WIN THE DAY
With over 16 years of beauty industry experience, Eileen Fleming co-founded The Buff Day Spa in Dublin in 2002. She is now the sole owner and also runs her own business consultancy
What's your earliest memory?
It’s of walking home with my mother after she had collected a bucket of cow's milk from my neighbour's farm. I was the youngest of four and loved having time alone with my mother at that young age.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
My late mother Peggy was my greatest inspiration and influence. She had so much energy for everything she did, and was a total straight shooter. I’ve inherited a lot of her traits, albeit with a filter!
What was your first job?
Typewriting and filing at a factory where my sister worked during the summer before I started college. I was paid £100 per week, which helped with my college fund.
Ideal holiday destination?
I had the opportunity to work in the Maldives for a month in 2019, and was able to bring my then 12-year-old daughter. We’ve never experienced such clear blue waters, white sandy beaches and breathtaking scenery, along with such a warm welcome from the people there.
Thai cuisine is at the top of my list due to the variety, fresh ingredients and flavours. I'm also partial to taco chips and anything from Lindor.
I love water, and always bring a flask of it with me wherever I go. On a night out, I enjoy a glass of Champagne or prosecco, or a bottle of Corona.
How do you relax?
I absolutely love going to my local gym class for the feeling of strength it gives me, and the head space I get from concentrating on the next exercise and trying to catch my breath. For those 50 minutes, there is no room in my brain for anything else, so it is pure stress relief.
'It's easy to neglect your own needs when you're busy juggling a hectic work schedule, but it 's important to make time for self-care to stay healthy and avoid burnout'
What was the last great film or series you watched?
Money Heist is my all-time favourite Netflix series. You can't help but love the characters, plot, music and intrigue. It has everything.
Dream dinner party guest/guests (alive or dead)?
I'd love to have dinner with someone like Deirdre O'Kane and Jason Byrne – imagine the craic we'd have!
Do you cook and, if so, do you have a signature recipe?
The cooking gene completely bypassed me and ended up with my sister. However, I have mastered the slow cooker for a variety of dishes, and I can make a tasty steak and honey vegetable wrap.
Best piece of advice you've ever received?
A few years ago, I was competing at a Toastmasters competition in the UK. Feeling nervous before I went on stage, someone told me to write 'just enjoy it' on my notes. I did, and it worked. I now try to do that when I’m out of my comfort zone.
Best piece of advice you've ever given?
Prioritise self-care. It's easy to neglect your own needs when you're busy juggling a hectic work schedule, but it's important to make time for self-care to stay healthy and avoid burnout.
Have you changed the way you run your business since the pandemic?
Since the pandemic, we close an hour earlier from Monday to Wednesday, which helps with reception coverage. As a company, we continue to monitor all costs on a monthly basis, and have strict budgets in place for stock ordering.
Favourite thing about yourself?
I have a lifelong passion for education, and personal and professional development, as well as a thirst for knowledge and self-improvement.
What's the one beauty product you can't live without?
My current favourite is Image MD Restoring Facial Cleanser. After using it, I can literally feel the lines and wrinkles fading away!
What, if anything, would you now tell your 16 -year- old self?
Start exercising, adopt a healthier lifestyle, and stop frowning while reading!
How would you like to be remembered?
As someone who was there for friends and family; who showed courage and resilience in good and not-so-good times; who took risks; and who encouraged and believed in others, and led by example.
This article appears in the March/April 2023 Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland
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