10 years ago, I had a passion to create a truly British brand, making products in the UK using quintessentially British ingredients from small, local producers and to tell their unique stories.
Since a young age, I have always loved making things look beautiful, from home, to fashion, food, and packaging and used to spend hours wrapping Christmas presents, sourcing interesting papers and adorning them with ribbons and bows. So, with a background in fashion, product development and branding I was truly in my element when the time came to create a new British brand, Noble Isle.
Throughout my career, I fell in love with fragrance and the power it has over the senses. There is nothing as powerful to take your mind back to a person, a place or a time in your life – it’s like time travel. We work with a wonderful family run fragrance house and the three perfumers are true artists, translating ideas and pictures into emotive, captivating fragrances.
To me, fine fragrance, is the epitome of luxury. We all have our favourite perfumes, aftershaves or colognes – something that we define as our signature scent. It’s that little luxury that makes us feel good and that friends, family and loved ones often associate with us. I wanted to bring the art of perfumery to the Bath & Body world, when we spend so much time and effort defining ourselves with a luxury perfume, shouldn’t we use the same process when choosing our Bath & Shower Gels or Body Lotions? Something that we use every day and over our entire body?
I create the fragrances for each collection in the exact process that you would if you were creating a perfume for a perfumer’s house. I work with a master ‘nose’ and we create a sumptuous layered fragrance, with top, heart and base notes to ensure that the scent lingers on the skin. The Noble Isle fragrance collection not only takes you on a journey of discovery around the British Isles but recreates memories that are so difficult to replicate via other means; such as cosy evenings by the fire, balmy British summertime and that traditional luxury of afternoon tea.
“What inspired you?”, I am often asked. Well, it was 2011, the year of the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton and the whole country was preparing for the celebrations with an extra day’s holiday for all. I remember the wedding day clearly as I was just starting the brand design work and was researching history books for inspiration. What struck me on the day was how amazing London is, in fact the whole of Britain, with all its history and rich culture. The eyes of the world were on London on April the 18th, 2011 and I felt so proud to be part of this country. The architecture of London – old and new, the green parks, Union Jacks lining The Mall, the carriages dating back hundreds of years, soldiers on horseback, the traditional marches of the soldiers, their uniforms and the wonderful outfits the members of the Royal Family wore on this day – it was the perfect blend and balance of taking old ideas and making them look contemporary and new. That was where my design idea came from – watching this fabulous day.
My sister Claire, a former Marketing Director for a large US Silicon Valley company helped me come up with the name. We went to the “China Diner” in Beaconsfield with paper, pencils and an iPad and over a lovely meal (and a couple of bottles of wine) came up with a shortlist of names. Noble Isle was the first term used for the word Great Britain in the fifteenth century used by Kings and Queens. Noble Isle was only a working title name to begin with but in the end, we felt it captured the entire essence of the brands ethos.
I worked with an old friend Reseigh, a Cornish artist, who I used to do a lot of work with when we were both based in London in cosmetic packaging and together, we forged the design of the brand and then rolled this out to the packaging.
A year and a half in development and Noble Isle was born in May 2012 with an exclusive launch in Fortnum & Mason and Liberty.
In January, Katy was named as one of the 50 Most Influential People in British Luxury by Walpole and one of the six powerhouses to be named as ‘Tastemakers’ – Influencers with a great network who others look to for advice and inspiration. As we head into our 10-year Anniversary year, we are delighted to have this recognition from Walpole.
In 2016 we were honoured by winning The Walpole award – we were selected out of hundreds of British brands as a Luxury British Brand of Tomorrow. This was the crowning moment of all of our achievements.
A successful company has been built by a team of people, not an individual and I work with a great group of passionate, creative and hardworking individuals, some of whom have been with me since the beginning. Thank you to my team for their dedication.
Lastly, I want to thank our partners and customers for their support, loyalty and feedback – we wouldn’t be here without you.