5 Minutes With ... Jemma O'Connor, Middletree

It has long been proven that aromas can affect your mood and general well-being so it is no surprise that people love to burn candles at home and work. Introducing Middletree, a stylish and sophisticated lifestyle product range, created with the candle and homewares lover in mind. Middletree specialises in candles and reed diffusers available in your choice of earthy, floral, fruity, gourmet, citrus and tones for men, each aroma is complete with beautiful packaging. Made with love on the Central Coast, NSW Middletree is the brainchild of Jemma O'Connor. have personally known Jemma since we were just tots dressed as angels for a Christmas play and 25 years on I am proud to see this wonderful woman make her dream of becoming her own boss a reality. Jemma chats Middletree with Spoilt...

Spoilt has fallen head over heels for Middletree! How did the concept eventuate? I fell in love with candles at a young age, but when I became a mum I fell in love with them all over again. It's about how they made me feel; Like that sneaky piece of chocolate, or a cheeky glass of wine. They are food for my soul. Candles help me to unwind and relax. A little bit of 'me time' in my usually demanding day. During my pregnancy I developed an uncontrollable addiction for statement homewares so in late 2013 it made sense to combine these two passions and create my own stylish and unique range of homewares. 

Middletree only launched in January 2014. How has the response been so far? Overwhelming! It initially began with a simple Facebook page and while the plan was for the business to grow I was really surprised with how quickly it happened, thanks to word of mouth and positive reviews. Six months on and Middletree now delivers Australia wide and is growing by the day. Middletree products are currently stocked in three stores on the Central Coast, with more stockists in the pipeline.

How exciting! What were your career background prior to Middletree? Oh I had worked in admin, marketing and events in a range of industries including recruitment, real estate and pharmaceutical. I also have a Bachelor of Business in Event Management and I am lucky to have been mentored by managers and small business owners in the past, all which has helped to shape the business.

Do you make Middletree's scents and candles yourself? Yes! All products are designed and hand-poured in the studio with scents sourced from Australian suppliers. My next goal is to design a range of fragrances exclusive to Middletree so stay tuned!

Can't wait! Where do you find inspiration when creating a scent and product packaging? Middletree is inspired by both nature and trends within the home decor industry. Packaging remains neutral and simplistic in design to allow for an easy yet stylish incorporation into any space. Scents are sophisticated blends between fruits, flowers and spices chosen specifically to compliment the current seasons and trends. Discover the Middletree scents for yourself.

And Middletree offers custom-made products... Absolutely! People are always in search for something that will truly make their occasion memorable and Middletree can help! We take great pleasure in working closely with clients to help create something truly unique and beautiful whilst working to their budget.

What else makes Middletree products different to others currently available? Unlike many candles currently in the marketplace, Middletree are hand made and poured using 100% soy wax. It is important that our customers enjoy a product free from nasty chemicals and Middletree products are kind to the environment.

You’re also a mother to a gorgeous baby boy. Is your lifestyle hectic? You'd be lucky to find any mum who doesn’t describe her life as busy. At times, a little bit crazy! While business and family keeps me occupied it's important to achieve a healthy balance between the two. Each day I remind myself exactly what I'm working towards and who that hard work is for.

How would you describe the Middletree consumer? The Middletree consumer has an appreciation for style. They are savvy homewares and trend spotters, but most of all they're warm.

Which Middletree product is your favourite and why? I am currently burning Kaffir Lime and Sandalwood Addison Candle. Its earthy tones coupled with the fresh zest of lime, really helps keep me alert, it invigorates my senses and gives the kick I need to survive mammoth to-do lists!

Whose house would you love to see filled with Middletree products? I might be suffering from 'royal fever' but I would really love to see Middletree in Kate and Will’s home. Kate Middleton oozes style, she's savvy and warm like our customers. She is royalty but her style is not out of reach. She is down to earth, easy to relate to and in touch with women from all walks of life.

Jemma, what makes you feel Spoilt? Family and taking time out for me really makes me feel Spoilt. Also kicking back with a glass of wine with a Middletree candle burning in the background...

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