GRATITUDE… it’s the key to happiness.
This Sunday is International Women’s Day, and to celebrate, The Galeries have interviewed gentSac founder Shira about the process of following her dreams – and her instincts – through launching the gentSac store over two years ago.
As well as being a ‘woman who champions men’, Shira is enthusiastic about sharing her story with anyone who is looking to commence their own startup journey.
Most important is prioritising self care and mental health to ensure those aspirations are supported by a wellbeing practice… many of which cross over into what we at gentsac like to call ‘#habitsofexcellence’.
Take a moment this Sunday to show appreciation to the women in your life. If gratitude really is the key to happiness, why not practice being a man who champions women on the daily?
Without further ado, let’s get into the Q&A.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
SHIRA: Hmmm how long have you got? In short, I am a creative, a Founder & CEO, an advocate for mental health and I champion building community and self-care.
How did you get started, why do you think you chose this career path?
SHIRA: I’ve always had the entrepreneurial spirit and I am a curator by nature. I just happened to notice a gap in the market when it came to a men’s offering for curated grooming products, making it accessible and easy for gents to shop for their essentials, learn the basics and level up their self-care.
What do you feel was the greatest challenge in your journey?
SHIRA: Being a self-funded start up certainly had its challenges! I think in general – getting super clear on the concept and how to articulate it, knowing who your customer is, juggling all the hats when you don’t have all the resources at hand and sustainable cash flow.
Where do you find your inspiration? What keeps you going every day?
SHIRA: My own routine when it comes to self care and mental health such as meditation, yoga and journaling keep me grounded and clear. When I’m clear and intentional with my bigger vision and purpose I feel motivated and can take inspired action. Also talented and creative humans who I get to work/collaborate with are key to injecting inspiration into my day.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
SHIRA: For me it’s all about celebrating women and what we are capable of, empowering women to know we can achieve anything we set out to, advocating for women’s rights, spreading awareness in relation to our mental health/self care and ultimately an opportunity for us to connect with one another and support each other as this alone can have such a positive impact.
You founded a business that focusses on men’s products and services. How did you find your inspiration to start and do you feel there were any obstacles as a female in this industry?
SHIRA: My inspiration was home grown. I was curating grooming kits as gifts for my partner at the time and he LOVED receiving these gifts. One day he said to me, ‘I always feel more confident when I’ve taken a few minute to have a shave, tidy my beard and moisturise.’ I set about researching and realised there were some great brands out there but they weren’t easy to find and you couldn’t shop for them all in the one place. It was a no brainer – the industry needed this!
In relation to obstacles as a female – truthfully these were all self imposed. At one stage I would write blogs and put my partners name on them thinking no one would want to read thoughts on men’s grooming by a woman! Over time – I realised people were inspired by my story and I had no reason to hide. My confidence has grown and I know where I stand in this space because I’m so clear on the bigger vision and purpose. I am really proud of gentSac and our mission. Once we give ourselves permission to stand in our truth and shine we give others permission to do the same.
Looking to the future, what do you hope for women in your industry? How do you see this evolving in the future?
SHIRA: I hope for women to have more of a voice. I was on the Executive team of a not for profit recently focused on Men’s mental health and I spoke on the women’s panel. The feedback was that men want to hear more from us! We have so much value to add and unlike my own experience of writing blogs and signing it off with my partners name, it’s time we step into our power and speak our truth. I’ve always said I am a woman who champions men and people ask what does that mean? Well, if the men in our communities are healthy, happy, nurtured, confident and in alignment with their values this has such a positive impact on partners, families, communities and that includes women! When we lead from a place of compassion it mirrors back to us. Supporting men, supports women. We get to lead by example, empower ourselves and empower others.