How work burn out led to well being for Leeds entrepreneur

Founder of Neom, Nicola Elliott.
Founder of Neom, Nicola Elliott.
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Before she reached her 30s, Nicola Elliott was the editor of a world famous women’s lifestyle magazine and partying in New York and LA with celebrities.

On the face of it, it seemed a dream job but behind the scenes that kind of lifestyle was leading to unseen issues.

She said: “It was a pretty intense job and the entertainment was incredible.

“We were working til 9pm or 10pm at least and then would go to parties. It was very enjoyable but became stressful.”

Elliott, who grew up in Adel, started suffering with “awful anxiety” and at 28 says she had reached burn out and decided to go back to basics and look after her own well-being.

It led to the creation of Neom and what would become a luxury house-hold name.

She recalls: “I remember looking around and thinking this does not seem to be something that I am alone with. Everyone around me has some kind of stress or issue.”

The well-being industry is booming like never before but back then it wasn’t “cool” and it has taken Elliott more than nine years to get to this stage after starting with an experiment to blend essential oils for her husband’s football injuries.

Working with a business partner she split tasks such as marketing, sales and finance and Neom had concessions in Selfridges, Fenwicks and the like before opening a store in London then Victoria Gate in Leeds last year. She added: “Someone said to create a household brand takes nine years in this city and that is about right for when we started being known. The minute I handed my notice in and went for it I was adamant it would be a big brand. Well-being is having a real moment and I can’t see it going.

“If you think our model is inspiring the whole of the UK to lead healthier lives there is a hell of a lot for us to go at.”

Innovation Network at the Parkinson Building, Leeds..Pictured from the left are Dave Moore, Dr Oliver Jones, Louise O'Brien and Greg Wright..6th December 2017 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

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