Tell us a bit about you?
I am a passionate beauty entrepreneur and self-care advocate, I am founder of the Edvard & Pink brand and Managing Director at the Salon & Spa Company. I see the beauty industry as a powerful platform for transformation on every level. My mission from day one has been to establish my business as a force for good for empowering self-care therapy and a deep element of care, love and connection within our communities. I am Co-Founder of the Irish Spa Association and was humbled to receive the accreditation of ‘thought leader’ in the field of wellness at the 2019 Business All-Star Awards in Croke Park by Vice-President of the European Parliament Mairead McGuiness. I enjoyed the appointment of Irish ambassador for World Wellness Weekend for 2021 and this year I am grateful to be working with the Global Wellness Institute on the new Aesthetic Health Initiative. I have two children Ava 7 & William 4 and they are the inspiration for our new company Be Kingdom Kind.
Tell us about your business?
The Salon & Spa Company, represents some of the world’s most desirable professional beauty brands within Ireland including veteran British beauty brand CACI International and luxury Spanish skincare house Skeyndor. We brought brands such as Margaret Dabbs London to Ireland and recently launched cult Australian organic tanning brand Three Warriors in Europe. We work with over 300 of Ireland’s most beautiful Salons and Spas.
Edvard & Pink is our own award winning Beauty Salon & Day Spa located in Dundrum Town Centre. I am very proud of this amazing and passionate team, they work unbelievably hard to maintain the highest of standards and uplift each and every guest walking through the door. The team recently received a global award at the World Luxury Spa Awards which is a true testament to their commitment and dedication to delivering something really special and raising the confidence, happiness and wellbeing of every guest coming through our doors.
Have you always been entrepreneurial?
Yes! I have been working in the family businesses for as long as I can remember and I have always loved the independence and the freedom being self-employed brings, not so much additional time off or more down time, in fact the opposite! but the creative freedom to do something really special, to take a small idea and nurture it and fuel it into something that really makes a difference
Where did the idea for your business come from? I
have always loved the beauty, spa & wellness sector and I studied all these modalities, Reflexology and Aromatherapy etc. so it was a natural progression to launch our own urban retreat and the B2B side of the business stems from the desire to empower other businesses with world class brands and mentoring. So, in operating our own business we can really understand the climate and support our partners from a really authentic and insightful position.
Who has been your biggest inspiration in growing your business?
My children and the clients we serve every day. Now more than ever people need wellbeing and we have to make it affordable and accessible, it can no longer be limited to a luxury weekend away once a year, we need to practice self-care daily.
What do you love most about having your own business? I love the independence and the creative freedom that comes with it.
If any, what challenges have you experienced as a woman in business during your overall career?
I can’t say I have faced many challenges specifically as a woman in business, my grandmother started her own business in 1954 and I think I learned a great deal from her, she navigated the social and traditional constraints that restrict women’s participation in business so well and with so much humility and determination. Confidence is an essential part of prosperity and growth. Generally speaking, we have built our business upon good relationships with our partners, our suppliers and our customers. Larger companies and suppliers have forgotten the importance of relationships, everything migrates towards P&L and margin, I would encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to really align your business with authentic and supportive suppliers that work with you and value long term partnerships.
What are the most important things to progressing as the owner/Director of a business? These could be characteristics, values, skills etc.
Listen, really listen. Most people’s idea of listening is waiting for the other person to finish talking so they can start their own monologue, be a listening ear and dial in from your heart, when you do that for your team they grow and the real job of a leader is to grow people. Share, discuss and debate different insights with your team and throughout your company. Finally do what you love! I can’t stress this enough you will spend so many hours building your business but if you are working on a business that genuinely interests you and you are passionate about it, you will have the resilience to keep going, even when it gets difficult. Your “I can must always be louder than your “I can’t”
What has been the most significant thing you have done to grow your business?
We have stayed true to our philosophy and our values from the day we put them on paper 15 years ago. This has always guided us and created a foundation that we have been able to continuously build upon.
What have been some make or break moments in your career? Important client meetings, presentations, procurement pitches etc.
Signing new brands is always an exciting milestone for us, we have a really exciting portfolio now and it has taken over 15 years travelling the world, hand selecting fledgling brands to work with as well as winning partnerships with the heritage brands that have stood the test of time.
What is your number 1 tip for anyone struggling to overcome entrepreneurial overwhelm and keep going?
Have someone in your corner, someone to champion you, to guide you and to help you keep going when you feel like giving up. Start small but always think big, just start, the most difficult part is starting and often that first step is the most difficult but once you take it you are halfway there. Finally, take time out! If you don’t make time for your wellness you will be forced to make time for your illness.