UK Enterprise Awards 2021

131 | UK Enterprise Awards 2021 Best Independent Fragrance & Body Care Brand - South West England Breedon Perfumery is an independent family-run brand based in The Cotswolds which handmakes its products on the second floor of its shop in Witney, Oxfordshire. From fragrances for him and her through to bath and body care treats and home fragrance, Breedon Perfumery really is ‘the home of all things smelly’ – in a good way, of course! “Committed to making everyone feel and smell amazing, the team’s long term goal is to spread the word of ‘smelly’ far and wide!” enthuses company Founder, Michelle Leivars. All products are made using vegan friendly, kind- to-skin ingredients, and all of the packaging is eco- friendly too, being made from recyclable materials. The idea for the brand was born following a difficult set of circumstances for Michelle and her family, including her husband suffering an accident resulting in a brain injury, plus a major surgical intervention for Michelle, all within a short space of time. As a result of these unfortunate events, the family found themselves in financial difficulties and were getting help from local food banks in order to survive. “One parcel in particular contained a little body lotion,” Michelle explains. “At that time it was a luxury item that I had been unable to afford in such a long time. We had gone from being financially secure, as my husband had a good job and I home educated our daughters, to having nowhere to turn.” After being forced to live a much more ‘basic’ lifestyle, the body lotion that Michelle used that day made her feel so special and pampered and she vowed from that day forward to make other people feel and smell amazing all the time. “That one act of self-care had a huge positive effect on my mental health and lifted my spirits, amidst the chaos that we were navigating through.” It took a few years before the family was able to get back on its feet following hitting rock bottom financially, emotionally and physically. However, the brand slowly grew from making small batches of products to give as gifts to family and friends, to the brand that it is today which stocks an array of beautiful product lines, for women, men and children too. One of Breedon Perfumery’s stand out products is definitely the Original Splendidly Soapy Witney Soap Sponges. Essentially, this product is a sponge that’s infused with beautifully fragrances soap. It’s ideal for the bath or the shower, saving time and being easy to use, and is a 2-in-1 beauty must-have! Lasting for several weeks, even with daily use, the sponges leave your skin feeling silky soft and smelling incredible. So popular have the adults fragrances been, that Breedon Perfumery has launched a range of kids’ sweet shop fragrances too, with smells such as Rhubarb & Custard, Marshmallow and Parma Violet amongst the most popular. They’re guaranteed to get even the most reluctant soap dodgers into the bath or shower! Regarding the future, Michelle is determined to continue to strive to help others feel incredible as she has first-hand experience of just how important self-care is to absolutely everyone. Michelle realises that sometimes life takes an unexpected turn and that literally anyone can be close to financial ruin, but if you look after your mental wellbeing then that is the best starting point, and self-care is such an integral part of this. “My heart and soul lie in the business and I feel privileged to be able to make people feel amazing just as I had in that moment all those years ago,” Michelle says. “I feel privileged every day to be able to provide that feeling in a small way to my customers, to be an integral part of their daily self-care is such a blessing.” Apr21303 Like the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes, Breedon Perfumery had a similar start in life, but the determination, passion and strength of its founder helped to make it the success it is today. We speak to Michelle Leivars to find out more about the brand and its ethos.