Entrepreneur and Insta influencer joins forces with devoted fan to light up hearts in support of Cerebral Palsy Awareness
"Shooting Star", is a unique wax melt dedicated to Katie Steel and created for Cerebral Palsy awareness, with a donation of £1 from each sale, being donated to CP Teens UK charity, to provide further support for individuals like Katie who are bravely navigating the challenges of the condition.
After Katie showed an interest in the business, and a curiosity around the production line of the products, Hannah, who has known Katie for the last 5 years after the teenager connected with her through her Instagram account, decided to offer her the opportunity to be involved, with the creation of her own charity product.
Hannah, 28, invited Katie, 16, to be a part of the whole production process from conception to creation, giving her a new boost of confidence around her abilities and a focus for her passion for Hannah’s products.
Hannah said: “Katie has very much been in charge of the process. So the first step was picking a scent. I selected a range of fragrances and sent them up to Glasgow. The rest has been down to Katie – she whittled down the scents and settled on her absolute favourite. She has a great nose for fragrance! Then it was time to choose a name for the scent / collaboration. Katie always wanted the word Star to be involved simply because she LOVES stars. She’s been fascinated by them for years. Shooting Star immediately came to me because it just symbolises Katie perfectly – a blaze of light and sparkling brilliance.”
Katie said: “It doesn't feel real, I have been talking about this all year and planning for so long. I just wanted to make Hannah proud and show everyone that my disability actually helped me to be able to do something so amazing and show other disabled people and young disabled people that we can do anything we want especially if we have people who believe in us like Hannah believes in me.”
Katie has used Ava May Aroma wax melts for years, and says they help her to relax and unwind from the stresses of life.
Katie first connected to Hannah as she took to spending more time on social media during the pandemic. Due to Katie’s Cerebral Palsy, she missed many lessons and events in school as she had been isolated for over a year during lockdown due to being vulnerable. As she spent more time on social media, she became instantly attracted to the community she found there, giving her a sense of inclusivity and she thrived off the ability to reach out to people she wanted to share a connection with, which she was unable to do in person.
Katie initially followed Mrs Hinch and found Hannah and Ava May Aromas through her, then she saw her chance when Hannah found herself in Katie’s home town of Glasgow. Following Hannah’s stories, Katie discovered she was in her local B&M with her best friend and fellow Instagram influencer Mario McKnight, and got over there as quickly as possible for the chance to meet her. They connected when they met that day, and Hannah has been back to visit many times.
Last week, in a beautiful gesture of friendship, Hannah flew out to Glasgow to surprise Katie with the completed wax melt.
Katie’s Mum Clare said: “Hannah and Katie have built up a really strong bond over the years, and the positive impact Hannah has had on Katie’s life is powerful. She has given her self belief, confidence, hope that she can have a future - and we see her as family now.”
“The benefits we can see in Katie by being able to do this has been just wonderful to watch. She's had a tough few months that's been very difficult personally for her and I have no doubt that by having this in her life at the same time really helped get her through it. It was as if it was meant to be. The biggest benefit to Katie though has been her self belief, seeing her disability and being able to use that to do something so amazing has shown her that her disability won't or can't stop her doing anything she wants in life, and for me as her mum that's all I could have wished for.”
“I need to give a huge thank you to Hannah for giving Katie this opportunity to do this. From the minute she came into our lives she believed in her, and has supported Katie & Holly in so many ways. Thank you Hannah- This is a lifetime opportunity that she will never forget, and neither will we”.
Hannah’s social media community of 235K followers have already shown support for the product with followers commenting on how beautiful and thoughtful this collab is.
Despite having grown the business to now service thousands of orders from both her online sales and her physical retail outlet in Meadowhall, Sheffield; Hannah is still very hands on and uses her Ava May Aromas social media to give the personal touch, and to connect with her supporters and customers.
Hannah said: “I am so excited about this collab for many reasons. Firstly, because it’s something Katie has wanted to do for so long, and one of the things that makes me happiest is that it came totally from the heart. I love the fact that Katie and I have built this incredible bond and that something so special has come from it. To be able to show her that she is capable, creative, and she has valuable skills was a real honour. Now she's getting older, her disabilities are becoming a little more tricky to navigate when it comes to keeping up with her sister and peers. Seeing Holly and her friends leaving for college and potentially university soon, learning to drive, going out clubbing, it’s not been an easy time for Katie to navigate. Doing this wax melt together was important to show Katie that she offers so much to the world, she’s creative, talented and a career is waiting out there for her. Sometimes we just have to find our calling in a different way and that’s ok.”
“I absolutely adore the Steel family – they’ve become like a second family to me. I call Holly & Katie my little sisters – and Clare & Derek my second mum and dad. I’ve been back to visit several times, and honestly it’s like I’ve never been away. I initially was captivated by Clare’s Instagram account @thismumsjourney – which shares the struggles she faces as a carer for Katie, trying to highlight and raise a wider awareness of the lack of support and services required, and then getting to know them personally has only further inspired me. They are an incredible family”.
The Shooting Star wax melt became available to purchase early October, as part of World Cerebral Palsy Day - https://avamayaromas.com/shooting-star-by-katie-wax-melt-pack/
Hannah first started her candle-making side-hustle in her kitchen four years ago, in July 2018. She started as a hobby to supplement her full time job at a social media agency, but within a couple of months, she was able to quit her corporate job to begin her entrepreneurial endeavour full time. Hannah credits social media for much of her success and feels it’s fitting that social media has now presented this opportunity for Katie.
You can follow Hannah and Katie’s journey via https://www.instagram.com/avamayaromas/ and https://www.instagram.com/katiesteel126/