Let me ask you a question – would you go to any dentist in any town for your routine check-up? Are you happy to go to any hairdresser who has an appointment? The answer will be no! – we do business with those we like, know and trust!
As customers we want to know if we can ‘like, know and trust’ the companies we buy from, so in this series we ask the person behind some of my favourite natural and organic companies to step out into the spotlight.
It’s the turn of Gary Lloyd from Shui Me.
Tell us about yourself and your company…
I am a counsellor and healer and have always been interested in natural and organic.
Shui Me launched in April of this year and is in its early days of getting established, but it is a superior product compared to other alcohol based reed diffusers. My Purity blend was voted ‘Best Natural Household Aroma’ at the 2016 Janey Loves Platinum Awards… my first award!
Most diffusers on the market today use alcohol and artificial fragrances (chemicals) which only last around 6 to 10 weeks. Shui Me diffusers are made with organic essential oils and use an alcohol free base (from sustainable sources) which give a longer life span of up to 4 months or more. The difference is noticeable when comparing the aromas.
Organic essential oils have very therapeutic properties and can positively influence our mental wellbeing, so the idea behind Shui Me is to bring the power of a spa day into your home, imbuing therapy 24 hours a day.
Shui Me is a luxury brand and is aimed at that market, but when comparing to other diffusers it becomes more affordable – just £2.80 per week! I hope to get them in spas, hotels, boutiques and department stores and make Shui Me a leading international, designer brand of luxury and quality.
How did you get started?
I went to college in 2011 to study psychotherapy. In 2014 I was looking at how I will promote myself and purchased the domain wellbeingbristo.co.uk. I also purchased a reed diffuser from a department store and fell in love with and started to wonder if I could make them myself. So I did.
I remember many years ago as a child, my family would take me to Butlins holiday park. My cousin used to drink Lipton lemon tea. Now, every time I smell Lipton tea my thoughts are immediately transported back to my childhood and I remember all the amazing times I had there with my family – the beach, the fairground rides, the arcade, standing on a giant rock by the sea and sitting in a photo booth with 3 of my cousins.
All these memories come to me instantly and I get a feeling of so much happiness and joy that just pervades through me. I feel calm, uplifted and excited all at once.
This is an example of how aromas can influence our lives and actually have an essential part to play. It’s not just what we smell, it’s everything else that’s happening around us at that time and how that gets stored in our memories. Lipton tea is just a tea. It’s nothing special by itself but put it with what I have described above and it becomes the trigger in my mind every time I smell it. Without the smell of the tea, those memories combined with those feelings are absent from my thoughts.
When we use essential oils a similar thing is happening to us – our minds are lifted up, we feel good. Whether it’s a massage, an oil burner, a candle or incense the aromas are having a therapeutic effect on us. The more we use those oils, the more we feel uplifted – we are locking that state of wellbeing into our minds and wellbeing eventually becomes self-feeding.
So, After almost a year of research and development, and many visits to various companies and shows I launched Shui Me in April 2016 at The Natural and Organic Products Show. I now have shui-me.com and 3 amazing diffusers.
What were you doing in a previous life?
I moved to London in 1994 and ran a health food shop for 10 years. I also ran personal development workshops. This is where I learnt so much about the benefits of natural, organic and sustainable. I had a few bad years from 2004 and ended up moving back to Bristol but it was 2011 when I went to collage that my new (and current) journey began.
Why natural / organic / sustainable?
In an ideal world we should be eating fully organic and living pollution free. This is almost impossible to achieve. But what we can do is make a personal choice to try and go organic where possible and live a healthy lifestyle.
Chemicals, processed foods and all the other ‘bad’ things that is done to food will only bring misery, disease and suffering and we can see a world that is full of people like this. It is very important to combat this by ‘going back to basics’ and stop messing with nature. We should eat and live as nature intended and the more we do this, the less problems we will encounter both personally and globally.
I wanted to create an organic range of reed diffusers because they offer the optimum therapeutic benefits and because my base oil is from sustainable sources they have a positive impact on the environment.
