My Amazing Allumi Journey
I won’t forget that very first time I encountered Allumi. My husband Mike and I had been supporting our daughter Anna, with her own Photography business pitch at Southport Flower Show in August 2018. I had gone for a ‘little wander mooch break’ around the variety of pop-up shops; craft and gift stalls; displays and retail units selling everything and anything, that you would expect to find at a huge event, such as the regional annual flower show.
It wasn’t however, until I had wandered into a large tent a little time later, shared by a dozen or so retail outlets, that I literally stopped in my tracks. I had spotted the most fabulous display of eye-catching merchandise. Simple, yet stunning. The stall was small and tucked inconspicuously in the corner but it ‘stood out’ with its display of white with black and gold packaging and quality appearance. Making my way over, the fragrance was the next thing that hit me… just beautiful. Far different from everything I had smelled as I had passed all the other home fragrance stalls on the way, that had blended together in appearance and aromas, this was just somehow… different. The lady was so lovely, so friendly and welcoming – instantly likeable and not at all pushy, characteristics that I know now, as the essence of the Allumi ethos and team … she literally just let the collection do the talking!
I bought there and then. A Buddha with Zen melts and a Purity candle.
The next day, I went back and bought more… presents and gifts for an Anniversary, a couple of Birthdays and even a Christmas present (yeah, I’m one of those really annoying people who are pretty organised, like that!)
The lady, Allyson Houghton, the creator of the collection, was just as beautiful in her personality and ethics as the collection was in its fragrance, quality and presentation. She explained her journey, how she was an Interior Designer by trade, how she loved creativity, perfection and quality and was so unashamedly proud of Allumi’s completely natural, clean and pure ingredients. All hand blended, and each element down to her packaging and tissue is both sourced and made, in our UK. How she had worked so long and hard with some of the UK’s top Perfumists and leading Aromatherapists to design a brand that was completely luxurious and bespoke to Allumi, but was also so clean and safe to use in the home, amongst the people you love the most. Just three fragrances. All three so beautiful and very different – each one crammed packed full of the highest grade sustainable essential oils that did a particular job… to uplift, to relax and to balance. After seeing my obvious enthusiasm and immediate love for Allumi, she asked whether I would like to consider being an Ambassador for the brand…
Now, if you would have asked those that knew me best at the time, I would never have contemplated doing anything such as this. Just wasn’t me. Having been bitten rather badly in my early twenties by an awful pyramid selling type of scheme, I was the one that usually ran the other way from all the usual Ambassador/team building/commission selling ventures – hiding behind the door, should anyone call with anything that vaguely resembled an Avon catalogue. Ultimately, I was also quite happy, having taken early retirement from teaching along with Mike, and was enjoying the idea of taking up new hobbies, doing a bit of travelling and being a ‘Lady of Leisure!’ However, something was inexplicably drawing me… maybe it was the idea of tying pretty parcels up with beautiful ribbon and spraying tissue paper with gorgeous fragrances, (Rowan Atkinson in ‘Love Actually’ still springs to mind, when I do this!) Maybe it was the idea of giving back to worthy causes through the ‘Allumi Giving’ that Ally is so passionate about, that endeared itself to me, or that there was something so uniquely different and refreshing about this brand and its three fragrances, that just inspired me. Maybe it was the calmness and balancing Zen of the Allumi Buddha as I contemplated all this… or just maybe in hindsight, I knew ‘potential’, and that Allumi was definitely going to be going places and that not only did I want to be a part of its journey, but knew that I could help it grow. It excited me! So, suffice to say, a couple of weeks later, I paid a small initial start-up fee for my Allumi Ambassador Box, had done the training and was a fully ensconced member of the Allumi Team.
It was only going to be a rather lovely little hobby anyway, wasn’t it…?
I remember nervously setting out my Ambassador kit containing a sample of everything, on my coffee table one evening, just before Christmas – my very first ‘Fizz and Flame’ party. I wasn’t daft… I’d invited all my nearest and dearest and ‘besties’. They could laugh at my mistakes and drink plenty of Prosecco, as long as they didn’t mind me using them as guinea pigs for my first gig! I couldn’t believe how easy it was! My family and friends genuinely fell in love with Allumi, just like I had done. At the end of the evening, I was astonished at what I had taken! They assured me they weren’t just being nice to me, because it was me! The next day… more orders came in!
From there, I grew the confidence to ask more people if they would like Fizz and Flame parties. I did just as Ally had done with me, apart from the introducing the basics and answering any questions, I just let the collection do the talking for itself. it was clear that it wasn’t just me that thought there was something so beautiful and uniquely different about Allumi. It really does cause a stir, wherever it goes.
