It’s been a difficult year for Irish business. This International Women’s Day 2021, we’re shining a light on the businesswomen in Ireland that we admire. FieldDay is a home fragrance company that celebrates the native scents of the countryside in Ireland.
What is your name, and what is your business?
My name is Alix Mulholland. I own and manage FieldDay.
How long have you been in business and what is your mission?
I’ve been in business for 18 years. Our mission was to capture and bottle the scents of the Irish countryside. All these years later, our brand DNA hasn’t changed, it’s what we’re still doing, in fact more so than ever.
Of what part of your business are you most proud?
I’m really chuffed that I’ve created employment in this corner of the world. I’m very proud of my team; they’re loyal, hardworking and look out for each other. I’m proud of my collections, and I get such a buzz when people choose my products to buy, especially in a really competitive marketplace. I’m really proud to support Ulster Wildlife and raise awareness of the great work they do conserving Irish wildlife and habitats.
Who are your heroes?
My Dad was my personal hero. He ran a shoe business with his brother in Belfast. He was a hard grafter with a serious work ethic. He was resilient, but also generous and kind. He was my first business role model, and a great example to me.
The first business book I ever read was Anita Roddick’s Business as Unusual. Anita Roddick set up The Body Shop. She was a trailblazer, fearless and brave. In many ways, she paved the way for the bath and body industry, and most importantly she demonstrated that business can be a huge force for good like creating awareness about animal testing. I’ve been massively influenced by her.
I loved going to The Body Shop in Lisburn to buy Dewberry and White Musk perfume, the scent of my early teenage tears! Years ago, I attended a conference in County Armagh where she was the guest speaker. I brought my book along for her to sign, and although I’m never usually lost for words, I was totally awestruck when she signed my book and couldn’t manage to say more than hello to her.
How have you found the last six months?
The last six months have been a roller-coaster. I’ve been in business for many years but can honestly say the last six months have been the toughest and most exhausting I’ve ever faced. It’s been stressful, and there have been many sleepless nights. But it’s also been the year where I’ve seen the good in people, and found joy in the little moments; my daughter baking chocolate muffins, good vibes on Zoom, family bike rides along the River Lagan; something I hadn’t done in years, it also helped to exercise off some of the lock-down crisps and wine!
What keeps you positive?
My children help keep me positive. Kids are a great leveller and help me to remember that there’s more to life than work and candles. I’m a glass half full kind of person, so tend to see the upside of things. I try to take a daily walk in nature. It really stills me, helping me keep perspective and stay positive. My husband is hands-down my number one supporter. He is endlessly patient with me, and when things seem too hard, he has a knack of helping me see things in a better light.
What new perspective did you gain from 2020?
Hold lightly to things. Hold tightly to the people you love. Mindfully feeling gratitude for the small things in life; a morning cup of tea, sunshine and WhatsApp chat with friends.
Best/worst moment from last year?
The worst moment was furloughing all my staff back in March. We’re a tight-knit bunch here, and I really missed them. The best moment was slowing down and enjoying a simpler life for a few months. Over lock-down, we watched The Durrells and Anne With an E on Netflix. The kids loved this time chilling out on the sofa with us.
Another Irish business you want to shine a spotlight on?
Reuzi in Foxrock, Dublin. It’s a sustainable lifestyle store who champions makers and creators of eco-chic sustainable products. I’m really proud to sell our collections there.
We are Born and Bred, Belfast City centre. A fab store owned by a brother and sister Lynsey and David, who tirelessly champion local makers in Belfast.
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