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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 21 November, 2019

#Interview

# interview - Saturday 1 June, 2019

'My faith is the biggest part of my life, it's more important than Tokyo or World Cups'

Still only 21, Elena Tice is fast approaching a century of caps for the Ireland women’s hockey team. She has made sacrifices and brave decisions, but is now closer than ever to achieving her sporting dreams.

# interview - Friday 31 May, 2019

From Business ETC Meet the Frenchman who's helping WeWork take on the Irish office scene Interview

Meet the Frenchman who's helping WeWork take on the Irish office scene

Mathieu Proust, the boss of WeWork in Britain and Ireland, on building a community in Dublin

SONIA DEASY DIDN’T  know much about the skincare industry in Ireland when she started Pestle & Mortar back in 2014, except that it was difficult to break into. 

That didn’t stop her taking the plunge and five years on it seems to be going rather well. Her company has just won overall business of the year at The National Enterprise Awards and is on the expansion trail. 

About two weeks ago – on an EY entrepreneur of the year delegation to Hong Kong – Deasy told the Irish Times that she plans to double to company’s revenues to €6 million this year. 

It’s a Friday morning when Deasy takes a call from Fora - she’s barely a day off the flight home from Hong Kong and is already heading back to work. 

“We’ll be launching in a couple of weeks in the Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong. I think that the Asian market will be really good, lucrative market for us. They’re very much into their skincare,” she says. 

She’s also gearing up to launch a ‘.cn’ website, the domain for China, in the next few weeks – to side-step local laws requiring animal testing on any products sold in bricks-and-mortar stores. 

“In the next couple of months we’re signing with distributors in Russia, UAE and Australia as well,” she adds. 

While Deasy may self-declare her lack of skincare credentials, she does come from six generations of medicine men and an entrepreneurial engineer father, whom she credits with bringing Clarke’s shoes to Kildare, where he ran a store for 40 years.

“My grandfather, he was a medicine man in India, and my uncle still practices in the same spot today,” she says.

 As a result. Deasy grew up having injury and illness tackled with natural remedies first.

“It’s a form of medicine; it’s handed down through talking. That’s the only way those traditions are handed down, through word of mouth. That’s the way I grew up,” she says. 

“It was this heritage that inspired my basic goals for all of my products – combining science and nature to create effective skincare formulations. Once I had this structure in which to formulate my products, my goal was really clear.”

Her first line launched in 2014, called Pure Hyaluronic Serum, “and we kind of never looked back”, she says. It took 18 months and the input of her biochemist sister to get it right. 

The brand now carries eight products, and is about to launch a ninth – a new vitamin C serum. 

Sonia Deasy (1) Source: Pestle and Mortar

‘Never looked back’

Back in 2014, Deasy and her husband, Padraic, worked as portrait photographers. They traveled extensively for years, speaking at photography conferences.  

“Both of us had a portrait photography studio. It was here when working with models in studios that I noticed a lot of skincare problems came to light under the lens. Mainly dry, and flakiness and patchy skin,” she says. 

“I realised that a lot of the women had the same problem, but they didn’t seem to have a simple skincare routine figured out. From travelling myself my skin was also suffering. I decided to create my own skincare solution, because I couldn’t find one that was suitable on the market.”

From the start, major brands were getting in touch – Arnotts, Brown Thomas, and later Liberty in London, Harvey Nichols and Avoca. 

Next month, the brand will be rolling out in 45 Marks and Spencer stores. 

“We never looked back and we’ve been expanding ever since. We’re also in all of the Bloomingdales in America, and I regularly appear in QVC in the US,” says Deasy. 

On her lack of skincare market knowledge, Deasy says that “sometimes you’re better off not knowing,” and “a lot of competitors might have said to us, ‘do you understand how competitive this market is, you’re never going to get anywhere,’” she says.

“We had nothing to go from because we didn’t know the market. All we wanted to do was create the best skincare brand or products and sell them, and that’s what we’ve achieved.”

‘Not known for skincare’

Deasy has noticed a move towards “smaller, indie kind of cult brands”, as opposed to bigger names. 

“I think a lot of women were confused when they went to buy a cosmetic product, that there were so many options and so much choice. As a small brand, we’re very agile. We can change, we can follow trends, we can research new ingredients and come up with new products and it doesn’t take us as long to get there,” she says. 

The brand emphasises is its use of natural ingredients – and Irish where possible, she says. Deasy also believes a big part of the brand’s appeal is her own relatability. 

“I’m a mother, I’ve got five children, so I think that I’m completely relateable to our customers. A lot of our customers would be like myself, in their late thirties, forties, maybe have children or they’re busy professional women,” she says.  

