i-bient: Ruxandra Dariescu
i-bient is aiming to transform the experience of wearing a face mask
Name of founder: Ruxandra Dariescu
Location: London, UK
Date launched: 30.01.2020
Number of employees: 1
Age of founder: 47
Website: https://www.i-bient.com/, a brand of The Product Schools Ltd
Inspired by a personal experience, along with the Covid-19 pandemic, i-bient was created to help make wearing face-masks more comfortable with essential oils. Founder Ruxandra Darisecu describes this startup’s journey…
Tell us what your business does:
The Product Schools Ltd inspires, creates, transforms and delivers.
We help individuals and companies on their journey to discover their next step, to design how to move forward, to develop value for their customers and to deliver results for their business.
We created a product concept of our own, which is in the design phase (ACCORD Pulse – play well together) – a tool for continuous development and improved decision-making processes.
And now, inspired by the Covid-19 crisis, we designed a product that is aimed at transforming experiences: i-bient – wrapped in the wellness spirit.
The i-bient halo system is carefully infused with essential oils and aromas to create a new experience in the personal space. i-bient halos are ready to use – simply attach on the outside of things you wear, like a sticker.
Where did the idea of your business come from?
We are two sisters who had been through a personal experience of wearing protective face masks not too long ago, at the bedside of our sick mother. We know how uncomfortable face-mask wearing becomes as the hours go by.
The memories prompted us to come up with an idea that can transform the experience for thousands of people. The 2020 general lockdown, the necessity of face mask-wearing in shared spaces and the social distancing rules have transformed how each and every one of us interacts in the environment. How can it get better than this? How can we change the world?
This is the context in which the i-bient idea took life – wearable ambient. We designed a stable system of carrying scents that is simple, practical and fun; that brings a breath of freshness to our senses, that is versatile, yet very personal.
We turned the concept of wearable high-tech in any ambient into low-tech wearable ambient. A lot of words are surrounding a simple desire to make the ambient more personal – how the “halo” came to be.
How did you know there was a market for it?
We didn't know there was a market – we sensed a need for a better experience, so we set ourselves on the path of creating that experience.
Our friends and our networks have validated our progress every week, and then we launched the product.
What were you doing before starting up?
Business coaching, product management and business transformation.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
How did you raise the money?
Personal investment – family.
Describe your business model and how you make money.
We sell i-bient halos packaged as cards: one halo card and five halo cards.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Product design – the instability of the natural support and the volatility of pure essential oils.
What was your first big breakthrough?
Stabilising the infusion system.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Believe you can do it and you will find solutions for everything.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
Creating more products that transform experiences.
Keen to read more about more new businesses?