Inside Business First: Oud Excellence, Blackburn
In the latest of our Inside Business First series, we spoke to Adam Isa. Blackburn-based Adam owns a company called Oud Excellence, specialising in perfume oil and clothing.
Starting out as a sideline working from home, Adam's business soon grew and he needed office space in a great location, space to store stock and the ability to present a professional image to customers.
After enquiring at sister company Store First, Adam realised Business First was in fact the right choice for his growing business.
How did your business begin?
Oud Excellence started shortly after finishing my degree. Not wanting to go into the field of my studies, when an opportunity was afforded to me to set up a business, I took advantage of it. Initially, the business was very small and only part time, as I was working full time. Over time, however, it expanded and we introduced more and more lines.
What is Oud?
Oud is Arabic for rod or stick. It’s a strong, woody-scented oil from the agar tree, grown in south-east Asia, India and Bangladesh. Perfumes are produced using oud resin, which is created when the tree is infected.
It has long been popular in the Middle East, but it’s only in the last few years it has taken off significantly in the UK.
Its recent popularity has seen all the leading fashion houses created their own oud-based cologne. Designers like Tom Ford, Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss, Christian Dior, Versace and Yves Saint Laurent are all tapping into the trend.
How has your business developed?
We started with mostly traditional Arabian incense, known as bakhoor. From there, we expanded into incense holders and after that, perfume oils.
We now have over 350 different perfume oils, including traditional Arabian perfumes like body musk and the seemingly ubiquitous oud. We also have concentrated, oil-based versions of designer perfumes such as Armani, Creed, Tom Ford and many more.
Ultra-niche perfume oils, such as Roja Dove and Amouage variants, are also part of our offering.
How has your business diversified in any way?
We've created a secondary business, offering women’s clothing. We specialise in formal dresses and traditional wear.
Why did you move the business into an office space?
After a year, the businesses had grown to such a level that stock overtook three bedrooms, a reception room and shed. Another year on, and the situation was becoming untenable, with more and more stock required thanks to constant expansion. I also needed somewhere I could work and where all of stock could be in one place.
Initially I looked at Store First and we were redirected to Business First, which had everything we needed.
Why Business First?
Business First enables us to portray a professional image. It’s a place we can work, a place for our stock and a place where customers can view an item if they desire. Another reason, which I am sure has been echoed by many other businesses, is the great location.
What’s next for Oud Excellence?
We plan on continuing to expand the business, looking into more products and enhancing our range. We are looking to upgrade our website, making it more responsive and mobile-friendly.
The perfume, cosmetics and clothing sectors are highly competitive. Luckily, we stock one of the largest ranges of perfume oils on third party websites, like eBay and Amazon, which consistently ranks us highly.
Find out more about Oud Excellence here: https://www.oud-excellence.co.uk/