Why Small Businesses Matter
Shop small, do big things for your community
Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!
You're IT The Scent Guru Group!
Four questions with Ruth Sutcliffe, founder of The Scent Guru Group.
Why did you start your business?
I started my business in 2017 developing sensory kits to help enrich the lives of people through the sense of smell. My first kit is called Essential Awakenings®️ and I developed it after my mother passed away from dementia in 2016. The kit is comprised of distinctive scent prompts (such as chocolate, mint, apples ...) that help the elderly living with dementia recall memories.
When people recall memories it stimulates conversation and storytelling which is an invaluable social activity for people living with this disease. My second kit is called MindScent®️, a patent-pending multi-sensory kit was developed to help speech pathologists, parents, and educators working with children who have developmental disabilities, such as autism
What is your best-selling product/service?
Both products are selling pretty well but the pandemic hurt the business. However, I was quick on my feet to re-purpose Essential Awakenings®️ for smell training for anyone who lost their sense of smell due to COVID-19 or other illnesses. In order to do that, I collaborated with a well-known Neuroscientist to develop a smell training guide to go along with the kits.
How many local businesses do you use to support your business (products and services) and can you name them?
I have given volunteer sessions at assisted-living communities in the area starting first with Atria in Stamford, Connecticut back in 2016. I also frequent the Greens of Greenwich and River House Senior Center. To produce the MindScent®️cartons, I used the printer, Curtis Packaging in Sandy Hook.
In addition, I hire Ability Beyond as well as Abilis STEP program participants to help assemble and pack the kits when I have larger orders. I sell the kits from my website and through a distributor, S&S Worldwide located in Colchester.
Have you "reimagined" your small business?
Yes, I have reimagined my business during the pandemic (as stated above). I addition, I continue to sell to a broad group of consumers as well as B-B: hospitals, rehabilitation centers, assisted living communities, libraries, speech, and occupational therapists, autism centers, and schools.
Ruth would like to nominate Julie DiBiase, a freelance photographer in Greenwich to be featured next!
HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!