Dr. Paula Gaynor, SOMEGA – A Finalist in the Sodexo WMB Female Newcomer Award Category
4th April 2022
Over the coming weeks, we will be introducing you to our WMB Award Finalists. Ultimately there will be one winner in each of our five Award categories, to be announced at our Conference & Awards on May 16th. If you’d like to attend our Conference & Awards, you can book now>>
Here, we introduce you to Dr. Paula Gaynor, SOMEGA – a finalist in the Sodexo WMB Female Newcomer Award category.
Title and Company Name
Co-founder and director of SOMEGA
Sector & size of operation
Health and wellness (health supplements) – SME.
You originally hail from
Single or relationship
Married to Mark Clifford, the other co-founder of SOMEGA.
What is the best part of your job
Knowing that our health supplements benefit people’s health and receiving positive feedback from consumers is undoubtedly the best part of my job.
When someone tells you that they feel more energy after taking our Vitamin C, or that their children love taking our Easy Omega-3, it’s just so rewarding.
And the most challenging
The most challenging part is making big financial decisions and, as is typical for any SME, managing cashflow.
Your definition of success
While completely aware that SOMEGA needs to be profitable if it is to be viable, I don’t measure success solely in financial terms. The mission when we set up SOMEGA was to offer consumers pure and natural, science-based supplements that taste good and are well absorbed for maximum health benefits. SOMEGA started with one product and has expanded to a range of 9 products, with more in the pipeline. Success to me is consistently fulfilling this mission and knowing that in the process, we are positively impacting our customer’s health and wellbeing.
My best trait is my flexibility which is very useful in a startup company because my role is so varied on a day-to-day basis, from sales, marketing and new product development to interacting with customers, accountants and suppliers, and lots more in between.
My worst trait is that I want to have ‘all the facts’ before making a decision. While this, in theory, is the best way to make a decision, in real life we don’t always get all the facts in the timeframe in which we need them to make a decision. So, I have learned to adapt and make decisions based on ‘all the facts available at that time’.
Biggest ‘win’ to date
While we celebrate each time we have a new stockist or customer, the biggest win to date is having taken our initial concept of a science-based health supplement brand to the shelves of health stores and pharmacies nationwide.
Who inspires you most
Vicki Phelan – she is an amazing advocate for cervical cancer awareness and despite her own very difficult cancer journey, she continues to fight for the health and justice of Irish women.
Name two things on your ‘bucket list’
I would love to walk at least one part of the Camino route and run a full marathon – I’ve done a half one, so just need to double up!
What does it mean for you to be a woman in business today
For me, being a woman in business means feeling empowered and energised and always passionate about the company I run.
It’s hard work and challenging at times, yet hugely rewarding. It also means balancing home life, kids and the workplace and finding time for myself in all of this.
Best advice to pass on.
Be passionate and enjoy what you do, that way it never feels like work. Mix this with determination and self-belief and respect for your peers and your customers, and success will surely follow.