This month we are delighted to have skincare revolutionist, wife and mother, Fiona Toomey, contribute to our newly launched My World series.
We launched this series to honour and introduce an inspiring group of mothers, entrepreneurs and friends of Mamas Hospital Bag. Each person featured is someone who motivates us with their shared values and determination to do what they love! I was introduced to Fiona and NESSA by a mutual friend a few years ago, and have watched in awe since as she has grown the brand, both locally and internationally, whilst juggling a growing family. Fiona has been a great supporter of MHB from day one and we are delighted to feature NESSA products across our range of Hospital Bags and Gift Boxes. Read on to hear what inspired her to start NESSA, her advice to those starting out and what it's like to be a mother of boys.
Our conversation with Fiona
Fiona as founder, CEO, mother and wife, you wear many hats these days! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself & your family. I’m a mum of 3- 3 boys 😉 so it’s pretty wild! We live in London but my husband and myself are both from Dublin. We are looking forward to Covid being over so we can get back to visit everyone.
Do you have any advice on items you see as essentials for your hospital bag? I find hospitals super-hot, so flip flops for the shower, lots of light cotton clothes / pj’s / dressing gown, dark underwear, sanitary pads, and bits for the baby! I think skincare essentials are really important, gentle facial wash, hand cream, body oil / butter, hair products, all – unscented.
How would you describe yourself as a mother? Winging it through motherhood!
To me, motherhood simply means…unconditional love, joy, and a lot of hard work!
Time for yourself is difficult to carve out as a mum; what do you do for yourself? I love to go running, it is my safe space to think.
Personally I didn’t grow up thinking ‘I want to run my own business’, it evolved from a desire to create something I actually wanted in the market. Can you tell us what was your path to starting NESSA Organics and did you always want to be an entrepreneur? Starting NESSA came pretty naturally, it was born out of a need I had. I felt really let down by the beauty industry after I had my first baby, there is a complete lack of realism, about how our bodies change during pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, motherhood, right through to menopause, it’s all one big taboo that no one talks about. I decided I wanted to create something women can relate to, created by women for women, and not to hush taboo topics like the beauty industry still does.
As for becoming a entrepreneur, it was not something I intentionally made a decision around, but saying this, it is my 3rd business venture, so maybe I subconsciously always wanted to be an entrepreneur!
What is the part of building a business you love best? Creating something from nothing is really exciting, building it exactly how you want it. I also love how every day is totally different.
Can you give advice to anyone who wants to start their own business? Tips on how you got started, anything you think was essential to getting off the ground? Or things you wish you had done differently the first time around – likewise things you felt you nailed? Always trust your gut when making any decisions, it will never let you down. Don’t underestimate networking in your industry, knowing people can save you so much time when starting a business, there are so many people willing to help, people love a start-up and a story. As soon as you have proof of concept, put things out there, pivot, learn and fail fast. Watch your money at the start, so many people put all their money into launching their idea or business, and forget that money will be badly needed in the first year to stay afloat.
What’s next for Nessa Organics? So much for NESSA! We have a rebrand coming up, and lots of new products for 2021!
Finally, where are you most excited to go once the world opens up? Literally anywhere, I don’t care! But back to Dublin would be first 😊