This week we caught up with the ladies behind SevenSeventeen. We were really excited when they confirmed that we could become one of their stockists. Not only do we adore their products, we love that 10% of all profits are donated to mental health charities.
Calm - The Campaign Against Living Miserably is and award wining charity dedicated to preventing male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. In 2015, 75% of all suicides in the UK were male.
Sane - a UK wide charity working towards the quality of life for people affected by mental illness. They work to raise awareness and combat the stigmas associated with mental illness, educate and campaign to improve mental health services and long with providing care and support for people with mental health problems, their families and carers. They also initiate research into the causes and treatments of serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression and the psychological and social impact of mental illness.
PANDAS - supporting those suffering from pre and post natal depression. The PANDAS Foundation is there to help support and advise anyone experiencing a perinatal mental illness. They also inform and guide family members, carers, friends and employers on how to support those suffering. So far SevenSeventeen's donations to them have paid to run the helpline for an incredible 267 days!
Naomi, Sarah, tell us a little bit about yourselves;
We’ve been friends for ages. We met at Art College in Epsom and shared a flat above a piano shop. After working in London for years we now both live on the Sussex coast (Naomi in Brighton and Sarah in Worthing) and have 5 children between us. We launched SevenSeventeen in November 2016. At the time we were both freelance magazine journalists having formerly worked at ELLE (Naomi) and ELLE Decoration (Sarah) so we juggled feature writing and styling jobs with the day-to-day running of our candle business until bit-by-bit we were able to tip the balance to work on SevenSeventeen full-time Our collection is all about affordable luxuries and now includes candles, diffusers and bath and body treats. All of our products are plant-based, vegan-friendly and made in England. Our jars are made from recycled glass and the wicks are cotton. We are in the process of swapping our plastic lids to metal ones.
If you could learn anything new, what would it be?
Sarah: I’ve always meant to learn piano.
Naomi: How to cartwheel. My kids are all experts but they put me to shame, I’ve never mastered a basic cartwheel! This and how to identify all the British tree species.
What is top of your bucket list?
Sarah: To spend entire summers on Mediterranean isles.
Naomi: In another life I’d love to play the part of Mimi Marquez in the Broadway show Rent!
What would your perfect day off look like?
Sarah: At the moment, a huge all-day picnic with every single person I’ve been missing during lockdown!
Naomi: What she said! And maybe with some cocktails thrown in.
What's the best piece of advice you were ever given?
Sarah: Keep going. We’ve made it the latest candle mantra in our collection.
Naomi: My Dad used to say he lived his life by being as straight as a die and over the years I came to respect that more than anything – being honest and open and trustworthy really are some of the best traits to aspire to.
What inspired you to start your business?
Our brand was born out of the necessity to clock off from the daily chaos and lighting a beautifully scented candle when you’ve been on your feet all day felt like the perfect calming ritual. For us personally, it was about celebrating that golden moment when you finally get the kids snuggled into bed, reclaim your home and feel your sanity levels returning but the principle’s the same for anyone navigating today’s busy modern world. We inherited our name from this thinking, too with that ‘ahhh’ moment falling somewhere around 7.17pm – on a good day we might add! It also inspired the mantras we’ve paired with each of our fragrances, such as Hello Calm in Moroccan rose, And Breathe in lavender and Off Duty in lime basil & mandarin.
Do you have any specific goals you want to achieve this year?
We’re both used to grafting from our magazine days but are forever grateful that we have each other to motivate, inspire and push our brand on. This year has obviously thrown up dramatic change but we remain committed to challenging ourselves and are diversifying our offering with some exciting new products in the pipeline as well as a special collaboration, which will bring about a completely different self-care product for SevenSeventeen, which we can’t wait to share.
How do you balance work and family?
It's definitely tricky and we’re constantly finding new ways of making it work as our kids and our business both grow. We’ve actually used the current situation as an opportunity to get our children involved in the brand. They are running a weekly giveaway on our social media and making up and sending bath salt sachets to nominated winners in the post! We try to take our own advice and switch off in the evenings as much as we can. It’s definitely never, ever at 7.17pm anymore though!
What do you love most about your job?
Besides getting to work with your best mate everyday, we’re so proud that we’ve been able to create something that allows us to give back. Our brand is intentionally playful in tone (we created the hashtag mykindofmeltdown for instance) but we always wanted the candles to help light the way for others struggling on a much bigger scale. As such, all of our products donate 10% of profits to mental health charities and to date we’ve raised over £30,000 for postnatal depression charity, Pandas Foundation, Sane and CALM, the male suicide prevention charity.
What is your favourite Netflix show, podcast or book at the moment?
Sarah: I’m absolutely loving ‘This Is Us’ with Mandy Moore. It’s an emotional rollercoaster.
Naomi: So much! Schitts, Normal People, Shrill, Mrs Maisel, Killing Eve…
What is your favourite candle to relax to?
Sarah: Our Peace at last candle in Fresh Linen. It was one of the original aromas we launched with and I still find it so incredibly comforting. We’ve since developed it in to a diffuser and I love being able to enjoy it 24/7. The Lavender & Sandalwood scent we created for our Stacey Solomon collaboration is a close second.
Naomi: Right now it’s And Breathe in Lavender or Clarity in Grapefruit & Tobacco
Ladies, thank you so much for your time, it has been wonderful getting to know the faces behind your brand. We are delighted to be one of your stockists and look forwards to continuing to work with you.