Inspirational cancer survivor sets up successful business while undergoing chemotherapy

A mum from Northumberland is having fun with the candy scent of success after setting up her perfume business while she acquired chemotherapy. Wendy Gray initially ran a magnificence business and determined to develop the business by taking two years to learn to make luxurious scented candles to promote to her shoppers. With excessive demand, in 2014 her daughter Laura Milne joined the business and the pair labored collectively from residence to develop new fragrances for his or her rising buyer base. Their business, Northburn, sells their very own created perfume blends, and produces a spread of merchandise together with eau de parfum, residence perfume and bathtub bombs. But sadly, Wendy’s business plans have been placed on maintain when she was recognized with breast cancer on the finish of 2014. The 50-year-old from Cramlington stated: “I actually had no signs. I simply had a slight burning sensation. I checked to see if there was something there but it surely was when my daughter felt she might really feel one thing. “It did not even cross my thoughts that it was going to be something. I believed it was a spot but it surely was probably the most aggressive sort of breast cancer, but it surely was at a really early stage.

Wendy Gray who has set up a successful perfume business while receiving chemotherapy
(Image: Wendy Gray)

“In the again of thoughts, I wasn’t nervous, I believed as a result of it was my breast you could possibly take them off. I used to be alright and it by no means as soon as crossed my thoughts that it could be deadly. “I simply thought that I’ve obtained to get via this, after which I’ll get again to it.” With her 28-year-old daughter’s assist they managed to maintain the business going, with Wendy working in between her chemotherapy periods in her pyjamas. During chemotherapy, Wendy was heartbroken when she misplaced her sense of scent, a facet impact of her therapy, that means she couldn’t assist with fragrances. When she completed chemotherapy, while on an evening out, her sense of scent returned. She took observe of the primary smells and has been working over the previous 5 years since to develop a fragrance capturing the fragrances to rejoice surviving cancer. On Wendy’s final day of cancer therapy, she discovered a workshop unit and moved from the kitchen to their first premises. Sadly in 2018, Wendy’s world was turned the other way up once more. After going to the physician she acquired the devastating analysis that she had stage three ovarian cancer.

Wendy Gray together with her daughter Laura Milne
(Image: Wendy Gray)

After 9 hours of life-changing surgical procedure and some months of chemotherapy, Wendy was on the highway to restoration. But inside six months she had a relapse and courageous Wendy has undergone chemotherapy over again. She added: “The second time round was a distinct ball sport, it was caught at a really late stage. “But now I’m on a upkeep drug and I’m effective. I simply deal with it like if somebody’s obtained diabetes or a coronary heart downside and you must take tablets day by day. “I’ve blood transfusions each few months as a result of it brings the blood ranges down however apart from that it’s completely effective.

Northburn group members, Debra Mitchell, Wendy Gray, Laura Milne, Emma Boulton and Nicola Robson
(Image: Wendy Gray)

“I’m simply wanting ahead to having the ability to do what we do correctly with our good group.” With demand for his or her merchandise quickly outgrowing provide, a bigger unit was discovered and in 2020 they opened their first retail boutique in Whitley Bay. After being open simply two weeks earlier than lockdown, in true preventing type and regardless of ongoing sickness, Wendy and Laura restructured the business and centered their efforts on on-line gross sales and providing free native residence deliveries. The recognition of the merchandise bloomed they usually have achieved quite a lot of magnificence awards based mostly on their high quality and have simply acquired a Prestige award for Best Home Fragrance Retailer for North of England 20/21. Now Wendy and Laura found b.Village, a singular idea incorporating workplace and warehousing area to do their work and the place they now work with their group to maintain up with the excessive demand. Wendy added: “We are one of many first fragrance homes within the North East.

Wendy Gray who has set up a successful perfume business while receiving chemotherapy
(Image: Wendy Gray)

“Lockdown gave us time to return up with new merchandise and new fragrances as effectively. We’ve had such a wonderful response. “It’s actually simply skyrocketed. I feel on one specific weekend we had a month’s price of gross sales over a 48 hour interval. We at the moment are delivery orders not simply regionally however throughout the UK. “We have an excellent group, and we’re simply eager to form of develop the business to maintain our group seeing this as greater than only a job and extra of a profession as they’ve very concerned within the business and coming up with concepts so it is a group effort.” Visit Wendy’s business by following this hyperlink.
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