Riversdale Essence, a local home fragrance business based in Killadeas, has been shortlisted for the upcoming ‘Online Retail’ category of the National StartUp Awards 2023 for Northern Ireland.

Founded by Leah Robinson in April, 2020, she says that the brand was born from her love of “stories and memories”. She said: “From a young age, I loved playing in the countryside, [and have] a passion for scent, nature and handcrafted products.”

Following a head-on collision in 2017, during her recovery Leah lit candles at home, which gave her great sense of calm and peace by the gentle glow of candlelight.

One night, she asked herself if she could make candles, and after years of researching and product testing, her business was born.

Explaining the process of developing her business, she said: “I began to develop my own scents, blends and ideas into carefully-crafted candles.”

Leah’s designs are inspired by nature. She added: “ I have been lucky to experience many beautiful natural country fragrances in my life.”

She said she was over the moon to be shortlisted for the award: “It means the world – I am so proud for my business to be recognised, especially with a high level of entries. Getting down to the final four is amazing.

“It is so exciting to be shortlisted and [recognised for] the hard work that goes into the behind-the-scenes activities of business, social media, networking and marketing, along with the [candle-making] process and new initiatives along the way”.

The category received a record number of entries into the awards, so Leah said she was particularly delighted to get the news her business has been shortlisted for the awards.

The National StartUp Awards 2023 for Northern Ireland will take place on Thursday, May 4 at The Pavilion, Belfast, where the winners will be announced at a special presentation dinner.