2017 was a big year for Anita Murray. In the past twelve months Anita, founder of the Pink Beauty Group, saw her salon awarded the title of Best Beauty Salon in Europe, launched a new product range, did the ground work for another new brand, and became a mother for the second time, that’s if you include her adorable new German pointer puppy, Axl – oh, and there’s a third on the way, a baby boy who’s due in the New Year.
Going into business for herself at just 23 years of age, Anita’s career path has seen her rise to become the Managing Director of the Pink Beauty Group.
From the trade side, there’s The Salon & Spa Co, which supplies a couple of hundred wonderful Irish salons and spas with products from high-end brands like CACI Ireland, Margaret Dabbs London Ireland, Au Courant Tanning and Magnetic Nail Academy.
Then, there’s Edvard and Pink, the World Luxury Spa Award-winning spa that spans the top three levels of Dundrum Town Centre, making it Ireland’s largest specialist beauty and wellness destination.
Her success has been spurred on not only by her entrepreneurial streak, talent, and business head, but also a lust for life and an infectious spirit that diffuses through everything she says and does.
We challenge you to read our interview with Anita below and not smile from the beginning, perhaps have a little giggle somewhere in the middle, and be inspired and motivated by the end.
How did you get involved in the beauty industry?
Entirely by accident! I was interested in studying engineering in college but for a few hours off school I tagged along with my classmate to the Senior College Dun Laoghaire open day, I was intrigued with the course content and instinctively signed up for the two-year programme, I absolutely loved it and from college I went headfirst into the industry.
When did you make the decision to go into business yourself?
My parents were both self-employed so I would say that entrepreneurial flair is ingrained in me, I decided to go into business for myself aged 23.
What piece of advice would you offer to someone about to launch their own business?
As strange as this may sound I have to say if you are going into business just to pursue financial gain then rethink your expectations. Choose a career that you love and a job you would work for without any remuneration and you will never work a day in your life!
Passion and heart is such an enormous attribute to one’s success. That one easy question you can ask yourself to determine if you’ve found your passion and if you are prepared to put in the necessary work to make it succeed “Would you do it for free?” If the answer is yes, then do it!
Successful people are not workaholics; they’re workafrolics and they have fun doing it!
What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
My biggest risk was pouring a bank facility of 300k into one of my first endeavours, the complete refurbishment of a 125-year-old cottage to transform it into a completely unique and bespoke boutique beauty salon.
We launched the business with superb timing, just before the recession in 2008! The risk paid off and we grew the business throughout one of the worst economic climates you could imagine.
Edvard and Pink is that business that this year was awarded the accolade for best beauty salon in Europe at the 2017 World Luxury Spa Awards in Vietnam.
The biggest risk is not taking any risk, if you don’t play you can’t win!
How do you think it could be made easier for women to both raise a family and forge a successful career?
All working moms have to make choices and we are judged differently, the choices for working mothers are costlier than they are for men and until that changes, you will have women opting out.
Thankfully men no longer expect the classic 1950s ‘corporate wife’, but supportive spouses and families play an important role in enabling everything to come together.
What other Irish women inspire you?
My mother springs to mind, she is my first role model and inspiration, her philosophical way of being, how she copes with life and at her age how resilient and supportive she remains towards me.
Then I also look at Irish businesswomen, like Margaret Heffernan, of Dunnes Stores, and Penneys’ Breege O’Donoghue, and what they achieved when entering the market in a different and more challenging time for women.
As soon as you learn anyone’s story of how they got there and how they continue to grow, you’ve got to be inspired.
Edvard & Pink offers an array of treatments, what is your go-to indulgence?
Right now, I love Margaret Dabbs London, there is something so relaxing about a great pedicure and Margaret Dabbs pedicures are legendary.
Then comes the products, a beautiful professional range infused with Emu Oil – super moisturising, deeply penetrating and very powerful anti-inflammatory properties, all delicately scented with Lemon Myrtle – bliss!
What are your top three essential makeup and skincare products?
My routine is pretty simple at the moment but my holy grail makeup products include my Kanebo foundation, Dior Show mascara, Guerlain bronzer.
For skincare, my Image Skincare Ormedic cleanser, Dermalogica Active Moist moisturiser and my Murad AHA exfoliator.
Besides beauty, what are your other passions?
I adore animals, travelling and exploring.
What would your super power be?
Time manipulation! At the best of times there are not enough hours in the day so this is a winner for me. All-nighters would not be necessary and good times would last longer – plus awkward moments would never happen.
What is your greatest fear?
Apart from an irrational fear of snakes, there is nothing that I particularly fear! A touch of the jitters sharpens the mind, gets the adrenaline pumping and helps me focus.
Fear is energy so it’s important not to feel intimidated by it but harness it and use it as fuel!
What is your phone wallpaper?
My adorable new German pointer puppy.
Besides loved ones, what are the three things that you would save from your house in a fire?
My puppy, my Mac, and my favourite leopard print D&G handbag.
What do consider as your greatest achievement?
It really feels like everything has come together this year, it has been a magic year of accolades for the company.
We won at The Irish Times best shops, The Irish Hair and Beauty awards, the wonderful Image Business of Beauty Awards, and the World Luxury Spa Awards in Vietnam were real ‘pinch me’ moments. I think if I had to choose one thing that stands out as my greatest achievement I would have to pare it all back and say becoming a mother.
What trait do you most dislike in others?
I dislike if I sense someone is insincere, I am quite intuitive so I don’t have time for it. I pride myself on being authentic and being open and truthful about everything I think, feel, say and do, and I like to orientate myself towards authentic people.
What was the first tape or CD you ever bought?
Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Californication.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?< Pass the Prosecco! Where is your favourite place in the world and what makes it so special?
South Africa, it’s such a magnificent country, spending time with family, waking up in Camps Bay, sundowners in the Pilanesberg, and although Johannesburg gets a bad rap it offers a melting pot of African culture that is second to none. My favourite hotels in the world are in Johannesburg.
To whom did you last say, ‘I love you’?
My baby girl, Ava, she’s three now.
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
I am so excited for 2018 – 2017 has been very good to me so far but I did have to park a few projects when I ended up with appendicitis at the beginning of this pregnancy. I am hoping to grow our B2B trade market, expand the Edvard & Pink home range and bring our new brand Safari Kids to market.
Tell us your favourite quote of all time.
“To build authentic relationships you need to lead with generosity and serve them first.” – Keith Ferrazzi
For more information on Edvard and Pink visit edvardandpink.ie