Mum of five Sonia Deasy is co-founder and CEO of Pestle & Mortar, an Irish skincare company which launched in 2014, talks to Pregnancy & Parenting magazine.
Pestle & Mortar has experienced exceptional global business performance for a company that was founded just five years ago.
Sonia’s innovative formulation strategy is inspired by her sixth-generation Indian heritage in natural healing.
With a formulation ethos of ‘less-is-more’, and a mission to enhance and protect natural beauty, Pestle & Mortar is a skincare brand that is committed to providing simple solutions for beautiful skin.
By combining natural extracts with high-performance technological actives, Sonia creates the most effective skin care solutions using as few ingredients as possible.
Q- What was your inspiration/ motivation to start Pestle & Mortar?
Whilst working alongside my husband in our 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 single-brand skincare solution on the market. As a busy mum-of-five, I believe that skincare shouldn’t be complicated! Coming from 7 generations of Indian Herbalists, the obvious solution for me was to research and develop my own brand of skincare.
Q- How did you pick the name ‘’Pestle & Mortar’’ ?
There’s a pestle and mortar that’s been in our family for 100 years. My Uncle still uses it in India to grind down herbs and seeds to dispense as natural medicines. I use one to grind spices for cooking. A pestle and mortar is an ancient implement which is still useful and has withstood the test of time. When I was naming my business, my own pestle and mortar caught my eye and I thought, ‘that’s the perfect name for my business!”.
Q- Can you describe the brand in one sentence?
Simple solutions for beautiful skin.
Q- What makes Pestle & Mortar so different from the hundreds of skincare brands on the market currently?
I would say simplicity and purpose. We take ingredients from nature, never compromising on quality, and marry them with highly effective technological actives to create skincare products that work.
Q- What is your number one skincare rule that you live by?
Double cleanse. Double cleansing is simply cleansing your skin twice and can make a huge difference to your skin. The first cleanse removes any makeup or SPF while the second cleanse will deep cleanse and treat your skin. If you are not thoroughly cleansing your skin, your active ingredients from your other products will be unable to penetrate your skin.
Q- What help and guidance did you receive when starting out?
Not a huge amount to be honest. People thought I was mad to launch a skincare brand with just one single product! I think the fact that I had a clear purpose steered me more than anything else.
Q- What advice would you give to other mumpreneur’s to get their ideas up and running?
Start where you are, do what you can and use what you have.
Q- What are the challenges of being a working parent?
You’re literally double-jobbing all of the time and you have to switch instantly between thinking like a Mum and thinking like a businesswoman. Nothing can prepare you for the minutiae of motherhood but one thing I’ve learnt is that guilt is a wasted emotion – I refuse to entertain it!
Q: What is your favourite thing about running your own business?
The feeling that I can turn my ideas into actions.
Q- Where do you see Pestle & Mortar in 5 years time?
We are focussed on substantial global expansion. My vision for Pestle & Mortar is that an Irish skincare brand, homegrown and inspired by family values, will demonstrate that it’s possible to compete meaningfully in a marketplace that’s saturated with big-players.
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