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Christmas gifts to buy from Norfolk family businesses

Festive fun from Wymondham-based Orchard Toys. Picture: Orchard Toys/Matt Keal Photography
Festive fun from Wymondham-based Orchard Toys. Picture: Orchard Toys/Matt Keal Photography

Whether you want luxury body washes, fabulous fragrances or toys for the children, there’s a Norfolk family business ready to fulfill your festive wishlist.

Great British Life: Trii body care products Picture: Trii Trii body care products Picture: Trii

Wonderfully-scented body-bars created by a Norfolk biochemist-turned beauty expert, are selling around the world.

Yolanda Wetteland launched trii last autumn to add little moments of luxury to everyday life.

Each of her hand-made, pared-down products comes in a trio of body-wash, exfoliator and moisturiser in mood-enhancing fragrances - lavender, incense, lemongrass, peppermint and rose.

‘Like so many people who are juggling and leading busy lifestyles, over the last few years I found myself wanting to find time to slow down in all aspects of my life,’ said Yolanda. ‘We don’t all have the luxury to take a morning or an afternoon off here and there, but we can create little moments of ‘me time’ in our daily lives.

‘This became my inspiration behind trii - to create a simple, streamlined, three-step, self-care ritual with sustainability and environmental consciousness at its core.’

Yolanda, of Swannington, near Reepham, was 17 when she arrived in Britain. Born in Ukraine and raised by her grandmother in Zimbabwe, she overcame challenges including nursing her mother through her final illness and funding her medical biochemistry degree by taking on a full-time job.

Things did not get easier after she graduated.

Great British Life: Yolanda Wetteland, founder of body care products business trii. Picture: Denise BradleyYolanda Wetteland, founder of body care products business trii. Picture: Denise Bradley

‘I was made redundant from my first job after graduating and at the same time my grandmother passed away and mum slipped into a coma which meant I had to navigate a lot at a young age on my own,’ she said. Unable to find a job in biochemistry, Yolanda took a night-shift job in quality auditing in the food industry.

A recruiter then suggested a role as a regulatory co-ordinator for a cosmetics manufacturer. She found the job fascinating and went on to work for household names including Space NK and Charlotte Tilbury before becoming global regulatory and technical director at ELEMIS.

My mum taught me that no one can succeed for you. You must do it for yourself. You must have your own story to tell,’ said Yolanda.

Her husband grew up in Norfolk and the couple knew it was the ideal place to raise their children. ‘I was raised in a city where culture and heritage are very important, and Norfolk has a lot of culture and heritage that my kids can hold on to,’ said Yolanda.

‘Like many people who are juggling, I was streamlining every aspect of my busy life. I only had headspace for things that really worked! Nothing too complex, nothing with pages of instructions, nothing that created needless waste. I found it most difficult to tackle the many bottles in my bathroom when I had my eureka moment - and trii was born.’

She chose the name (pronounced ‘try’) partly because tri means trio in Greek and she is trying to make products which are kind to people and the planet. The solid bars of cleanser, exfoliator and moisturiser are cruelty-free and vegan and the packaging plastic-free, resuable and recyclable.

Buy trii online, and Yolanda hopes it will be sold in Norfolk shops next year. trii.co.uk

Great British Life: Wax melts by Teelin Luxury Fragrances are made on the family farm in Norfolk. Picture: Teelin/Alex Bailey Photography Wax melts by Teelin Luxury Fragrances are made on the family farm in Norfolk. Picture: Teelin/Alex Bailey Photography

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas at the family farm in Woodton, near Bungay, where mother-and-son Joanna and Peter Felton hand-make wax melts.

They began, last year, with scents which evoked some of their favourite places around the world and now create festive fragrances for Christmas too.

‘As a family, we have been lucky enough to visit some amazing places and were always struck by how the scent of each location left us with lasting memories,’ said Peter.

Teelin Luxury Fragrances was named after the village in Northern Ireland where Joanna spent every childhood summer.

Peter, who grew up in Norfolk, said: ‘I have skied in the Canadian Rockies and dived with sharks in the Caribbean, worked as a game ranger in South Africa, white-water rafted in New Zealand and spent starry nights in the Australian outback. Now settled in rural Norfolk, and with the help of my family, I have created a fragrance library inspired by these moments.’

His favourite Teelin fragrance is Sunsets on Safari which he describes as ‘a warm and woody scent that always brings me back to relaxing on the veranda of the farmhouse in South Africa where I worked as a game ranger after a long, hot day in the bush.’

Great British Life: Wax melts by Teelin Luxury Fragrances are made on the family farm in Norfolk. Picture: Teelin/Alex Bailey Photography Wax melts by Teelin Luxury Fragrances are made on the family farm in Norfolk. Picture: Teelin/Alex Bailey Photography

Joanna works for the business full-time, with Peter fitting it around another job. The family also has dogs, cats, horses and a small flock of pedigree sheep.

At Christmas their year-round melts, inspired by everywhere from Norfolk (Norfolk Lavender Fields and Countryside Walks) to the Maldives, are supplemented by festive scents including Christmas trees, gingerbread and frankincense and myrrh. They also make Christmas candles.

All their products are cruelty-free, paraben-free and vegan, using soy and coconut sourced from a sustainable forest scheme supporting local communities.

Teelin products, including a gift box of 12 melts in six fragrances, are available online – and Norfolk magazine readers can claim free delivery of their first order with the code NORFOLKDELIVERY. Teelin also has a pop-up shop at John Lewis, Norwich, for the week beginning December 4. teelin.co.uk

Great British Life: Festive fun from Wymondham-based Orchard Toys. Picture: Orchard Toys/Matt Keal PhotographyFestive fun from Wymondham-based Orchard Toys. Picture: Orchard Toys/Matt Keal Photography

Santa’s sleigh is sure to be loaded with games and puzzles created by Wymondham-based Orchard Toys.

And even before Santa arrives, Orchard Toys is filling Christmas with fun.

A Countdown to Christmas book, for children aged three-plus, features 25 festive activities including a letter to write to Santa, complete with emailed reply, and 25 stickers for an Advent scene.

There is a Christmas Eve box too with a reindeer race game and a seasonal puzzle and colouring book, ideal for keeping children aged three to six busy in the hectic hours ahead of the big day.

Elf Lotto is another new game this Christmas from Orchard Toys, which has been making learning fun for small children for more than 50 years.

Keith Harvey began making toys and activities for a nursery school at his kitchen table and Orchard Toys is still a family business – but now sells its games, jigsaws and activity books around the world. Everything is carefully tested by teams of teachers and children to be lots of fun as well as a chance to learn about everything from taking turns to dinosaurs. Bestsellers include family favourite Shopping List.

Buy Orchard Toys online and from toy shops including Langleys, Starlings, Jarrolds and Kerrison Toys. orchardtoys.com



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