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WHAX Lends A Hand, Sanitised Of Course

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WHAX, based in Whitestone, Hereford, is owned by Daniel Smith, Sian Smith and Doug Wrenn. The company has been going six years and is an internationally renowned contract producer of candles, reed diffusers and luxury scented products. But recently, with the coronavirus coming in to play, Whax has been using its skills to supply hand sanitiser. Wye Life chats to Doug Wrenn to find out more.

Whax Moisturiser ALL
What does your business offer?
WHAX is a contract producer of candles, reed diffusers and luxury scented products. We also offer a range of wellbeing products and have recently teamed up with our supply chain to offer a great hand sanitiser that kills 99.99% of germs; and moisturises too.

Can you work? Are you having to work right now?
Some of the team have been furloughed with myself and Sian now running affairs.

If you are staying at home, what are you doing to keep yourself occupied? How are you coping?
Working from home has been great and we’ve managed to get some great work done although taking a midday movie break has been very tempting.

Do you find the situation stressful?
Not really. We have to do what we have to do to stay safe and follow the guidelines of the experts for the good of everyone. Of course, there are some things we all miss, like Starbucks, but they will still be there when this is all over, and imagine how much more appreciative we will all be.

What are your overall thoughts about the pandemic?
I think it is truly terrible that such a thing has hit the world so hard and our sympathy goes out to all those affected. There has, however, been a clear and visible rally of people to be nice, thoughtful, set aside petty differences and be more appreciative of the little things in life; which, with the way the world has now become, I think is great. Just think of the family time, moments together and memories made, as well as the goodwill and compassion from everyone.

Businesses have rallied to the cause, as we have, to try and do our bit to keep our communities safe and the NHS front line protected – and make a Great British stand against Covid-19. I think and hope that this poses a real turning point to have less of a global approach to materials buying and sourcing (and change consumer attitudes), and that one of the outcomes is to bring a concerted focus on using and supporting “British” and local businesses, manufacturers, brands etc rather than the usual (hopefully now old) mentality of it’s cheaper off shore!

There are certainly some of the big players in retail that need to lead by example here, and focus their buying and sourcing back to the UK to support our economy more, strengthen employment and fill the unemployment gap caused by the virus and, to be honest, think about more than savings. I firmly believe the British consumer would be happy to support local and wouldn’t mind paying a little more where they need to so that the country can bounce back quicker and faster.

Whax Three Candles
Do you have a web presence? Can customers buy from you online? Do you deliver for example?
Yes, you can visit and we ship worldwide.

Have your furloughed your staff?
We have for some staff and have now started to operate a skeleton staff of core workers.

What are you doing to keep your business going during the pandemic?
Pivoting and supplying hand sanitiser, marketing the WHAX products and trying to do as much as we can to help the communities who will hopefully help us when this is all blown over. We hope they will remember we did all we could to help them and, in return, support us.

What will you change about the way you run your business or what you offer when this is over?
I think that we are a very quick to respond business. To maintain our position in the sector means that we always have to be agile. I don’t think there is much more we could do or that needs to change.

Are eligible for local authority grant support?
Yes, but trying to get it is a minefield and just not worth the hassle and hoop jumping. Small businesses and start-ups need support to grow and get going not have everything match-funded when they may not have the capital. These things can take so long to because they have too much bureaucracy.

Unit 3a Whitestone Business Park
01432 530026


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