The women who inspire me

Sarah Brown is the founder of Pai Skincare. Entrepreneur, mum and sensitive-skinned soul – trying to find time to practice more of what she preaches…

Today is International Women’s Day (IWD) – a touch point in the calendar that celebrates all the amazing women, society and the media seldom put centre stage.

To mark the occasion here are just a few of my lesser known, everyday heroes that have inspired me to think differently and live my life better.

The Eco-Pioneer

I first heard Kresse Wesling speak at an event many moons ago when Pai was in its infancy. Her voice was emphatic, her mission resounding. She basically stole the show that night.

When Kresse saw a tonne of discontinued Fire Brigade hose heading for landfill, she felt compelled to find a use for it.

The story goes (if I remember correctly), that she hired a truck there and then to transport it back to her home. It then sat in her front garden while she figured out what to do with it.

She and her (now husband) Elvis invested £40 in a cutting tool and converted the hosing into luxury bags, belts and wallets.

They persuaded Harrods to sell them with half of all revenues going to the Fire Fighters Charity.

Kresse is a woman of creativity and conviction – long may her amazing reclamation work continue.

The Friend

In 2012 a close friend Mairead was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 41.It was discovered at a fairly advanced stage. She researched, got busy and turned her life on its head in the blink of an eye.

She cleansed her bathroom cabinet, started juicing, ate like a goddess, swam daily, had acupuncture, installed a water filter, styled her wigs and head scarves with panache and had makeup lessons to perfect her diminishing brows.

She wasn’t just strong. She was determined and defiant.

I remember visiting her in hospital at a particularly low point. She and her husband were discussing Christmas card lists and how she was going to get to the kids’ nativity plays. It was clear her priority was to maintain normality for her family.

Mairead – the wife, the mother, even career woman – was lying there thinking about everyone else.

I’m pleased to say that Mairead staged a full recovery.

There are a million Maireads in this world, on the same difficult journey, and this is my salute to them all.

The Business Wonder Woman

I met Emma Sinclair only recently but she leaves her mark and her energy is infectious. The youngest ever woman to take a company public, she now runs successful companies on both sides of the Atlantic. She is also a journalist in her spare time.

The word busy doesn’t quite cut it.

She talks so fast because she doesn’t have a second to waste. She also has a LOT of interesting things to say.

She’s on my list partly because of her formidable work ethic but mostly because of her latest project, Wakeman Road. Having experienced first hand the damaging effects stress and over-work can have on our health, she has created a sanctuary for those in need of a minute to themselves. It is the ultimate wellbeing haven that has a great vibe.

It’s filled with inspiring books for ‘borrow’ and a special blend of beautiful things sourced from companies Emma admires.

A unique place led by a unique individual.

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