Launching and running your own business is not for the faint hearted. It's a never ending rollercoaster and often, life can catch you off guard at any given moment.
Luckily for Nina Hargrave, despite all of the testing times she has been through, she has the resilience and strength to power through and continue to grow her brand, Serene Body Health.
We spent some time with her to find out more...
Tell us about the journey that lead you to launch your brand, Serene Body Health?…
My mission to create a beauty, wellness and lifestyle brand began from my love of plants, herbal medicine and essential oils, combined with my love of meditation. I started using oils combined with my mediation practice as a way of supporting and healing myself from the trauma that I had experienced when I lost my mother and sister to illness in 2013. This was a very challenging time for me because I also had my second child in that same year. I had experienced so much pain and joy in such a short time which seemed to open my perception and my awareness and I began to embark on a more mindful and spiritual life, which is how Serene Body Health was born.
Where did your love and interest for fragrances come from?
It really come from my love of nature and my interest in plants. I studied horticulture, then landscape architecture so I’ve worked with plants for a large portion of my life. Fragrance for me is always natural and never synthetic.
How do you want people to feel when they wear your fragrances?
These fragrances are really designed to support emotional health and to boost your mood! I’d love for people to feel nurtured and supported wearing my scents. My perfume oil range is all about supporting our moods and our emotional health. I love the idea of helping people connect more to themselves on a deeper level, checking in with how they feel, then choosing a scent that best supports them in that moment.
Do you have plans to expand your range in the future and if so, what will you expand in to?
Yes, we are already expanding our range into natural perfume sprays and we are about to launch into some sexual wellness products.
Looking back since launching the business, is there anything you would do differently?
I’ve really learnt along the way because I certainly had no experience in marketing or in any aspect of creating a brand. I’ve made lots of mistakes but I can’t say I would necessarily change anything because I’ve learnt so much from all of the things that didn’t work out. Our mistakes are our most important learning opportunities.
Who’s involved in the business and what are their roles?
At the moment the business is still very small. I do most of the general running of the business, the formulating, making, social media and communications and other aspects are sub contracted out. We also have a PR company that is working on some press for us.
For anyone interested in launching a beauty brand, what advice would you offer them?
I don’t feel at all like an expert yet! I am very much learning as I go along. I am still very new to this beauty/wellness industry. But my advise would be to always go back to why you started and to always believe in your dreams. We all make mistakes along the way and that’s how we learn. Stick to your plan but don’t be afraid to pivot along the way.
Talk us through an average day in your life…
My first priority is always my family so I make sure I get them ready and off to school, I tend to get my coffee on my way back and then I hit the computer and start work. Some days I’ll do a yoga or pilates class at around 10am, then back to work, then I’ll often walk my dogs, then back to work again and most days I pick the kids up from school. I will often do my social media in the evening time before dinner. I usually try do some journaling or mediation before bed because It helps me sleep. I love my sleep! And I often go to bed early because I like a lot of sleep.
What do you do when you are lacking creativity?
Exercise, meditation and journaling is very helpful for me and I love to experiment with ingredients, making oils and perfumes, trying out new scents and getting creative always makes me happy.
How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?
Social media has hugely played a role in the creation of the brand as we’ve often ran ads, done giveaways and built relationships with influencers. It’s been a very important aspect of the brand, especially during covid lockdowns, advertising through facebook and Instagram was amazing for brand awareness and online sales.
What is your go-to quote when lacking motivation?
I like the quote – “Great things never came from comfort zones”. This motivates me, otherwise I just say this to myself – Nina You can do this!
Our readers love to travel, what destination is on your must visit list?
I would love to go back to Europe, love to go to Croatia, Ireland, Iceland and the
What does self care mean to you?
Self care is about showing up for ourselves, It’s listening to our bodies and It’s setting boundaries to support our own emotional health. It’s learning how to say no when something doesn’t feel right or is not serving our greater good. Self care is a process, as we are always learning and evolving, It’s checking in with ourselves, accepting ourselves and loving all aspects of ourselves so that we can be kind, not only to ourselves, but kinder and more accepting of others.
Where do you see the brand in the next 5 years?
I see Serene Body Health in online stores, hotels and resorts all over the world because It’s such a fantastic travel product.
Where can people find out more?
To find out more about us please go to our website and Instagram page. Follow and join our mailing list.