I’m sure a lot of you are already aware of the charity wax melt with Ava May Aromas managed to raise £2,882 for NHS Charities Together and we really couldn’t be happier with how it all went. As so many of you supported it so well and are the main reason we managed to raise so much money for such a worthy cause, we really wanted to explain how the idea came about, how the process of setting up the collaboration happened and then how the product itself was created and launched.
The actual idea itself literally came out of nowhere, one morning Rich came down after his morning shower and said to me “I’ve got an idea babe, it could either be really good or really bad” and obviously intrigued I asked “well what is it then?” and Rich embarrassingly went on to explain it as follows “You know those wax candles that everyone goes on about on Instagram, maybe we could make our own one and sell it to raise money for the NHS”. Rich had clearly been inspired by all of the amazing fund raising that was going on around us and I know he especially loved what Captain Tom Moore, well Sir Tom Moore now, had achieved with his walking at the age of nearly a hundred years old and felt like we should be doing our bit to help too.
I don’t know why but I just instantly felt like this was a great idea, and yes, I have to admit that this was initially all Rich’s idea, but as soon as I knew about it and the potential, I wouldn’t let it go and just wanted to start making the plans. I’m sure you have probably all worked out by now that we have quite the opposite skill sets, with Rich being the more business minded and me being more creative and at times a little insane. I feel like a business idea should just be able to launch the moment you first think about it, which obviously isn’t really possible but I’m sure this is why we always make such a good team. We have all bases covered, I always push for things to be done quickly and Rich always manages to keep things balanced including me, meaning we usually do get things done well together.
Rich then suggests that we start contacting some factories that make candles, to see if they could help and I have to admit that it did make me laugh, as we wasn’t looking to design a car, we were only looking to make a batch of wax melts to sell and raise some money for charity. I think he was getting a little too business orientated and to be honest, I had sort of already decided what we were going to do and that was to try and get in contact with Ava May (which was what we thought the actual owners name was at first) to see if they would collaborate with us to make this possible. We cannot claim to be wax melt experts at all, as we in fact had never even burnt one until this all came about, but the name Ava May was the one that I knew, as being seen as one of the best and the design is so recognisable, which matched up perfectly with the sort of look we wanted to create for the first product we would have been involved with.
So, within about 10 minutes of me explaining to Rich all about Ava May, it was decided that they were the target and to be honest we didn’t really consider any other companies, mainly because we wasn’t really aware of them but also the flagship bow design that Hannah (who we now know is the name of the owner of Ava May Aromas) has come up with, would really create a special product to raise money for the NHS and also something nice for us to have as a keepsake to remember from our Instagram journey and obviously the lockdown itself. I then gave Rich the email address and asked him to email Hannah directly to explain what we were wanting to do and to see if they would be interested in helping us make it happen. He then sent the email around lunch time and the wait began, we told each other that we would give it a week for a reply before chasing and then give it another week before then thinking about a second option.
Well what was we thinking about needing to chase, we got a reply later that evening from Hannah herself and she was clearly so up for it and loved the idea. Not only had we chosen a company that we knew had great products, but it turned out that Hannah’s sister also works for the NHS, so she was even more motivated to make this happen and work. The only worry that everyone seemed to have, was that we were in a lockdown and not really sure how easy it would be to get stock, arrange the production and then actually get them delivered to people. But taking all of that into account, we setup a group google hangout call with us, Hannah and her very lovely marketing manager Lauren for a weeks’ time, to enable everyone to gather some thoughts and ideas, so we could discuss them all together and agree the best way forward.
The morning of the google hangout call was a nervy one, mainly because we had so many ideas and hoped that they would think they were good ones and not just completely way off, as we have to understand that they run a well-established business and probably wouldn’t want some crazy Two Dads in London idea to be a product that ends up not fitting in with their usual standards. Our ideas were Rainbow bows and smelling like anything Britney would release, clearly the scent was all me. The video call went really well and we all seemed to hit it off straight away and just relaxed into discussing the ideas, it was basically going to happen and we couldn’t help but be really excited. Everyone came with lots of ideas and by the end of the call, we had all agreed on the way forward. Hannah was going to send us four sample oils, so we could decide which one we thought was best and arrange a phone call for ten days’ time. We ended the call acting all professional and then when we knew they were gone, did our usually silly excited OMG moment together about how cool it was that we were actually going to have something to release.
