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Image / Agenda / Business

How three Irish entrepreneurs got into the beauty industry


by Grace McGettigan
02nd Mar 2021
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We speak to three Irish entrepreneurial women – Sonia Deasy, Jennifer Rock and Anita Murray – about their starts in the beauty business.

Ireland is home to a wide number of creative, entrepreneurial women – many of whom have crafted careers in the ever-expanding beauty industry. While we often talk about the success stories of these entrepreneurs, we want to hear the stories about where it all began. With that in mind, we asked three of Ireland’s leading beauty entrepreneurs about what inspired them to enter the industry.

Sonia Deasy, co-founder of Pestle & Mortar

“Whilst working alongside my husband in his portrait photography business, I noticed how dry and dull a lot of the subjects’ skin looked close-up. I was also travelling a lot at the time, and I was frustrated that there didn’t seem to be a simple and effective skincare range on the market. I had always harboured an interest in the natural skincare arena. Coming from six generations of Indian herbalists, the obvious solution for me was to research and develop my own products. Hence Pestle & Mortar!”

Anita Murray, owner of Pink Beauty Group

“My parents are both self-employed so I’ve always had entrepreneurial goals. From very early on, I think my parents instilled a great work ethic in me. They taught me about perseverance and humility to work hard, and how to really dig deep for every little victory. I was involved in the family business from about the age of nine – indirectly gaining an insight into the commitment, solidarity, optimism, and diversity required for my future endeavours!”

Jennifer Rock, creator of The Skin Nerd

“The Cleanse Off Mitt make-up removal tool and The Skin Nerd online skin consultancy came about through my realisation that both were market niches that hadn’t truly been tapped into in Ireland. Microfibre makeup removal tools existed but not at an affordable price point. When I had the idea for the Cleanse Off Mitt, I was working in London and noticed how many of my clients were buying expensive active products yet ‘cleansing’ with wipes. Wipes irritated their skin, impaired its barrier and didn’t actually clean it. I wanted to be the one to bring an affordable, eco-friendly and skin-friendly pre-cleansing option to the Irish market.”

“The Skin Nerd online skin consultancy and the exclusive cosmeceutical department store came about as nobody else was offering online skin consultations. I believe that everyone should be able to access skin guidance, regardless of where they are and how busy they are. I feel that many people are very confused by which products and brands to go for, and many salons and clinics only offer a small range of brands. That’s why our online store stocks over 30 brands, so that we can be impartial and unbiased and simply offer the best skin advice that we can.”

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