When Claire Reid was furloughed during Covid she found herself turning to her lifelong passion of candles as a new career path.
The 44-year-old had spent 25 years working as a hairdresser in Aberdeen.
But during the enforced time off she spent a year doing an online advanced candle course and knew it was time for a change.
Now three years later she is set to open home fragrance shop Heartfelt Aromas on September 30 in Rosemount Place, which was formerly Belvidere Gallery.
Found her passion
Claire, who worked at the former Dutch Salon in Morningside Terrace, said: “During the time I was on furlough I kept thinking I’d like a change but wondered what I’d do. It was so difficult to know what you go in to when you’ve got no training.
“I have rheumatoid arthritis and I was noticing a bit of a decline in my health with the hairdressing.
“I never had time off to notice a difference in my body but then I was off during furlough and both myself and my husband thought I was like a different person.
“There was no rushing around and that’s when I left hairdressing which was a massive deal for me. It was huge.
“I did the online course and found my passion. I loved it. Anyone who knows me will know I’m obsessed with candles and have been since I left home.”
Candle passion for years
Claire, who is married to David, started off by making candles and used family and friends as her testers.
She said: “I decided to do trials for friends and asked them to take a candle and see what they thought.
“It flew from there on. I had a lot of support and it really took off which I didn’t expect.
“My products are high end and I wanted to make sure they looked like they came from a shop.
“I invested a lot of money and put in a lot of research for the end product.”
Handmade products at Heartfelt Aromas
Customers at Heartfelt Aromas can choose from a range of candles, soy candles, wax melts, reed diffusers, room sprays and candle refills all handmade by Claire.
There will also be a selection of handmade products, such as birthday cards and tealight holders from other stockists.
Claire decided now was the right time to expand the business having worked out of her spare room since launching at the end of 2020.
She said: “A lot of people want to come to the house to smell the products but it’s difficult as it’s in my spare bedroom and it’s just not very practical.
“The idea of a shop was amazing and I thought it would be silly for me not to give it a go.
“This is the next step for my business. I am super excited but also nervous.
“I’ve always wanted to work in a gift shop but running my own business will be a challenge.”