Naomi and Sarah, Founders of Seven-Seventeen

To celebrate the launch of our sleepy scented home fragrances, Molly's been having a natter with the ladies who've helped make our sweet-smelling dreams come true, Naomi and Sarah, the founders of Seven-Seventeen.

Hand-made in England from high-quality oils and natural plant-based wax, Seven-Seventeen's scent-sational candles and reed diffusers bring tranquility to even the most tempestuous days and make a lovely pick-me-up present for yourself or someone special. Thanks for giving us the perfect excuse to put our feet up!

  • Describe what you do in 3 words.

Naomi: Make feel-good smells.

Sarah: Celebrate the calm.

  • What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Naomi: Usually a small person daring to take off with my iPad that was plugged in on my bedside table – every morning they try this.

Sarah: Either my alarm clock, set for a run or one of my sons, they take it in turns.

  • Are you all about long lie-ins or do you get up with the lark?

Naomi: I will take every opportunity to lie-in – which with 3 energetic children equates to about three times a year.

Sarah: I’ve always been rubbish at lie-ins. I’m first in the shower every single morning.

  • How do you like your eggs in the morning?

Naomi: Poached. Softly scrambled. Hard boiled. Sunny side up. I’ll take them all.

Sarah: What she said. So many of our business catch-ups take place around brunch for this very reason.

  • What first sparked your interest in candle-making?

Naomi: When our purse strings could no longer stretch to some of the premium brands we were buying and yet we couldn’t find the quality we wanted at the more affordable end of the market. We wanted to bridge that gap.

Sarah: We also loved how the ritual of lighting a candle signified that all important clocking-off time when you’d been on your feet all day.

  • How did you meet and what was it about each other that made you want to work together?

Naomi: At art college 20 years ago, studying for a BA in fashion promotion. Hit it off instantly, sharing a similar work ethic, creative drive and love of Sex And The City. We both take our work seriously – but thankfully never ourselves.

Sarah: We shared a flat above a piano shop. Years later we found ourselves working at the ELLE offices at the same time before heading to the south coast to raise families. We always talked about setting up in business together. There was never a doubt that we wouldn’t make good partners.

  • What aromas inspire your home fragrances?

Naomi: Best sellers include Moroccan rose – a spicy, aromatic rose inspired by the rose festival that takes place in the High Atlas mountains.

Sarah: And being coastal dwellers we couldn't resist adding sea kelp to the collection, it brings an irresistible hint of coastal calm to our customers without them having to set foot on shingle.

  • What do you think a candle brings to a home?

Naomi: We don’t call our candles mood-boosting for nothing. Depending on the scent, they have the ability to bring calm amidst chaos, to add a touch of comfort if you’re stressed or to omit energy when you need it most. Take your pick.

Sarah: For me it’s their soft background glow. It’s cosy and romantic.

  • Can you tell us about the process behind creating your sumptuous scents?

Naomi: We work with the best plant-based wax supplier in England to create lush and authentic candle aromas that really fill a room. We use a soy and vegetable wax blend – no paraffin - and the scents use a mix of essential oils and high-quality fragrance oils. We only add fragrances to the collection that we are in love with ourselves – and we currently have 12 in the family.

Sarah: One of the best bits is encapsulating the mood of each scent with its own soothing mantra. The idea is to meditate on this while the fragrance works its magic.

Our Home Fragrances Made For Us By Seven-Seventeen
  • What’s Seven-Seventeen’s philosophy?

Naomi: To create products that not only smell good but do good. Not only from a sustainability point of view - we use recycled glass jars and natural cotton wicks and so on – but also in terms of giving back.

Sarah: Our brand tone is playful – we created the hashtag #mykindofmeltdown for instance, but we wanted our products to help light the way for those facing bigger daily struggles. We’ve donated over £20k to mental health charities through the sales of our products to date and we’re very proud of that. We’re all about making a difference where you can.

  • What does self-care mean to you and what’s your dream way to practice it?

Naomi: Self care doesn’t have to mean treating yourself to an expensive spa weekend. For us it’s about embracing those small moments where you can. Whether it’s twenty minutes to grab a bath or have a read of your book at the end of a long day, getting up to go for that run that gives you the head-space you crave or carving out a few minutes to just sit and have a cup of tea. It’s all about the mini moments – and trying to enjoy as many of them as we can.

Sarah: We don’t take it for granted that we run the business together either. As much as it’s about sharing the workload we make an effort to be aware when one of us needs a break too. Whether it’s a few days away or just the night off to concentrate on family.

  • Favourite book, podcast or show at the moment?

Naomi: Book - hands down City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, best book we’ve read this year. Podcast - The High Low, the weekly podcast from Dolly Allderton and Pandora Sykes. Show - Killing Eve was fantastic, wasn’t it? We love Jodie Comer, in fact if she’s reading this and fancies trying out one of our candles...

Sarah: Book - I loved Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. I'm also currently persevering with A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, it’s so beautifully descriptive but the print is tiny, my eyes only last a few pages and I’m zonked. Podcast - I flit between Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place and Jenni Falconer’s RunPod. Show - I’m with Naomi on this one.

  • What the best piece of life advice you’ve ever received?

Naomi: Stay true to yourself – and ignore the haters!

Sarah: It is what it is

  • Do you have a bedtime ritual, can you share it with us?

Naomi: Our And Breathe essential oil lavender candle is pretty much a nightly wind down for us. We love it so much we’re working on bringing out a pillow spray in the same scent. Nothing sets us up for a better night’s sleep more. Well, that and a Pukka Night Time tea.

Sarah: I love an evening bath. We’re about to add Moroccan rose bath salts to the collection and its been heavenly road-testing these.

  • What do you wear to bed?

Naomi: I’d love to say a sultry silk pyjama set, but honestly? A t-shirt.

Sarah: PJs.

  • Tell us a secret?

Naomi: I hide chocolate in vegetable bags in the freezer so my kids can't find it and I talk to my cat as though he is an actual human being .

Sarah: Our kids don’t go to bed at seven-seventeen!

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