International Women’s Day is a United Nations–sanctioned global holiday that aims to celebrate women’s contributions to society and raise awareness to the areas of society that need to improve to reach gender equality. At No.1 Media we use it as way to amplify women’s voices and however you choose to celebrate it, we are here to listen and learn. This week we are spotlighting some of Irelands most beloved businesswomen and entrepreneurs.
Each year has an official theme, but unofficially, many people use it as a day to remember all the women that have made an impact in their lives through sharing International Women’s Day quotes, thoughtful messages, and more
As a busy mother-of-five, Pestle & Mortar co-founder Sonia Deasy understands how difficult it can be to find a daily skincare routine that is both simple and effective.
Sonia worked for many years alongside her husband in a business where she looked at people’s skin all day, every day. The business was portrait photography and through the camera lens, every little problem that make-up tried to hide was highlighted.
Sonia became determined to find a simple daily skincare solution to remedy dull, dehydrated skin. Driven by the belief that skincare shouldn’t be complicated, she created a line of simple, highly effective skincare products.
What does IWD mean to you?
Intentionally taking time-out to stop and recognise the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, and resolve to support one another in everything we do.
What does your role entail?
As CEO and co-founder, I’m the face of Pestle & Mortar and also the driver behind product innovation. I stay close to my team and work with them to create an internal culture that reflects our values, namely simplicity, inclusion, creativity, and diversity.
What have been some of the biggest struggles and triumphs as a woman in business?
Being a woman in business can have its particular challenges, ranging from the balancing-act of family life and juggling the multi-faceted role of being a CEO. But to be honest, I’ve experienced many more triumphs than struggles as a woman in business, maybe because of the industry I’m in. The women I get to work with and partner with are the reason that my business has seen such success.
What skills are important to have in your sector?
It’s important to be innovative and progressive – always keeping up with industry trends and confident enough to create your own trend. You need to obsess about the success of your customer over and above anything else which means you are the type of person who’s always trying to improve.
What are the current challenges for women in your sector?
My experience of this sector is that it’s largely female-centric. There are a lot of female founders in this space as compared with a decade ago, and we all inspire and support one another. So the challenges you’ll face as a woman are not greater in this sector than in any other.
What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
Competition will be the biggest challenge. The skincare industry is notoriously difficult to gain traction in. You need a solid customer-centric marketing strategy which takes resources to create. It will take time, innovation, and a can-do mindset to gain a foothold in a market that’s already quite saturated.
Describe the 3 characteristics about yourself that you believe led to your success in business.
I don’t tend to overthink things. When I get an idea, I go with it before I psych myself out with too much looking left and right! I’m a serial entrepreneurial, so I assume failure will be part of the process. And I have a problem-solving mindset. I expect there to be problems and I like to solve them and move on.
What woman has positively impacted/inspired you in your career, and what is one lesson she taught you?
My Mum was a stay-at-home mother of six. She didn’t build a business empire or anything like that and she but she showed up every minute of every day as Mum. She has a very calm and relaxing presence. Whenever there was a crisis, she would make wonderfully aromatic Indian tea and serve it in a teapot with snacks and napkins. It was a ritual. To this day, I make tea and sit with my thoughts when I’m faced with a challenge. She taught me to stay calm and keep going.
What do you do on a regular basis to celebrate your woman self?
I love clothes so I treat myself now and then, I laugh with my girlfriends and sister, and of course, I enjoy my morning and nighttime skincare routine!
What is a daily or weekly ritual you have that contributes to your ongoing success?
I don’t turn my phone on until after I have completed my morning routine and am absolutely ready to slay the day!
What is something interesting you are currently working on? Personal or professional.
Personally, I’m working with one of my daughters on a fictional brand for a project she’s doing and it’s great fun. Professionally, I can’t tell you yet!
By Mary-Jane O Regan