The Wax Lyrical Story
Today Wax Lyrical is the UK’s largest home fragrance company and our products are British made in the English Lakes. Of course you don’t become the largest overnight and, like any company, we have made a journey. This is how we got where we are today.
In 1980, the Williams family founded the ‘Nice Things Company,’ a small importing company working out of a garage on the edge of Morecambe Bay. One of their best selling products was Candimals – candles in the shape of animals. By the end of the 80s, they were turning over more than £1million and they had begun to manufacture candles themselves.
The company was growing fast and a new factory was opened by Princess Diana in Lindal-in-Furness. This is where we are based to this day, in a pretty Cumbrian village surrounded by fields. At the same time the company was renamed Colony and it continued to grow until 1999 when it was bought by an American company called Blyth Inc, an American home fragrance company.
Under Blyth’s reign, the company diversified and in addition to home fragrance, the range included textiles, floral accessories and Christmas decorations, all of which were imported from overseas. Although the expansion was successful at first, the company began to lose focus and it became clear that our true expertise lay in home fragrance. At this point we became one of the first UK companies to manufacture reed diffusers.
By 2006 Colony was in trouble, making significant financial losses. Fortunately Mike Armstead a Northern entrepreneur came to the factory store for a shopping trip with his wife whilst on holiday in the Lakes. He liked what he saw and rescued the company from the jaws of receivership on 23rd December 2006. This was the beginning of a whole new future.
In the depth of the recession, Mike made some very brave decisions. He could see that the Lake District factory had great potential and so he stopped importing products and decided to focus on ‘Made In Britain.’
In 2010 the name of the company changed from Colony to Wax Lyrical and now we are the UK’s largest manufacturer of home fragrance. We create lots of our own ranges that are sold in high quality stores and we also produce home fragrance for some of the world’s leading luxury brands. In May 2016, the Portmeirion Group acquired us, building our strength within the British market and this will also enable us to reach markets further afield.
We are really proud of our Made In Britain status and of our ability to develop, manufacture and deliver world-class products from our base in the Lakes. Instead of importing products from overseas, we now export to over 40 countries around the world.
We develop everything in-house, and we are confident that our products are the best in the marketplace. We work with Europe’s top perfume houses to develop our fragrances and our two PhD scientists, Will and Fiona, ensure that we keep our standards high and continue to develop exciting new products.
We put our success down to our fantastic close-knit team of people who love being able to live and work in such inspiring surroundings - we think our enthusiasm shines though everything we make. After all we know we’re very lucky to spend our lives in one of the most beautiful parts of the world surrounded by fragrance – what better place could there be?