Since launching in 2017, Nostara has carved a small but distinct niche for itself in the crowded British home fragrance market. The brand offers scented, hand-poured candles and reed diffusers, beautifully designed and made from ethical and sustainable materials sourced locally in Britain. The brand’s founder, Nikki Holt, has built a loyal following in just three years, as well as attracting the attention of numerous independent retailers.
Having previously engaged with consumers in person, through the top lifestyle fairs and exhibitions around the country, Nikki had to rethink her strategy in 2020. ‘I’m always excited to meet new customers and passionate about helping them find fragrances that really appeal, so this year has been particularly challenging because Covid meant fairs and exhibitions were cancelled. However, demand for beautiful fragrances in homes and offices has not gone away,’ explains Nikki.
Knowing she needed a fast new plan, Nikki turned her focus to online – not the easiest medium through which to sell fragrance, but the only way to keep a conversation going with new and existing customers. She also dramatically increased her PR activity to assist with securing features for Nostara in online publications. She invested in social media paid adverts, and upped the time spent creating organic content on Facebook and Instagram. This included describing her personal journey, taking a peek at behind-the-scenes activity and drumming up excitement for the reveal of the latest new fragrance.
Her new Winter Wonderland launched in September and joined Nostara’s collection of eight fragrances – including Lime & Juniper, Leather & Vetiver and Ebony Rose & Burnished Amber – which were individually created in collaboration with an award-winning Somerset perfumer.
Nikki also took time during 2020 to foster the Nostara community with a newly created newsletter, which shares well- being tips and advice on life in general. Gradually influencers have become personal friends, playing a key role in promoting Nostara’s products, increasing sales and extending Nostara’s social reach.
‘It’s been amazing to see how people have come together during this time to support independent businesses,’ says Nikki, ‘and it’s really helped us to keep going and stay motivated during such a crazy year. During 2021, I will continue to focus on building an online community of Nostara customers and I’ll be working with influencers on new product launches to spread the word.’
While working on Nostara’s online presence, Nikki has also developed two new home fragrances that are in the pipeline for spring 2021. She has also been using this time as an unexpected opportunity to develop exciting new products, diversifying into personal scents and creating an earthy eau de toilette and a floral, oceanic eau de parfum. Silver linings come in all shapes and forms. She remarks, ‘I’m such a lover of fragrance, whether for the home or as a perfume, that it’s really exciting for the brand to be evolving in this way.’