Devine Scent success thanks to Council's innovation programme
11 November 2021
Jenna Devine is the owner of Device Scents Ltd in Derry and is one of Derry City & Strabane's District Council's Business Innovation & Growth programme's success stories.
Jenna is a qualified herbalist, and through her business she develops essential oil products to help with different pains such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. Her products have also found favour with parents of autistic children, who have been able to come off melatonin thanks to her products. Jenna credits the Council's Business Innovation & Growth programme for helping her grow her business and is encouraging other businesses to get on board.
The Innovation and Growth programme is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth & Jobs Northern Ireland [2014-2020] Programme.
The concept for Devine Scents began when Jenna was making wax melts for friends and family. The responses were overwhelmingly positive, with endless messages with people saying how calming these melts were. This got Jenna thinking on what would happen if she began to use essential oils instead; as these penetrate the skin and go into the brain, benefitting the body in endless ways.
With a thirst for self-education, Jenna enrolled on both a Diploma in Essential Oils for Business, as well as a Herbal Product Making Diploma. These, coupled with a psychology degree have set Jenna up for success in business. This journey of learning led to the BIG programme. When Jenna initially registered for the programme she was working from home, but the business was growing rapidly.
"When we first started the business, it was click and collect from my front door. When we began getting queues around the block, we realised needed to get premises."
She continues "Our business was beyond start-up stage, so we weren't eligible for financial grants - the practical advice through the free BIG programme really was a welcome pillar of support. Small business owners regularly approach me and the advice I always give them is to take advantage of this support."
Jenna had left her job one week before the first lockdown to focus on her business, and with her time taken up keeping the business afloat, she availed of the BIG programme to gain one-to-one support on securing premises, employment rights, contracts and tax.
"The BIG programme took the pressure off me and allowed me to focus my attentions on creating more products and ultimately helping more people. Not only customers have benefited from the business – I employ two single mothers, and as I'm empathetic to their needs, I am able to exercise more flexibility and understanding to their time constraints than other employers may be able to."
"I developed a strong bond with my mentor Carrie – who was responsive and flexible around my ever-changing schedule. A second set of hands when starting a business is truly invaluable."
The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Alderman Graham Warke, was keen to find out more about Jenna's recent success and visited her store in Skeoge.
He said: "It was great to visit Devine Scents and to see how their business has developed first hand"
"Devine Scents is a thriving local business and another success story of the Business Innovation and Growth Programme which seeks to support small businesses and drive innovation and productivity through tailored one-to-one mentor support, workshops and seminars.
"Congratulations to Devine Scents on their continued success and I wish them all the best moving forward."
With Jenna's first premises off to a flying start, her next plan is to open a second store, with the goal to create more employment in other cities in Northern Ireland. She continues to export Irish products worldwide, with regular orders in Dubai, Australia and America! Devine Scents are one of many good news stories that have come off the back of the BIG programme.
The BIG Programme provides one to one mentoring support covering topic areas such as general business planning, finance, sales, communications, digital marketing, cyber security and e-commerce and registration is now open.
Business Development officer with Council, Laverne O'Donnell, said: "It is great to see such drive, passion and resilience of businesses in the Derry City & Strabane District Council area. Jenna is a perfect example of this – demonstrating export potential, creating employment, and creating world class products in the process. We are delighted that our BIG programme has contributed to her journey."
Themed workshops and seminars will also become available throughout the programme aimed at enabling business growth and equipping businesses with the additional skills and development to complete within a digital global market.
To register for the BIG programme, or for more information, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
or 028 9069 1027 for more information.
Businesses from within the DCSDC area with less than 50 employees, and the potential to create at least 1 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) job as a result of the programme support are eligible to apply.
Visit Devine Scents online at www.devinescentss.com
or call into the store 7 days a week. You can find Devine Scents at Unit 28, North West Business Complex in Skeoge.