Mum Tribe Business is delighted to introduce our new female founder interview series. We spoke recently to Pat Kane of reuzi.ie to find out what business means to her.
If you could summarise your business in one sentence, what would it be?
We are in the business of changing the world.
When did you start your business?
May 4th 2018, 5 days before my baby #2 was born!
Why did you start it?
Because as a customer for sustainable goods in Ireland, my experience had been quite fragmented. I wasn’t able to find what I wanted here in Ireland. I would either find beige/stainless steel stuff or stuff for moms & babies and I knew there was more out there! I wanted sustainability to feel approachable and doable. I wanted it to be pretty and of course, easy to navigate. And that simply did not exist here…
How has covid affected your business?
Well, we had to keep our doors closed for a while but we already had a strong presence online, which helped big time! Plus our community, customers and followers were extremely supportive. I am always saying that they kept us going and growing!
How did you come up with the name?
reuzi stands for reuse in Esperanto (it’s actually a play on my grandmother’s ability to talk to anyone out there)… Esperanto is the language of internationalism. It was created with a specific purpose in mind: to unite the human race. And that was pretty much how my grandmother used to be; she was this lovely hub for all things happy and sweet!
What did you do to get your business out there at the start?
I believe that help is out there but you gotta ask for it. I reached out to my friends, former colleagues and community to present the business. I also joined groups such as Mum Tribe where I found an incredible amount of support and advice.
What role does social media play in your business?
Social Media is everything. It’s a fantastic platform! We promote our business, product launches, events and we’ve created the most incredible and engaged community! Our engagement stats are through the roof and I believe it’s all down to our honest and fuss-free approach to sustainable living.
What did you do before you launched your business?
I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, surrounded by the sun and the ocean. My background is in business having worked with several multinationals in a bunch of different countries (South and Central America and Caribbean) for approx. 18 years. I worked for 10 years in telecoms and then led the Customer Experience department for Paddy Power Betfair for several years. My experience in business is vast and it has certainly helped me setting up reuzi.
What female founder inspires you?
My business hero is Holly Tucker MBE, founder of Not On The High Street. She represents everything I love about being a woman in business. She’s smart, creative, colourful and fun. She is always talking about how every business should have creativity at its heart.This quote of hers stuck with me: “You have to have sacks of creative, risky, bold and customer-first thinking if you’re going to have a chance of making something last long-term” – just perfect!On a personal level, the women in my family rock but my mother will always be my number one inspiration. An extremely hard-working lady. My mother has built a very successful business and she’s incredibly innovative and resilient.
What other Irish businesses do you admire?
In Ireland, I am a huge fan of Oonagh O’Hagan, my mentor on Going For Growth and the MD of Meaghers Pharmacy, Nicki Hoyne – she just launched a gorgeous collection of handbags called the Nicki Hoyne Collection- and Marissa Carter, no intro needed, right! I am huge fan of her story and the way she runs her business.
If you could give one piece of business advice what would it be?
I actually live by a few pieces of advice I heard throughout the years…Make sure you aren’t the smartest person in the room! Ask for help! Trust your gut! You can do anything but not everything, choose wisely!
What’s your five year plan?
Oh wow – if only I had one! Jokes aside, I see reuzi growing. Our aim is to expand our online presence and certainly, retail too. I see a successful own range of products and possibly even a school of sustainability! Who knows!
How do you create a work/life balance?
On weekends I tend to switch off (as much as an entrepreneur can!) and spend time with my boys. We go for long walks, do a bit of litterpicking (I can’t stop myself!), do a bit of gardening and cook some delicious meals. We usually watch a movie together and play games like Twister – we love Twister!
My family keeps me grounded and focused on what really matters.
How do you look after yourself to avoid burnout?
When it comes to ‘me time’, I love meditating! My dear friend Karina Fee runs meditations every Saturday 5pm and I never miss a session. I go for runs and walks and I love art – I have been an avid ‘pretend’ artist for years, it’s a great way to disconnect and let my creativity juices run wild and free!
What keeps you going?
People. Connection. Exchange. My family, my friends, the incredible community I was able to build over the past 3 years.
We want to be there for you every step of the way. We are delighted to partner with HuntOffice.ie to help support you on your business journey, and we have an exclusive discount code for you. Use code Mumtribe5 to get 5% off your order on HuntOffice.ie
From networking with your peers to chats with successful entrepreneurial mothers to inspire you to build your brand, we are very excited to launch this new activity.
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