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Meet the Team Behind Eco-Conscious Homeware Brand, The Northern Wood Co

Meet the Team Behind Eco-Conscious Homeware Brand, The Northern Wood Co
April 2024
Reading time 5 Minutes

Ryan Kelly and Jack Docherty are the team behind home and fragrance brand The Northern Wood Co

We spoke to Ryan to find out more about this eco-conscious company.

Tell us what you do.
A simple, eco-conscious homeware range for a more focused and calmer life. This includes a selection of candles, melts and room sprays using a sustainable base of rapeseed and coconut wax, rather than the usual soy wax found in other sustainable candles. Our scents focus on floral or woody notes. Jack also does woodworking, which is another side of the brand, focusing on handmade wood pens, crafted with precision.

What’s your background?
I was born in Shrewsbury and most of my life has been in the creative industry. I’m a full time graphic designer doing all sorts of work for clients around the world. Jack is from Middlesbrough, and studied archaeology and history, but eventually moved to working with HMRC in various roles. He’s a hobbyist woodworker too, and we brought our skills together to create The Northern Wood Co.

Where do you find inspiration?
A lot of it comes from chatting to customers at markets and events. People often ask if we have a certain scent, and it gets us wondering how we can get said scent into our range and if it would fit in with our brand.

Where do you source materials?
We try to support UK- and EU-based businesses where possible. The rapeseed and coconut wax we use for our candles and melts is mixed in the EU, where the rapeseed is grown in pre-existing agricultural spaces, with the coconut coming from smallholders in Asia. Our scents are blended in the UK, our packaging, such as the wax melts and tealight glassine bags, are also made here. We only use UK printers for any promotional items. The woods we use for our pens aren’t native to the UK (being an island nation, we only have so much), but we work with a company which only sources woods from locations which don’t affect deforestation.

Tell us about your typical day.
Full time work still keeps us busy, so most of the day is taken up with that. Evenings and weekends are when we’re putting together orders, making up stock for markets or experimenting with new products.

What’s your favourite thing about what you do?
Seeing someone in person picking up a scented product and simply enjoying that moment. One review we had for our frankincense and myrrh scent said it reminded the customer of their recently-passed nan. It was very touching that something we put together was able to create that bridge.

What’s the most challenging part?
The hardest part would be creating the actual candles, at least at the start of the process. The science behind candle making is quite mind blowing, and it takes months of work to make sure that candles work as they should. All the parts of the candle (the wax, the scent and the wick) need to work together in harmony, while being safe for our customers. It’s the most time-consuming part of the business (but it’s fun trying new scents!). It needs to be right.

Favourite product of your own?
The lavender and vanilla wax melts are my favourite. Being able to quickly fill a room with that scent is great for when I want to relax. Jack likes the juniper and orange blossom candle – he can’t get enough of the scent and uses it year round.

How do you relax?
Heading into Northumberland, either a great coastal castle wander or heading inland for a forest walk is such a good way to detach.

Favourite place to walk in the North East?
Hands down it’s the Bamburgh Castle coastal walk.

An item you couldn’t live without?
That morning cuppa tea.

Best snack for a long journey?

The Northern Wood Co are at Living North LIVE at Newcastle Racecourse from 19th–21st April!

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