This week we caught up with the dynamic sister duo behind the brand Ardere, (pronounced 'ah-deh-ray') Nicole and Lauren Windas. They take us through their difficulties with mental and physical health, which is ultimately how they came together to birth their premium wellbeing brand together. Shop the aromatherapy candle range here or read on to learn more.
What was the catalyst to start this brand for you?
Lauren: ARDERE was born from our own personal journeys into the world of wellness. In 2012, I was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (more commonly referred to as M.E. or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). After failing to find help through orthodox medicine, I was determined to treat myself as naturally as possible and discovered that by making specific dietary and lifestyle changes, I was able to alleviate and overcome many of my symptoms.
Nicole: Similarly, I went on the journey with Lauren after suffering with stress and anxiety in my early twenties. We have experienced first-hand the power of clever lifestyle choices. Our collective passion became sharing our knowledge with others. We began exploring techniques, products (including the use of essential oils) and recipes that not only promote a profound sense of physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing, but also that can be used to support a variety of ailments and reduce your toxic load.
Where do you find your creative inspiration?
We believe that your creative inspiration is always shaped by who you are as people, your values, your lifelong journeys and experiences, who is in your life as well as your health and spiritual experiences. For example, nature and aromatherapy helped us so much in our own health recoveries that this feeds into the values of our products and essential oils we choose. When it comes to the look and feel of our brand this has hugely been influenced by our father’s taste which we grew up alongside and our personal travel experiences. Each of our scents and packaging are representative of special family holidays.
How did you decide on the brand name and what does it mean to you?
We realised that our all-encompassing message is that we wanted to ‘evoke people’s glow’ from the inside out, hence the name ARDERE came about which is a latin translation of ‘glow’. We decided to pool all of our of knowledge over the last 8 years into ARDERE. Lauren trained as a Nutritionist and Naturopath so she could help people with similar issues to what she suffered, and I trained as a wellness coach and am an advocate of self-care through developing natural organic products. The word ‘glow’ and thus ‘ARDERE’ (pronounced ar-deh-ray) epitomises everything we have to offer in that we take a 360 degree approach when looking at someone’s wellbeing.
How important is aromatherapy in your daily routine?
Hugely. For us, aromatherapy is one of our daily acts of mindfulness, as two people who have definitely had their struggles with anxiety and stress at one time or another, aromatherapy is what lifts us up. It has the power to transform your mood entirely and elicit a de-stressing physical response in the body.
Whether it’s dropping a few drops of lavender essential oils on our pillows at night or eucalyptus in our baths, to lighting our ARDERE candles at the end of the day, signifying the transition of work to relaxation mode through scent.
Give us three things you like to do with your empty candle holders… (Heather from our team likes to use her empties for her cacti collection!)
Us too! We’re so passionate about nature that we love to have plant life take precedence throughout the lifecycle of our candle and vessel, from essential oils used in the candle themselves to upcycling the glass vessels once your candle has finished for some of your favourite succulents. We also love to keep vessels in our bedrooms for storing our make-up brushes and even in our bathrooms for cotton wool and ear buds.
What has been the most challenging part of building the business?
We believe you need to have patience. Yes, dream big but remember it takes years for a brand to be an “overnight success”. You may look at some businesses and think how have they got to where they are so quickly, but what you won’t always be aware of is the time and dedication that is happening behind the scenes. We had to learn to be ok with all of the small steps and celebrate the little wins which eventually add up to large milestones.
How do you find working together, being sisters and business partners?
We love it! We realise how lucky we are to say that as there’s not that many people who could spend so much time with their siblings. We think what’s great is we both have the same shared vision and our passion and values ultimately unite us. Growing up in the same household you also have very much the same life experiences.
What’s great about working with someone you are so close to is that you also feel comfortable enough to say honestly what you feel when making business decisions, there’s no office politics or “tip-toeing on egg shells” and that’s important in order to be able to move forward swiftly with decisions.
If you could go back and change a decision you made in the past with regards to the business, what would it be?
None spring to mind, we’re sure we’ve made plenty of mistakes but we don’t like to think over the past, every decision we have made has lead us to the place we are at now.
How do you keep momentum going within your team at throughout the current global crisis?
We see this as an opportunity to explore new fields and a way of working that is different and pushes us out of your comfort zone. Anytime we are out of our comfort zone it’s true, we grow.
What future Ardere plans can you share with us?
We are actually working on a few things for ARDERE. Lauren is launching her practitioner website www.laurenwindas.com to help streamline some of ARDERE’s nutrition content and offering, as well as branching into offering mindset coaching with those who suffer with chronic fatigue like she herself did.
Whilst I am working on expanding the natural self-care product collection. As always, creating something you are happy to show off to the world takes time.