Talking Gin cocktails, candles and the community…
Last month we were proud to be featured on Cowbridge Moos who are great campaigners and promoters of our wonderful local community. This is their story about us!
“As part of my campaign to promote and celebrate our thriving community, I want to take you behind the scenes of some of our Cowbridge businesses, to meet the entrepreneurs, passionate about their brand and to learn what inspires them, what drives them and how they made their dream a reality.
My first interview was with busy mum-preneur Leanne Johns, founder of start-up luxury brand Sloane Home, based just outside Cowbridge. They manufacture a range of artisan fruit-infused spirits and hand-made scented candles and supply stunning hampers. Here’s how it went –
How did you come up with your business idea Leanne?
Well, my background was residential property which was a good living for a number of years. When the inevitable crash came, I decided to pull out and take a break, during which time we started our family. After a few years raising my two boys I was ready to take on a new challenge. Unsure about which direction to go in I decided to throw myself into a number of creative courses, one of which was candle-making. I was lucky enough to work with candle-makers appointed to Prince Charles, so came out with excellent credentials, which gave me the confidence to start hand-making my own and developing my own scents.
What inspired the scents for the candles?
I wanted to create scents which reminded me of my childhood and my own happy memories — scents of the seasons, evocative, British scents derived from nature and the great outdoors. My father sails so I love being around the coast too — I’m an outdoor girl, riding my horses whenever I get the chance — not as often as I would like I hasten to add! These scents I think people can relate to because they are based around British traditions.
And how about the artisan fruit-flavoured alcohol range? How did that come about?
I love entertaining and enjoy cooking for family and friends and part of that has always been making raspberry-infused gin, an old family recipe which my mother used to make and which therefore holds a great sentimental value for me. So, originally I would make up some to serve in a glass of prossecco which always set the evening off with a bang! This is how the idea to develop a range of fruit-flavoured gins and vodkas began and now I produce several which make up the Lone Stag Spirit Range. I am very proud to say that my lemon and lime-flavoured vodka has recently won a 2016 Great Taste Award.
How would you describe your brand and to whom does it aspire?
Well, on the face of it Sloane Home captures the essence of British sporting traditions — hunting, fishing and shooting, walking the dogs, so it is highly aspirational, but I didn’t want the brand to be too austere, hence the saucy twist of humour displayed in our cocktail menu which I think gives Lone Stag its USP – whilst we are a luxury brand, we don’t take ourselves too seriously!
How do you relax — if you get any free time in your busy schedule?!
I love my horses and to ride, but I am just so busy with the business, I don’t really have much down time. Of course I love spending time with my family, walking the dogs and I do love entertaining, cooking for my friends and family over a glass of Lone Stag fizz!
How do you see the brand developing?
I am keen to continue to develop my brand as lifestyle — in my latest project I have developed a Dead Sea bath salts range together with hand and body washes to compliment each fragrance, so my vision is, when you come home from a ride, or from a walk on the beach with the dogs, you come back, run a bath, light a candle and enjoy a long soak with a glass of fizz! That is Sloane Home in a nutshell. In terms of getting the brand out there, we are now being stocked by Notonthehighstreet.com which has been fantastic for us and we have also been approached by a world-famous New York deli, who have expressed an interest in our brand, 2017 could be a very exciting year!”
By Sian Apjohn-Williams @CowbridgeMoos