Who We Are
We are Charlie and Julia Griffiths, twelve year old son and supportive mother, lovers of all things beautiful in life and owners of Fred the cat, Arlo the tortoise and Billy, Bonzo and Barry the goldfish.
Our story is really a tale of two halves intertwining into a whole the first being Julia's battle with breast cancer and the birth of her first longed for child Charlie and the second Charlie's love of retail and his absolute determination to run his own business no matter what his age and then of course the advent of Charlie's business Hood + May.
In early 2004 whilst pregnant with her first child Julia was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. With the help of her brilliant surgeon and oncologist a plan of action was devised to work around her pregnancy minimising any risk to Charlie. Following surgery and four initial courses of chemotherapy on the 8th November 2004 Julia gave birth to a little boy she and her husband named Charlie. Further treatments followed during which Julia took the decision to help her recovery by eliminating dairy, wheat and gluten from her diet. Back in 2004 there really weren't many alternatives available in the shops like there are today so Julia started to bake her own cakes, biscuits and puddings. They proved a huge hit with family and friends and with numerous much coveted gold stars from the Great Taste Awards tucked under her belt in 2010 she launched a bespoke online bakery called Cake Angels which in 2015 was renamed Julia + son. Such was the success of Cake Angels that in 2011 Julia published her first book with Harper Collins simply called Cake Angels, Gluten, Wheat and Dairy Free Cakes, it is still consistently found in the top 100 bakery books on Amazon. A further book on pies, puddings and ice creams called Free From Desserts by Julia Thomas was published to much acclaim by Quadrille in 2015.
It really isn't surprising that Charlie wanted his own business after all from the age of six he has watched his mother grow and expand her bakery business whilst his father also runs a successful online business from the family home in Herefordshire. However it is Charlie's choice of business that is perhaps more surprising. For as long as he can remember Charlie has always loved shopping, not the everyday food shopping you understand but the far more glamorous variety involving clothing, tech, furniture, fabric and of course scented candles. As soon as he could walk Charlie eagerly accompanied Julia on her forays to London loving the noise, bustle, smell and glamour of the large department stores and the hoards of people passing through their doors, his favourite store has always been Selfridges closely followed by John Lewis and Liberty. For Charlie it was never the buying of a product that held the magic, although that could be fun, it was the selling he felt passionate about. He was fascinated by the entire process from the sourcing of a product through to the pricing, packaging and eventual sale and it was't long before he turned his bedroom into his very first shop. Fully equipped with a Sharps electronic till, display shelves, tissue paper and of course stock at the age of seven Charlie had launched himself into the heady and exciting world of retail.
By mid 2016 he had finally worn his parents down and they agreed to lend him a small amount of start up capital so he could launch his own online business. Following months of research and endless discussions with his Mum he decided to focus his attention on the world of scented candles. Almost immediately Charlie identified the need to source local and ethical products but more importantly he wanted products that he could retail at a reasonable price. He has slowly developed his small but distinctive brand, Hood + May with each item in the range having it's own long lasting identity. In the long term Charlie plans to further develop each beautiful scent adding organic body products to the range....watch this space!