ll find myself wandering the very cool Coal Drops Yard before jumping on the train home, and if I ever get the time to do a work out (which is v rare!) then I’ll try a class at one of the FRAME studios!
CHANCE TO WIN
We agree that wellbeing is so important, and want to treat you to a little pick-me-up gift, selected by Nicola. Two lucky winners will receive a Lily and Lionel Pink Marlowe Dress and a Neom Wellbeing Pod with two of their new aromatherapy oils. Head over to our Instagram @lilyandlionel to enter*. Good luck!
*Closes at midnight 8/8/19. Full T&C's on our competition Instagram post.
Leopard or Floral?
City or Countryside?
I definitely need a mix of both!
Massage or Manicure?
Massage (I just had one of our Wellbeing Treatments at our Guildford store last week and oh my, this isn’t any old massage - each one features a unique combo of 7 naturopath techniques; deep shiatsu and Thai massage techniques, cranio, trigger point work and myofascial release!)
Heels or Trainers?
Trainers (Heels at night but only if I can get a cab!)