AGENT™ Q&A – Ri na Mara founder, Deirdre Ui ChathmhaoilLast Updated: January 1, 2019
“We want to become Ireland’s number one beauty and skincare range”: Deirdre Ui Chathmhaoil founder of Irish family-run seaweed cosmetics company Ri na Mara spoke about life at the helm of her firm, and her goal to grow the small firm into a major player in the beauty industry.
DEIRDRE Ui Chathmhaoil is the founder and director of Ri na Mara, a family-owned and operated seaweed cosmetics company based in Spiddal, County Galway, on the west coast of Ireland.
‘Rí na Mara’ is Gaelic Irish for ‘King of the Sea’, and under Deirdre’s direction, the company and its products that harness the power of the sea and the natural environment for the nuture of healthy and beautiful skin, is steadily becoming a hero brand.
Amid steady growth in overseas and domestic sales, Ri na Mara, manufacturing its organic range using seaweed harvested from the Irish west coast for the ultimate in marine water purity, seems set to make a serious bid for the prize that would give Deirdre the utmost satisfaction: becoming Ireland’s number one beauty and skincare range.
Deirdre’s entrepreneurial spirit was nurtured from an early age. One of eight siblings, her parents had their own businesses, and her mother remains her chief inspiration and role model in business and in life: “She was raising a large family as well—it was a time when multi-tasking was never heard of, but she managed it really well,” Deirdre recalls.
From her father, Deirdre learned core business skills that she continues to this very day in Ri na Mara: “From a very early age, we were encouraged to work in my father’s shop… and I take those skills with me to my own business now. We learned that the customer is the most important part of your business.”
Deirdre continues to place great emphasis on customer feedback: positive testimonials are pleasing, of course, and she eagerly keeps tabs on the company’s Facebook page for any customer feedback, as well as using it to advertise trade shows that the business will be attending, and other means of customer engagement.
Deirdre spoke to AGENT™ about the story of Ri Na Mara since its 2004 inception, what keeps her going amid the challenges of developing a small cosmetics brand in a sector that is dominated by massive brands, and shared the advice she would give to young entrepreneurs starting up in business today.
Watch – Interview with Deirdre Ui Chathmhaoil, Ri na Mara