Even with so much expansion in the cards, Deasy isn’t worried about production, the company just set up in a new space in Naas. The old office was 1,500 sq ft – the new one is 10,000 sq ft. 

In five years, Deasy sees the company as a global skincare brand. 

“I think there’s more and more brands coming on board. Let’s face it, we’re not known for cosmetics in Ireland,” she says, laughing. 

“But I think that we have a good chance. We’ve got a lot going for us here. There’s a lot of Irish ingredients we can use in products. I think if we can be more clever about our brands and marketing, Irish brands can do well globally.”

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# interview - Wednesday 29 May, 2019

The Irish youngster who rejuvenated his career in Slovakia

Connor Ronan helped DAC 1904 Dunajská Streda qualify for the Europa League after joining on loan from Wolves.

# interview - Monday 27 May, 2019

From TheJournal.ie Swing fall TD Maria Bailey says she won't 'bow down to keyboard warriors and bullies' Swings And Roundabouts

Swing fall TD Maria Bailey says she won't 'bow down to keyboard warriors and bullies'

The Fine Gael TD today defended her now-dropped legal action against a Dublin hotel.

# interview - Sunday 26 May, 2019

'The accent is usually the big thing. There will always be people who have something to say about it'

Irish Olympic hopeful Clare Cryan talks to The42 about identity, athlete burnout and diving’s growth in Ireland.

# interview - Saturday 25 May, 2019

'I was a little boy, I was still lost' - Jonathan Walters courageously opens up in Late Late interview Interview This post contains videos

'I was a little boy, I was still lost' - Jonathan Walters courageously opens up in Late Late interview

The former Ireland international spoke about the death of his mother on last night’s show.

'I knew from the way the power had left my body that I was paralysed. I couldn't move my legs'

Victor Connell was left paralysed after breaking his neck in a scrum at 25, but he has built a whole new life for himself.

Ireland legend calls for more female representation on new FAI board

Áine O’Gorman earned 100 caps for her country before retiring from international duty last year.

Stuesdays, lineout nerding and contact skills - Molony makes progress

The second row returns to the Leinster bench today after a frustrating injury in recent times.

'We probably won't reap the benefits of it, but the generations behind us will'

After making her 100th Cork City appearance, Ciara McNamara hopes to pave the way for others to follow suit.

# interview - Friday 24 May, 2019

From Business ETC How older-than-Ireland Flahavan's has turned porridge into a multimillion-euro business Interview

How older-than-Ireland Flahavan's has turned porridge into a multimillion-euro business

The Waterford company is aiming to grow its export business in the US and parts of Asia.

# interview - Wednesday 22 May, 2019

'I woke up at 3am... I was convinced I was dying'

Eileen Ring reflects on a difficult few years after a life-altering incident in November 2013.

# interview - Friday 17 May, 2019

'I felt when I came back my skills were probably better than when I got injured'

Luke Marshall hit the ground running after his long injury lay-off and is intent on helping Ulster get back to Glasgow in a week’s time.

From TheJournal.ie Man awarded €5,000 after job interviewer greeted him with 'so, you're Deaf?' Discrimination

Man awarded €5,000 after job interviewer greeted him with 'so, you're Deaf?'

The branch manager asked the man, who had years of experience in a similar role, how he would manage to do the warehouse job safely.

From Business ETC Dairy brand Glenilen Farm thinks there's still 'a lot of ground to conquer' in Brexit Britain Interview

Dairy brand Glenilen Farm thinks there's still 'a lot of ground to conquer' in Brexit Britain

The market currently accounts for quarter of the Cork firm’s annual sales.

# interview - Thursday 16 May, 2019

One of Irish football's most promising youngsters is dreaming big

St Patrick’s Athletic defender Ciaran Kelly chats to The42 amid his impressive start to the season.

'In the UFC, there was a lot of pressure. If you lost, you were only getting half your money'

Norman Parke chats to The42 about bare-knuckle boxing, life after the UFC and closing in on title glory ahead of his KSW bout this weekend.

# interview - Sunday 12 May, 2019

'It came as a shock because South African rugby is famous for second rows'

26-year-old Jerry Sexton has earned a contract in the Pro14 with the Southern Kings.

'Sometimes my heart starts racing' - Former Cork minor hurler embracing memories of a spinal cord injury

Dessie Fitzgerald discusses the incident in a county-semi-final that changed his life and how he has found a vocation in life coaching.

The Irish star who could help Liverpool make Premier League history

After a difficult season for the club, Shane Duffy chats to The42 about hoping to inspire Brighton to a positive result against Man City today.