We then continued to be in contact over the next 10 days and the ideas were flowing, although I did hold back on some as Richard deemed them “TOO MUCH” I still think a seven scent collection would have been obtainable in the time but this was based on never having stepped foot on a wax melt factory floor, what was I thinking. The call was a lot quicker this time, as we basically agreed on the scent and the planned design. Rainbow bow and a spa style scent. The actual scent will of course remain a secret and I’ve heard its locked in a high security vault in the basement of Ava May somewhere, which of course I have totally made up. But then come the first hurdle, the bows, the rainbow bows to be exact, which was fast becoming the NHS signature colour so were like gold dust to find and the decision to find an alternative colour was taken. The next set of ideas and discussions started with, what can we change it to, what would be just as fitting for the NHS and will it be available, just to name a few.
Together we all came up with the colour GOLD, to represent gold dust, just like the staff working for the NHS. Everyone felt this was just perfect and was actually more fitting and looked amazing next to the sticker which Lauren had created. I remember first seeing the sticker image and loving it, what a job she did, really loved the clapping hands and have to admit it was a little strange seeing our ‘Two Dads In London’ name on a product. This was the first time it had been used on a product and I suppose it was a surreal moment, we never thought starting an Instagram account about our family could result in being able to raise money for such a good cause. We then all seemed to be getting a bit carried away at what we had pulled together and then realised, that we had not yet decided on a name and we have to admit that Hannah really saved the day and came up with name Oasis. It explains itself and the idea of creating a scent that is the opposite to what Lockdown felt like, by creating your own little Oasis and letting the stresses of the day simply melt away.
It was then all sorted from our end, the design, the scent, the logo and it was now time to keep our fingers crossed for the delivery of the scent, the printing of the stickers and then that they can actually produce the wax melts themselves safely. This was the hardest part for us in the whole process and to be honest always is, as we both aren’t very patient and like to control everything. As a couple we do not really do well with waiting and not being in full control but we knew Hannah and her amazing team knew what they were doing. I was at work when Rich got the delivery of the final product and he sent me a picture, it was ready and waiting and smelt amazing. We had put up a countdown story hopefully creating a buzz around something that we were about to drop, but I really don’t think our followers would have guessed it was a wax melt, even though there are so many brilliant cleaning and home accounts that we engage with.
All of the team at Ava May were amazing, Hannah and Lauren both probably deserve a medal for dealing with us and our constant emails and messages with changing ideas and probably asking at times for the impossible but we didn’t need to worry about anything really, the truth is that they did ALL of the hard work on this, we just had the idea and they really made it all happen and turned it into a wonderful product (obviously we are bias), to raise money for our amazing NHS. We were all in agreement that the charity of choice was NHS Charities Together and it was now time to think about the actual launch. This was the most nerve-wracking part of the whole process, the constant thought of it launching and being a complete flop was all we could think about, especially knowing how much stock was being ordered, we were quite worried that they would be left with a load of unsold stock but at the same time knowing that if they sold it would be brilliant.
We then only had we had to rely on one set of people, the most important in all of this, not us, not Ava May Aromas but our very lovely followers and to be honest we shouldn’t have worried at all, as we have always had such great support from day one and this was no different and the product sold the first 1,500 in a matter of days and we had to re-stock which was so overwhelming and amazing at the same time. Which is why we just wanted to say a massive THANK YOU to each and every one who bought a charity wax melt and spoke about it in such a positive way, helping to create the buzz, which basically meant we made more money for the charity than we imagined. Also, not forgetting those who may not have been able to buy one but still did an amazing job of spreading the word and supporting us in any way that they could, as this was really just as important.
Honestly, we don’t really understand what’s happened in the past 18 months since starting our account and the amount of love we receive from you all but to be able to use our account to help such an important cause like this is brilliant. Every time I put on my scrubs, I feel that little bit extra special now, one because I completely love my job but two because we have managed to do something to give back. In this time of uncertainty and all the negatives of lockdown, it was very uplifting to see such positivity with people’s deliveries arriving and it certainly helped us through the hardest parts of it all. 2020 isn’t the year we all hoped for, but when we look back at how hard it was, it will be the moments like these that we will always remember.