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DHL Express can help your business grow

DHL Express is supporting Irish companies like Pestle & Mortar in taking their business to the next level and going global

DHL: Connecting your business to the world

DHL: Connecting your business to the world


The very nature of DHL’s business is facilitating international trade and we work closely with our customers to ensure that in this digital age, their diversification efforts are successful. Being the most international company in the world allows DHL to partner with Irish businesses of all sizes to bring their products to the furthest corners of the globe.  Whether you are an SME that is considering entering the international market or an experienced exporter, we have a team of highly trained ecommerce specialists that provide support and advice to grow your international sales. Pestle and Mortar have been working closely with DHL on their ecommerce journey and together we have been able to deliver their product internationally.

Pestle & Mortar is an Irish skincare brand that has expanded at an exponential rate since its launch four years ago.  Owners and co-founders, Sonia and Padraic Deasy, are no strangers to the life of entrepreneurship having previously owned a photography business, which they made the difficult decision to close just over 18 months ago. However, the ability to make these tough decisions solidifies their place amongst the best business minds as it demonstrates an awareness of where to direct their focus – a business with fewer products that was easier to market. In fact, when they launched Pestle & Mortar they launched with just one product – an important lesson from their previous ecommerce experience.

Pestle & Mortar have learned to plan and prepare as best as possible for busy periods

And so four years ago Pestle & Mortar launched with one product and two business minds.  Now they have a portfolio of natural skincare products, a workforce of 20 people and more than 800 B2B customers across the globe – quite a journey for an ecommerce business in just a few years. Their big break came in the form of influencer marketing when an influential QVC USA presenter, Cameron Silver, mentioned the brand in a New York Times article.  Cameron had contacted Sonia to say that he loved to support new brands and where could he buy the product.  He wouldn’t accept the proffered gift and instead purchased it.  Following this came the mention in the New York Times and once the article went live, their website as Sonia says, “was hammered”. The product sold out in just three days across the United States.

Global success was very quickly thrust upon them. So since their inception Pestle & Mortar have learned to plan and prepare as best as possible for busy periods in the ecommerce calendar.  35 per cent of their annual business is done over the Black Friday period and last year the company was filling two DHL vans a day to ensure their customers around the world received their goods as promised.  They have also learned , through trial and error, that Christmas is a period that needs to be prepared for well in advance and planning for their popular All I Want for Christmas box now begins in January to ensure that sufficient time is allowed for the three month lead time on its manufacture and finish. 2018 was the first year that everything was actually ready. There are plenty of lessons for an ecommerce business to learn on the road to success.

One element that really sets Pestle & Mortar apart is the unique and captivating history of the brand story.  Sonia is of Indian heritage and comes from six generations of medicine men, healers that used pestles and mortars to grind up herbs and spices to cure the ailments of the villagers. She grew up with this natural healing tradition and after seeing the impact that travelling and makeup had on the subjects that her husband, Padraic, used to photograph, decided that there had to be a natural, simple skincare solution for beautiful skin.  Working closely with her biochemist sister to create the perfect product, Pestle & Mortar was born.

While the brand's big break came in New York, Sonia believes that keeping up the global momentum starts locally.  “It’s grassroots. That’s how the spread of marketing works – speaking and building brand awareness.  I’m asked to speak here in my own market, at women’s enterprise events and I’m the ambassador for women in Co Kildare this year”.  She highlights the importance of relationship-building in terms of connecting with customers through face-to-face contact and by having an emphasis on social media, as all of this helps to increase awareness of the brand.

Pestle & Mortar has a unique history.  Sonia is of Indian heritage and comes from generations of medicine men, healers that used pestles and mortars to grind up herbs and spices to cure the ailments of the villagers.

Perhaps the biggest lesson to learn from Pestle and Mortar is that ecommerce brands sometimes need a physical environment to bring new consumers to their products, especially in the tactile world of cosmetics. Their presence in upmarket shops gives the Pestle and Mortar brand credibility and the customers the opportunity to sample. The figures speak of a strong on-the-ground presence. Of the total units sold in 2017, 60 per cent went to retail stores and 40 per cent were sold direct to consumers. “It’s really worked for us that we have a presence in the likes of Liberty of London and Bloomingdale’s,” explains Padraic. “It does two things: it gives us a presence for consumers to go and test our products and that then translates into us growing our online business. It’s important to get someone to actually sample our product. Once they’ve tried it, we experience huge click rates.”

Pestle and Mortar’s distribution operation with DHL is seamless. Wherever in the world the order comes from, the brand knows that DHL will get it there. Padraic explains, “I was in Australia a few weeks ago, and just flying from Melbourne to Sydney, you realise how vast the country is. When you see an order coming in from Australia and it gets there in two and a half days, you’re just shocked by how quickly DHL can actually do it.” 

DHL are glad to have helped bring Pestle and Mortar to the far corners of the earth and to do it as rapidly as this fast-growing brand deserves. 

If you'd like to enjoy the same kind of partnership or get some information on how DHL can help your business grow, you can contact our ecommerce team on