Drew Cockton is the founder of home fragrance brand, Owen Drew, and has now spent £500,000 converting a Victorian house in Wirral into an ‘intimate’ wedding venue. Tony McDonough reports
Wirral businessman Drew Cockton is investing £500,000 to convert a Victorian house into a venue for ‘micro weddings’.
With the COVID-19 vaccine now being rolled out rapidly Drew, founder of the home fragrance and scented candle brand, Owen Drew, believes there will be a surge in demand later in the year from couples who have had to delay their weddings.
He has purchased a large Victorian property, Heatherfield House, close to Claughton Village. Built in 1845 by a cotton merchant as a gift for his daughter on her wedding, the house has, until now, always been used as a private residence.
Now, capitalising on what he calls the property’s “Victorian bourgeois extravagance”, Drew is confident the wrought iron balconies, oversized front entrance and engraved sandstone pillars which flank the entrance will prove attractive to couples looking to tie the knot in an intimate and elegant setting.
He launched his website, heatherfieldhouse.com, in late January and says he has already received dozens of enquiries about the events space. Since acquiring the property, which sits in a quarter of an acre of land, Drew has secured partnerships with what he describes as the “finest suppliers in the business”.
He said: “Our ethos is quality over quantity. With couples limiting their guest list to 30, they can afford to spoil their nearest and dearest with the finest food and drink available without breaking the bank.
“Nobody is sure what 2021 will bring but for many, delaying their nuptials by another year is out of the question. Many couples want to start families and settle down, so they are ditching the big traditional wedding in favour of something more intimate with their nearest and dearest. This is exactly what we can offer at Heatherfield House.”
Drew is looking to set his venue apart from the competition by marrying his new venture with Owen Drew. Launched in 2016, the brand offers scented candles, luxury soaps, perfumes, bath oils and other home fragrance and bath and body products.
The idea for the business came when Drew noticed how mass produced-candles could damage walls and furniture in the home as they burned. He explained: “I did some research and discovered that it was because mass-produced candles are made from petroleum-based paraffin wax.”
He began making his own candles, sourcing vegan soy wax and blending it with essential oils to produce his own fragranced candles. He began selling to friends and family and then at craft fairs. He was approached by retailers and beauty salons and the business really took off.
Drew launched a website and was soon selling his products as far afield as Australia and the United Arab Emirates and customers have included Paris Hilton. They are now also stocked in almost 40 outlets across the UK. There also an Owen Drew shop in Claughton, although this is currently closed due to the COVID lockdown.
Couples choosing Heatherfield House will be offered the chance to ‘scent’ their wedding by designing a fragrance which can be worn on the day or used in the candles. Drew added: “Our sense of smell is intrinsically linked with our memories thanks to the limbic system in our brain.
“By designing a signature scent, brides will be able to remember their big day in a way which photographs and videos cannot capture.”