I decided to see what sort of events I could book. I found the fabulous Memory Lane Fairs online and asked about availability at some of their craft and gift fairs, choosing an odd Saturday and Sunday at some local venues as trials. Being a retired rufty tufty Detective Sergeant, Mike had originally rolled his eyes a couple of times at my ‘new hobby ‘, after all, it was only ‘a few candles and smelly stuff ‘ his wife was now selling, although he admitted to his mates, ‘they do smell really good!’ But by this time, he too, was starting to become very interested in the Allumi beauty and potential. He couldn’t quite believe how well I was doing with the parties and being a ‘people person’ himself, he decided that he would come along to the events and help. That was the start of a beautiful working team relationship with my husband, as Allumi Southport.
Jumping ahead a little, last year, Mike and I were honoured to showcase Allumi at Southport Flower Show ourselves, exactly 12 months later. What a fabulous event! We were both so proud and honoured to be introducing the brand to new clients in our own hometown.
We also did events most weekends with our now good friends, at Memory Lane Fairs, as well as Crafty Vintage and were asked to do many charity events through Unique Ladies and independent charities such as Rainbow Hub at Ormskirk. This year, we were excited to be able to book double the number of events again, all paid for with the profits from our sales last year! However, due to the current unprecedented times, many events have been unfortunately cancelled. Fortunately, the popularity of Allumi continues to soar and through online sales, creative selling such as Zoom Fizz and Flame parties, some indoor and outdoor Covid safely planned events and established clients still loyal and supportive to our brand, this year has seen little difference in takings. Amazing as that is! Maybe, as people are confined more to their homes during lockdown situations, along with home and garden maintenance, creating a beautiful, welcoming home living environment and the importance of maintaining positive mental health well-being, remains as equally important. What better way than Allumi.
Being Ambassadors for Allumi has most certainly introduced us to new friends and experiences. We have had the opportunity to attend Galas, Black Tie Events, VIP parties and Promotions. We have met some incredibly lovely and interesting people. Our client base has grown, and we now have regular clients at events in Southport, Lytham, St Helens, New Brighton, West Derby, Clitheroe. We have clients that buy online from us as far down as Cornwall and up to Scotland. The Allumi journey is continuing and growing as people are introduced. We have had the opportunity to mingle with some famous faces too, and to support more charities in the process. This may all sound like a lot of work, but it has actually taken very little time and effort and what it has taken, has been enjoyable, rewarding and fruitful – as the best hobbies should always be!
We remember still, the moment an elderly couple came into the Prince of Wales Hotel on Lord Street, on a Saturday afternoon whilst we were at an event there and with such purpose, walked directly up to our table, the frail lady placing her handbag on it. Without a word, she delved inside – Mike and I eyed each other quizzically. From her purse, she retrieved one of our fragrance strips, tucked safely inside and said, “Could I have a room mist in that, please. Its Zen.” She had been given the fragrance strip, four months before, by Mike, when at a previous event at the Prince of Wales and it had stayed just as fragrant in her purse all that time. Her elderly husband told us she had been waiting to return to Southport, to come and find us. She adored the fragrance and had smelled the strip daily! He chivalrously treated her to all things Zen, as a treat! When completely satisfied with her purchases, she walked away. Her husband, turned , winked and said, “and, I’ll take the car pack! ” Just lovely.
That’s the thing about Allumi. It’s for everyone. Young, old, male, female… even Isla our dog, is partial to relaxing under our animal friendly, Zen diffuser!
So, two years on, how’s my little hobby going…
As every good snowball, if the quality of snow is good and bountiful and the path ahead is long and clear, the snowball gets bigger and better with every roll. This year, even in these Covid anxious times, Allumi grows bigger and stronger . Due to the demand, interest and ongoing strengths of the company and the invention of new and beautiful products being added regularly by the ever-creative Ally, new Stockists and Ambassadors continue to join our Allumi Team, including Bents Garden Centre at Warrington.
I can honestly say, that from the initial small outlay for the Ambassador start up box and training, Mike and I have not put anything more monetary into our little business at Allumi Southport but have been able to grow our stock considerably, due to the great commission you are able to earn through Allumi sales. We have even managed a couple of holidays away with our earnings! Not bad for a little part time hobby!
However, Ally, can no longer grow Allumi on her own and Mike and I are honoured to have been asked to take on larger roles within the company. In the last few weeks, Mike has become Field Sales Manager supporting new and existing Stockists. I have become Recruitment, training, mentoring and Support for Allumi Ambassadors, giving them the tried and tested tips and advice that Mike and I have learnt so far, and continue to learn in our own roles as Ambassadors still, at Allumi Southport.
…Because that’s what the Allumi family is all about… love, support, friendship, quality, ethics and giving … never, ever with pressure, just allowing these beautiful, organic products to always speak for themselves.