The Changemakers: Sonia Deasy on overcoming adversity and reinventing her future
In this month’s issue of IMAGE magazine, Orla Neligan talked to the Irish women who are making a big impact in their respective fields.
Co-founder, Pestle & Mortar
Sonia Deasy thrives on moving targets, the kind that allow her the freedom to control her own destiny, change direction and move forward. “Regressing isn’t a natural state for me, progressing is. There can be no progress without change, so I tend to embrace it.”
Personal and professional motto?
“I always think of something Gandhi said: ‘A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.’”
Photo credit: Barry McCall
Sonia grew up helping her dad in his shop steered by his mantra: “consistency is the key to success”. Whilst working in her husband’s photography business, Sonia noticed how dry and dull many of their subjects’ skin looked. Frustrated with the lack of effective skincare on the market, she drew on her Indian herbalist heritage and developed Pestle & Mortar – a unique beauty brand that combines science and nature to create simple solutions for skin.
It takes a certain steely focus to catapult a niche brand into an otherwise crowded beauty market, but she has done it with aplomb.
Best piece of advice for business success?
“Keep the big vision in sight and fuel that vision with perseverance.”
Apart from being a mother to five children, Pestle & Mortar is her biggest achievement, challenges and all. “It’s about keeping the big vision in sight and empowering others to support you.”
Sonia credits her large family for her thick skin, which is often required to navigate the competitive industry pelt. In moments of adversity, she always sees the lesson. “I ask myself what I can learn from the situation. Secondly, I reinvent my future; and lastly, I ring my sister and find something humorous in it,” she laughs.