# interview - Saturday 11 May, 2019

‘I thought I was going to die. It was so peaceful and there was no pain. I could've fell asleep and never woke up again’

Christy McElligott, a league winner with St Pat’s in 1996 and now Ireland’s international amputee manager, shares his incredible story.

'I’m back to doing what I love most' - Former Brighton midfielder set for Munster Championship debut

Dessie Hutchinson is a member of the Waterford panel for this evening’s game against Clare at Cusack Park.

'I can see myself living and dying in Ireland one day, it's not like I said goodbye for keeps'

A year on from celebrating Leinster’s fourth European Cup in Bilbao, Richardt Strauss will watch today’s final from a very different vantage point.

# interview - Friday 10 May, 2019

From Business ETC How Fiid's founder is using baby-food tech to revive the vegan startup Interview

How Fiid's founder is using baby-food tech to revive the vegan startup

Shane Ryan hit a low point when he lost all of his stockists. Here’s how he rebounded.

# interview - Monday 6 May, 2019

'Until your family is hit with adversity, we take everything for granted'

Ahead of Saturday’s Champions Cup final, Leinster’s James Tracy tells The42 about his sister’s illness and why working with MS Ireland is a cause close to his heart.

'I don't blame players, leaving the game or going to play GAA' Interview This post contains videos

'I don't blame players, leaving the game or going to play GAA'

Ex-Peamount and UCD Waves boss Eileen Gleeson on the problems that continue to hamper women’s football in Ireland.

# interview - Sunday 5 May, 2019

'I still firmly believe I'll be back and good to go. I've unfinished business in the game'

After six years at Connacht, Craig Ronaldson is looking for a new club.

The Rebellion against Modern Football: Conifa, unrecognised nations and celebrating the grassroots

The42 speaks to James Hendicott, author of CONIFA: Football for the Forgotten, about his new book.

# interview - Saturday 4 May, 2019

From Queanbeyan to Barna: Family man Fainga'a shines in Connacht

The openside flanker has become a key player for Andy Friend’s side since joining from the Rebels.

# interview - Friday 3 May, 2019

From Business ETC 'I distill things to vintage values. If you can keep your grandmother happy, you're onto a winner' Interview

'I distill things to vintage values. If you can keep your grandmother happy, you're onto a winner'

Coffeeangel founder Karl Purdy reflects on 15 years in business – and gazes into the crystal ball.

# interview - Wednesday 1 May, 2019

'Our main goal is to win the tournament and make history happen'

There is a positivity within the Ireland U17 squad epitomised by captain Seamas Keogh.

# interview - Sunday 28 April, 2019

'I had never played centre midfield until my very first game at Leicester, when Martin O'Neill told me to'

Fergal Harkin looks back at his time in England as well as highs and lows in the League of Ireland, during spells with Bohemians and Finn Harps.

# interview - Saturday 27 April, 2019

'The GAA looked the other way because it was so popular - they'd have crowds of thousands'

Helena Byrne on the forgotten history of women’s football in Ireland

# interview - Thursday 25 April, 2019

'He's still my mentor to this day... If I need advice, he's always there to help me'

Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe of Derry City on the influence of Don Ubah on his career.

# interview - Sunday 21 April, 2019

From TheJournal.ie Taoiseach has no plans to beef up security for ministers after protests at their homes Home Security

Taoiseach has no plans to beef up security for ministers after protests at their homes

Leo Varadkar says he has not added any extra security after protests at his home.

# interview - Saturday 20 April, 2019

'I'm not leaving this place until I win something. I need to win something'

33-year-old Billy Holland has shown resilience over the course his lifelong love affair with Munster.

'I couldn’t even hold my kids. But if I've to break both hands again to get the win, I will'

With one fight left on his current contract, Wexford’s Brian Moore is fighting to secure his future with MMA promotion, Bellator.

'If we win every trophy available and I don’t score another goal this season, I think I’ll be happy enough' WNL

'If we win every trophy available and I don’t score another goal this season, I think I’ll be happy enough'

Ireland striker Amber Barrett talks Peamount’s perfect start to the season and how her side has evolved in the last year.

# interview - Tuesday 16 April, 2019

From TheJournal.ie 'I'm no expert in the cultivation of cannabis': Taoiseach supports idea of Irish farmers growing cannabis in the future Interview

'I'm no expert in the cultivation of cannabis': Taoiseach supports idea of Irish farmers growing cannabis in the future

In a wide-ranging interview with TheJournal.ie, Varadkar discussed John Delaney, Brexit, Peter Casey and the European elections.