Women Who Inspire: Wendy Slattery

Wendy Slattery

From leading in the corporate world to founding the world’s first ‘TripAdvisor’ style beauty app known as The Beauty Buddy, Wendy Slattery knows a thing or two about business.

As part of our Women Who Inspire campaign  we caught up with the entrepreneur to discuss her biggest female influences, equality in the workplace and the best piece of beauty advice her mother taught her.

How did you start your career, and how did you get to where you are today?

I come from the corporate world working with Eircom, where I held a number of leadership roles. Prior to The Beauty Buddy, I co-owned and ran retail and e-commerce stores in the party industry for 11 years.

What is The Beauty Buddy?

The Beauty Buddy was born from personal frustration. The beauty industry is a crowded space with new product launches every week. As a consumer all I was interested in was, am I buying the best product for me.

Brands, influencers and eCommerce sites have only good things to say about their products, naturally. I wanted the voice from the everyday user – like a TripAdvisor for Beauty.

Brands, influencers and eCommerce sites have only good things to say about their products, naturally. I wanted the voice from the everyday user – like a TripAdvisor for Beauty.

How did you go about creating it?

So, myself and my Co-founder Tracy decided as there was nothing like it, we would build the app ourselves.

You can scan the barcode or search the product name and it will bring up unbiased ratings, reviews from your peers. It will also provide you with all the product information, directions and tutorial helping you make an informed purchasing decision.

With over 17000 products and growing every week. We will be the social platform dedicated to beauty.

Have you always been entrepreneurial?

Looking back, I always had an entrepreneurial streak, set up clubs as a child and charging membership, roller-skate club, if you didn’t pay you couldn’t play.

While working in the corporate world I hated the restrictions and red tape associated with just solving a customer issue, I believed you should take ownership of the situation and resolve it. When the opportunity came around to take voluntary redundancy with a small stipend I didn’t think twice.

I believed you should take ownership of the situation and resolve it. When the opportunity came around to take voluntary redundancy with a small stipend I didn’t think twice.

What gave you the confidence to set up your own company?

I had the confidence to set up my own company as I have a family that believes in me and supports me. It is very difficult not impossible though to set up a business without the support of the people around you.

Who is your biggest female influence?

I admire Sheryl Sandberg and the Lean In movement. She believes that women must take some responsibility and start putting ourselves out there more. Take a seat at the table, voice your opinions and ideas, go for those promotions and believe it is possible to have a senior executive role or run a company and have a family, without having to sacrifice one for the other, if that is what you want. I would recommend her book Lean In for every working female.

Do you think there’s equality between women and men in the workplace?

I do not think there is equality in the workforce with women and men, we can even see this from the stats regarding pay. I do believe it is improving all the time, sometimes we need to look back to see how far we have come in such short space of time.

I think we are making great strides and positive impact globally. In California the new law mandates that you must have a woman on the board, it has been proved that diversity at board level increase profitability. I believe as women we are in a great position to create our own destiny, the power is in our hands.

I do not think there is equality in the workforce with women and men, we can even see this from the stats regarding pay. I believe as women we are in a great position to create our own destiny, the power is in our hands.

Have you ever felt at a disadvantage because you are a women?

Raising investment from Venture Capitalists is harder as a woman. Female start-ups that receive investment have greater returns yet venture capital investment in females globally is only 4%. I don’t see it as a disadvantage it means when we get the investment it is usually smart money from the right person that believes in your vision. It also makes us more resilient to the ups and downs. I think overall in business and life it is an advantage to be a woman.

You obviously run a beauty company, but what does beauty mean to you?

When I think of beauty or a beautiful person, I think of their personality, their actions, not their looks. Beauty and cosmetic products are a fantastic avenue for self-expression, creativity and experimenting.

When I think of beauty ‘products’ I believe products should only enhance someone’s features not hide or bury them and ultimately give them the confidence to feel good about themselves.

When I think of beauty ‘products’ I believe products should only enhance someone’s features not hide or bury them and ultimately give them the confidence to feel good about themselves.

If you were on a desert island, what would be your top 3 products?

I would take my Lancaster SPF 50 Sun  Cream, Benefit They’re Real Mascara and Innisfree Lip Balm.

What is the best piece of beauty advice your mother gave you?

You only have one face look after it! Remove your makeup every night before bed and always choose quality products over quantity.

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