Ahead of our Young Businesswomen's Forum?on Tuesday, October 17 at The Westbury Hotel, we decided to catch up with the Irish co-founder of ?Pestle & Mortar, Sonia Deasy
What are some of the biggest highs you've got from Pestle and Mortar?
Definitely, a high point for me was in December 2015 when a Skype interview which I did for the New York Times focusing on Hyaluronic Acid as an ingredient in skincare was converted to print and published. I had done the interview with a freelance journalist from New York 6 months previous and had given up hope that anything would come of it. The minute it was published sales of our HA Serum rocketed and the frenzy lasted for 3 weeks. I was amazed at the power of media at the time and now, before I do any important interviews, I try to get into my ?New York State of Mind?!
Developing a product from start to finish provides me with a huge high - it is so exciting to see the product that started as an idea in my brain fully formulated and packaged on a table in front me.
Do you ever find work/life balance a challenge, owning your own company?
To be perfectly honest, I don't find it a challenge but I do have to be mindful about it. As a mum to five young children, I did at one stage think ?how on earth am I going to manage all of this?? The truth is, Mums have all the skills required - we can multi-task, problem- solve, listen, lecture & work to schedule. If you can start and run a successful home and family, you can start and run a successful business. Nothing needs to suffer if you are organised, focussed and keep yourself healthy. I'm lucky in that I have huge family support and a strong and dedicated team in Pestle and Mortar.
Are there any other Irish businesswomen that inspire you??
In truth, there are many. I was recently asked to be part of a panel at Women Mean Business in the Shelbourne. I was astounded at the number and calibre of Irish businesswomen present at the event and I was proud and humbled to be associated with them.
Have you faced any particular challenges that you are proud to have overcome?
I appeared on QVC, America's largest shopping channel for the first time in May this year. That was definitely a challenge for me as it was my first time on television and I had to speak with a host live on air for 8 minutes. I was literally shaking with nerves beforehand! Thankfully, it went better than I could have imagined with our product reaching 'sold-out? status by the end of the slot. I've appeared two more times since then, and whilst it gets easier, it's still high pressure. I'm proud to have overcome this challenge as I would never have imagined myself appearing on live television in the birthplace of television a few years ago!
How did you know you were ready to take the plunge and set up your own business?
I didn't think about it. I'm from a self-employed family, I had my own fashion wholesale business from the time I left College and once I got married, I worked with my husband in his portrait photography business. Being self-employed is second nature to me. With Pestle and Mortar, it was easy to take the plunge - the challenge is to keep swimming.
Hear Sonia and fellow panelists Emma Manley and Catherine Buggy?talk about their working life at our IMAGE Young Businesswomen's Forum.