Sweet smell of success at pop-up station shop

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A handmade candle company will bring a scent of luxury to Preston train station this week as part of Virgin Trains’ “pop-up shop” scheme.

Karm Candles of Grimsargh near Preston makes hand-poured aromatherapy candles and reed diffusers.

Its brings together traditional candle-making techniques with the therapeutic benefits of natural aromatherapy oils.

On Friday, Karm will join other selected independent businesses from Lancashire in opening a pop-up shop at Preston train station.

Virgin Trains’ pop-up shop event will see dozens of local businesses man pop-up shops at stations from Stafford to Carlisle on the West Coast Main Line.

The aim is to support local small businesses and introduce customers to some of the hidden gems in their community.

Phillippa Emmington, co-founder of Karm Candles, said: “We’re delighted to be given the opportunity by Virgin to showcase our hand-made candles and reed diffusers to passengers at Preston.

“Train stations can be busy, so the therapeutic benefits of an aromatherapy candle might be just what’s needed.”

Karm Candles produces luxury handmade candles which it sells through a network of retailers across the UK and directly to customers through its website (www.karm.co.uk).

The company prides itself on its meticulous selection, testing and refining process. Each candle is extensively tested to ensure the right wick is used with the correct balance of essential oils and wax, in order to create the perfect wax pool.

This in turn enables the greatest scent throw and allows just the right amount of aroma to fill the room.

Says Mark: “Our fragrances are created using an intricate blend of up to ten essential oils, chosen not only for their wonderful, clean aromas, but also for their aromatherapy properties.

“Around 95 per cent of the ingredients we use are sourced within an hour of the station.”

Virgin Trains’ pop-up shop event starts on March 28 and follows the success of an inaugural event last winter, when pop-up shops at Crewe and Stafford stations saw 21 local businesses set up base at the stations.

Commuters were able to do Christmas shopping and support their local communities while travelling to work.

The initiative, the brainchild of Nicola Griffiths, a development officer at Virgin Trains, was so successful it was decided to expand the scheme.

Nicola said: “Everyone at Virgin Trains is part of the community along the West Coast Main Line and we were delighted at the success of the pop-up shops in 2013.

“Hosting pop-up shops at our stations offers us the opportunity to help local small businesses and artisans , so they can be discovered and enjoyed by our customers.

“It is a way for us to give back to the communities that have supported us for many years and we hope that expanding the pop-up shops scheme will give an added Virgin touch to our customers’ experience.”