I want my customers to walk into their homes and smile, to feel warm and embraced in love as they catch the aromas of my organic diffusers. I do this myself every day at home and I absolutely love it. This has also had an influence when I’m not at home and I find that I am calmer and get stressed less.
I wanted to create an aroma for each room. The oils used in the blends perfectly complement each other and diffuse in harmony.
For the bedroom I created the Relax blend – with lavender, ylang ylang and petitgrain.
The Relax blend promotes a good night’s sleep and is also great for meditation and spiritual practices.
For the bathroom I created the Purity blend – with citronella, lemongrass and sweet basil.
The Purity blend purifies the mind by clearing negative thoughts. Great for study and exams.
(As well as my bathroom, I tested this in my conservatory and was amazed at how effective this blend was at keeping insects away. Each of these oils are natural insect repellents and together they made a triple nightmare to the insect world.)
For the living room I created the Uplift blend – with cedarwood and bergamot.
The uplift blend is great after a stressful, hard day’s work. It calms the mind and lifts the mood.
Of course, they can be used in any room but each day you are creating a state of wellbeing for yourself that will start to influence other aspects of your life.
What’s your USP? What sets you apart from your competitors?
- Lasts up to 4 months or more – at least twice as long most other alcohol based reed diffusers.
- Luxurious therapeutic aroma filling your home or office 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Alcohol-free base oil derived from sustainable sources making this an eco-friendly product.
- Bringing the experience of a Spa day into your home.
- A safe and convenient alternative to scented candles and oil burners.
- Free from additives and synthetic fragrances.
- Contains a very generous 25% organic essential oils delicately blended for a harmonious aroma.
When comparing Shui Me to the rest of the market it is very competitively priced but offers a lot more. Most reed diffusers use alcohol and this give off a metallic aroma which can taint the aroma of the oils. Shui Me is not tainted at all and provides a consistent, therapeutic aroma for its lifespan.
‘Cheap’ reed diffusers are just chemical fragrances with no therapeutic value but which actually may be harmful to our health.
What kind of feedback you have received from clients?
- Helps Me Unwind
They always help me to unwind after a hard day at work. I have a different one in every room of my house, the relax helps me sleep at night and keeps my room smelling fresh at all times. Absolutely love them all……..
- Best On The Market
I have just re ordered this product. My last Shui Me Diffuser lasted & maintained its aroma for 5 months. Excellent value for such a product of this quality .I have had many diffusers in the past, Shui Me is clearly the very best on the market.
- Beautifully Uplifting
I have the lemongrass reed diffuser and I love it! Whenever anyone visits they always comment on the wonderful fragrance. I have had this since June and so far only a small amount has evaporated, making it very good value for money. When I think of how much I spend on the wall plug in’s each time; I will now save on electric and money! It’s great to know that these wonderful fragrances are natural too, you can tell from the scent the moment you open the bottle. I would most certainly recommend!
- Best Diffusers Around
Shui me diffusers are fresh individual and so lovely to come home to !Unlike all other reed diffusers these remain as noticeable and fresh as day 1 , for both days and weeks!
- Divine!! Invest In One Now…You Won’t Regret It
Just got my first Shui Me Purity diffuser…already the smell is divine!! It is vibrant and awakens your senses…let’s hope it keeps these spiders away!! Love, love, love!! Highly recommend!!
What’s the next big launch / project coming up for you?
I am always looking for retailers and distributors and would love to be taken on by the big department stores but also the spas, smaller shops and boutiques. I also hope more hotels will take them on as they make an excellent alternative to the fragrance products currently used, would be more cost effective and really enhance the overall experience of their guests.
I want to expand the range and will be looking at introducing companion candles.
What’s your big dream?
To have my own chain of therapy centres with my own products – kinda like the KFC of natural and alternative health.
Where can we find your products?
Auravita.com, Amazon.co.uk, Etsy.com, The Bristol Hotel (part of the Doyle collection), Movement Boutique (Bristol), Health Foods (London), Starlight Salon (Bristol), Cranleigh House B&B (Devon), Carpe Diem therapy centre (Bristol) and my local market stall at Bristol’s Harbourside every weekend.