Charlotte Harding talks to two mums about setting up a business dedicated to finding a little calm after the chaos.
We are all probably guilty of failing to simply sit back, relax and switch off.
“Our brand is all about carving out a little bit of me time and finding calm amidst the daily chaos,” explains Sarah Slade, who is one half of SevenSeventeen.
“With a shared passion for design it was always a dream to set up a business together and we had the idea of launching SevenSeventeen, a lifestyle brand incorporating beautiful, affordable products for the home last year,” adds Naomi Reilly.
“It was then honed over snatched phone calls on the school run and at every other opportunity.”
The brand was launched in November 2016 and the first products to hit the shelves were candles.
“We’ve been devoted candles enthusiasts and we’re really excited to launch a range of beautifully scented plant-based candles that would sit well on mantelpieces,” explains Naomi.
“We wanted them to be amazing quality but also sensibly priced as like so many women keeping up with our Diptyque habit was seriously draining our bank balances.”
The pair admit that they have always found the ritual of lighting a candle very calming so it felt natural that this should be their first product.
“It’s so important to take time to switch off at the end of a busy day,” says Sarah.
“We call them ‘mood boosting candles for the burnt out’,” smiles Naomi, “as that’s exactly what they are.”
With seven scents the names reflect this with candles called ‘Hello Calm’, ‘Peace (at last)’ and ‘And Breathe’.
And it is this feeling that influenced the name SevenSeventeen.
“When we were dreaming up the business there was a miraculous night when all five kids between us were down by 7.17,” recalls Sarah.
“I think all parents can relate to that ‘and breathe’ moment when everything suddenly goes quiet after the noise of the day and you get your house back.”
So what are their favourite scents?
“Hello Calm in Moroccan rose will always be my go-to scent during the day,” explains Naomi. “While And Breathe in lavender is my nightly wind down ritual.
As for Sarah: “Off Duty in lime, basil and mandarin is a great pick-me-up.
“I ran the Brighton Marathon in April and turned to this scent a lot during training as a post-run bathing tonic.”
Naomi currently lives in Brighton with three children aged from three to eight, while Sarah lives in West Worthing with her two children aged two and five.
The pair met while studying at the University of Creative Arts in Surrey, shared a flat before heading to Sussex to raise their families.
The candles are all hand poured in England and the pair spent a lot of time sourcing the right company with an ethical focus.
“The wax is a unique vegetable formula that burns evenly and gives a great throw, the wicks are cotton and the jars are made from recycled glass,” says Sarah.
“It was important to us that our candles would be clean burning as the more commonly used paraffin wax not only burns ineffectively but also produces nasty fumes that you really don’t want to be breathing in,” adds Naomi.
From each sale of the candles SevenSeventeen donates a £1 to PANDAS, a charity which gives support to people coping with pre and post-natal mental illnesses, as well as their families, friends and carers.
“Our brand is purposefully playful in tone but we are very aware that the daily juggle can be especially tough for a lot of women,” says Sarah.
“We loved that the ritual of enjoying a relaxing candle could help light the way for others facing bigger struggles.”
And the reason for this particular charity?
“We both have close friends who have suffered from post-natal depression and it’s very clear to us that it’s an illness that’s not talked about enough,” says Naomi.
“It can be an isolating, scary and dangerous experience for sufferers and with more than one in ten women affected by it within a year of giving birth there’s simply not enough awareness around it.
“PANDAS is an amazing charity and we’re incredibly proud to support them in the work they do helping women and their families affected by PND.”
And it seems candles are just the starting point for the brand, they have plans to launch more ‘exciting products that help us clock off from the chaos’.
“It is incredibly important to us that SevenSeventeen products are considered beautiful treats but also that you don’t have to re-mortgage your house to enjoy,” smiles Sarah.
Naomi adds: “Anything added to the collection will be beautiful, useful and affordable.”
Even if you can’t get a whole day to yourself once the kids are in bed or you get through the front door after a day at work with the help of SevenSeventeen you can sit back, relax and breathe.
For more information, visit www.seven-seventeen.co.uk or follow them on Instagram @sevenseventeenuk
For more information on PANDAS Foundation, visit pandasfoundation.org.uk
There are seven scents in the collection:
l All The Love in Black Pomegranate
l And Breathe in Lavender
l Beautiful You in White Jasmine
l Hello Calm in Moroccan Rose
l Off Duty in Lime Basil & Mandarin
l Peace (at last) in Fresh Linen
l Shine On in Wild Fig & Grape
All scents are offered in three sizes:
l 120ml (30-40hr burn time) £14
l 180ml (50hr burn time) £22
l 500ml triple wick (70hr burn time) £36
All our candles are packaged in a Kraft gift box.
This first featured in the June edition of etc Magazine pick up your copy now.