Aberdeen-based lifestyle company Our Lovely Goods takes centre stage in the first episode of a new TV show that is helping businesses make a fresh start after lockdown.
Ebi and Emmanuel Sinteh launched their scented candle business in early 2019 and have gone from strength to strength ever since.
They have expanded into skincare and homeware products, including handmade baskets and woven goods influenced by their Nigerian heritage.
Before the pandemic, the business offered candle making workshops and sold their products at markets across the country.
Like many other businesses, they were forced to adapt and have been exclusively selling online for more than a year.
In TV show Emma and AJ Get to Work, the couple discuss their ambitions to open their own store in the future and host a trial pop-up shop in Aberdeen with the help of the presenters.
‘It was surreal’
The show follows TV presenters Emma Willis and AJ Odudu as they travel around the UK to help family businesses make a fresh start after lockdown.
In the first episode, which aired earlier this week, the duo take a trip to the the Granite City to spend a few days with the Sinteh family.
“The producers emailed us about the show and we thought it sounded interesting,” said Ebi.
“We knew nothing about it really, we were just given a vague idea that we’d be working for a few days with two TV presenters and they thought we’d be a good fit.
“It was surreal, we’ve never done TV before so it was a whirlwind, but also just a bit of fun.”
The first of many pop-up shops
In the TV show, the Our Lovely Goods founders talk about about how they set up and expanded their business at such a difficult time.
“Everything had to be online during the pandemic which was a big shift for us, but it worked out quite well,” she added.
“We were able to boost our presence and sell our products further afield.”
Throughout the episode, viewers will spot a number of well-known city locations, including Duthie Park and the Aberdeen University campus, which Emma and AJ say looks just like a film set.
The duo also visit the botanical gardens to find inspiration for a new candle scent which they make with Ebi and Emmanuel in their workshop.
The new product was then put on sale at a Our Lovely Goods pop-up shop which acted as a trial run for the business to get back to trading with customers face-to-face.
Ebi said: “It was a lovely day. We transformed the cafe at Second Home Studio for the shop, it was great to collaborate with another local business.”
Since filming the show in July, the couple has hosted another pop-up shop and have a festive event planned for next month.
Presenter AJ Odudu shares a British-Nigerian heritage with the Sinteh family and their time together becomes “unexpectedly emotional”.
Ebi’s family emigrated to Aberdeen when she was a toddler while Emmanuel moved to the city in 2014. They have set up their business in the city and also created a home with their two young daughters.
She said: “It was interesting filming with two little girls and it was stressful at times but they coped really well.
“Our eldest daughter got on so well with AJ, I think she looks up to her as a role model.
“Emma and AJ were both lovely, they were so down to earth. We only knew them from TV, so we obviously didn’t know what they would be like in person, but they got on so well with our family.”
Sharing their story
The couple watched their episode earlier this week and said it was “weird” seeing themselves on screen.
“It was a great opportunity for us and something that doesn’t come around often. We’ve had some really nice messages since it aired,” Ebi said.
“People are able to see our story presented on screen and it was a chance for us to share our journey.
“They told our story sensitively and in a really good light. It was light-hearted and clear how much fun we had.”
Our Lovely Goods is hosting a festive pop-up shop at their Aberdeen workshop on December 4 and 5 following its TV appearance.
They will have their full range of products on offer as well as some special deals on the day – the perfect opportunity to do some Christmas shopping.
Ebi and Emmanuel’s episode of Emma and AJ Get to Work airs on the W Channel at 10pm on Thursday and at 7pm on Saturday.