International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women from all around the world.
Observed since the early 1900’s – The world has witnessed a significant shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality. Today we would like to celebrate one of our own, Mary Centofanti, who is leading the way as a successful woman in business.
She has turned Davroe into the thriving Professional Salon Brand that you see today. We sat down with Mary to ask her a few questions about her journey with Davroe and what challenges she had faced along the way.
Q: As a woman in such a powerful role and position at Davroe , have you ever felt like you haven’t been taken seriously or discriminated in anyway because of your gender. If so how did you overcome this?
A: I have been very fortunate not to have faced discrimination based on my gender or my nationality for that matter. When I started with Dresslier , my employers were very open to hear everyone’s point of view or thoughts. I never saw, or experienced this on my behalf nor did I ever see this happen to anyone else. I often get asked if I think there should be an equal amount of each gender in the business. My view on that is that every position is filled by the right person for the job regardless of their gender or race for that matter. At Dresslier we are fortunate that we do actually have 51% to 49% mix, but this has been achieved by finding the right people for the position.
Q: What are a couple of highlights from your experience with Davroe so far?
A: There have been so many highlights. I always get a buzz walking past a salon and seeing Davroe on retail shelves. I love seeing someone post an image on their instagram, it’s these things that really hit home to me and it’s important that the hairdresser is confident to use it in their salon and that consumer’s love using the products time after time. These things are just as important as seeing the products being used on models in New York for runway shows. I love everything we do.
Q: What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurial women that want to see success in their own businesses?
A: If you are passionate about something , that always helps, and you have done your homework, then I think everyone should give it a try and see where you can take something. I know, the time may not always be right but if there is an opportunity, you should take it. Yes there will be sacrifices and you need to make the choice, do you really want to take the risk or not? In the end only you know!
Q: As a family orientated woman, how have you been able to maintain a work life balance over the years?
A: This has been the hardest thing, although we have now found the balance and it makes all the difference. When you are starting up, you need to devote the time to grow the brand/company, there will be ups and downs, major headaches and things that need to be dealt with then and there. This is where the biggest sacrifice was for me, time with my young family. However, as the brand grew and we employed the right people, so did the opportunity to find the balance. I am so pleased and thankful that we have an amazing group of people that work for us!
Q: What is one of your favourite Davroe products that you’ve helped develop and why?
A: Oh! I love Ends Repair it’s my go too product, I know that anyone that tries it instantly falls in love with it. My other favourite is Luxe Leave in moisture, UV protection for your hair, seriously good!
Q: MCT has just been nominated as a finalist for Best New Professional Hair Care Product, how do you feel about this?
A. Oh I absolutely love it!! MCT was a favourite with salons and clients many years ago, but when we changed our formulations in 2006, we chose to leave MCT off the new starting line-up and the plan was to re-introduce it down the track. Well, with the new re branding we felt it time to bring back this beauty. Well deserved it is an amazing product.
Q: Davroe has just gone through a major rebrand of your packaging, tell us a bit about this?
A. Although everyone, including us, still loved the packaging, it had been in salons and our bathrooms for over 12 years, so we felt the time was right to re think and re fresh the brand with a complete overhaul including logo. Whilst most people think it’s a big process (which it is) it’s also a very timely process. This new rebrand and re pack took 3 years from inception of brief to on shelf. This included re-tooling for our bottles, caps and tubes. The feedback has been overwhelming and extremely positive. We absolutely love it!
Q: We know we can purchase Davroe products here in Australia, but where else can we find Davroe?
A. Our Davroe family is growing globally every day, it’s very exciting to see our European counterparts taking the brand on with so much enthusiasm. Currently you can purchase our products if you are in New Zealand, the US, Denmark, Sweden and Poland with more countries coming on board in the next 6-8 months.
Q: What’s next for Davroe?
A. Continued global growth is one of our focal points but so is continuing to grow the brand here in Australia, where there is still so much potential for the brand, but also keeping loyal to our customers and consumers who have supported for many years as well as our new followers. Home is where the heart is and we will continue to manufacture and distribute our products from our Australian head office. We will also be introducing some new products this year so watch out for these as the year progresses.
Q: We would like to congratulate you on your award/presentation, last night, you were one of 10 women Celebrated for The Women of Campbelltown project, tell us how you felt?
A. I think anything that brings the focus to women and acknowledging their good work in all industries, is fantastic! There are some amazing women in our community who have been working and volunteering from 5 to over 50 years finally getting the recognition they deserve. I’m grateful to be nominated amongst these women!