Oonagh O’Hagan Managing Director Meaghers Pharmacy Group – WIN Show Episode 14

hello and welcome to the women’s inspire
Network show the show where we interview the humans behind the businesses and we
also interview people who are influencing others and inspiring other
women and one of those ladies is on my couch right now! No pressure,
Oonagh O’Hagan from Meagher’s pharmacy thank you so much for joining
what I have to say to anyone doesn’t know Oonagh, Definitely go follow her Instagram
she’s the managing director of Meaghers pharmacy so I just have to get you on
the show so thank you so much for your time no problem so tell us a little bit
about what you’ve been up to? I mean, I know you’re the managing director Meagher’s pharmacy and I noticed that Meaghers Pharmacy is doing a lot of really cool stuff especially with any brands that are coming out that nobody else knows
about and stuff like that so tell us a little bit about how you ended up being
the managing director of Meaghers Pharmacy Have we got all day for it?
Yeah! Go on, Go on! I’ll just get my drink, go on! Go ahead! No, I am a pharmacist by
profession so I studied pharmacy in Trinity and I’m from Tyrone originally so
come down I love the accent even all these years later but came down just cuz
I actually just wanted to get out of the noise at that time because it was the
troubles were on and I you know I danced in Dublin a new Dublin always felt like
it’s known as across the border I was in the Free State and there was a freedom
really yeah so really wanted to come to Dublin and it did Sciences as a devil’s
and so was either going to be pharmacy or medicine for me really and was dead
sat on medicine but at the very last minute when I got my results I changed
my mind because I have a phobia of needles a little bit yeah you’re taking the place and I just went
no actually no what about thank you that’s one second and said can you swap
me into pharmacy so it’s hi Angelo from pharmacy in Dublin and then when I
qualify it out of Trinity you had to do four years in college and then one year
under the guidance of a tutor pharmacist and you could do it either
little or in community or an industry and I chose community because I like
chatting to people as you know no I just didn’t see myself in a lab and I didn’t
see myself you know in a hospital pharmacy at all I wanted to be with
people so communities for I was going to go so then I had to choose you know
which community pharmacy I wanted to you know our arcana gave me through the year
and I happened to be living in the area of Mars and Baggot Street at that time
and I used to go in to that pharmacies you know from a tweezers and my bets and
all the rest and I always remembered Pierce the owner there I just been
really I suppose eccentric and good fun and there was always a nice feeling to
it so I went then one day to ask him would he be my cheater so it was like
asking somebody Hana do you know six days I was like early twenties was all
very awkward but he agreed to take me on and lovely and I suppose I had the most
wonderful year there really with him he taught me everything there is to know
and I just fell in love with shop it’s Martha that’s the truth of it and I
really dreamt that you know one day I would loved him on this so you have that
dream at the time oh yeah pretty much the first day I went in there it was
just I loved I supposed to love to shop itself that have been there since the
1920s it had been my his mom’s pharmacy before that and there was a lot of
heritage to it you could be lad I can L feel a diner today and I loved the
community and I lost a customer there was a complete different customer
Mexico is for professionals to local residents – yes there would be around
that area yeah yeah so whatever so you just didn’t know who was gonna come in
the door you know you don’t know what’s gonna happen a day to day so yeah I the
day I was leaving because every year he took it an intern you know and I was a
complete blubbering mess I was crying my eyesight I didn’t want to leave and I
was asking him could he keep me on as something else and all the rest and he
was like kept on going no no no college five and and I said to him that day I
picked up the courage to ask him the question I suppose that I wanted to ask
for the whole year which was you know if you ever sound this pharmacy would you
let me know hmm and he he said yeah sure but I think
he just serves to get me but like you know I kept in contact with
the autumn like we moved out of that area then and I moved tentative but
anytime I’d be around there would always call and say hello you know bring a box
chocolates you know his favorite cake and and I supposed to be always have
that relationship and then like literally four years later I got a call
and he said listen I’m selling the pharmacy have an offer on the table and
but I just thought after promise I’m out here
oh I’d left you know you know I just didn’t I wanted to happen with like me
letting you know and I was a static on the phone thinking do you know what and
this Franz is gonna be my own like you know I just had no other idea in my head
other than this is gonna actually come true and then he told me how much money
he’d been offered and it was just like oh how am I gonna get this money and I
sure had no anything it was Aaron and it was spendin and sure I love that he
close and she says you know yeah but anyway I managed to I suppose convince a
bank to back me and and then that’s this my dream came true me yeah it is amazing
and that’s why I’ve never changed the name because I feel really he really
gave me a chance and you know he had an offer there but he waited to see whether
I could come up in the money no he taught me everything and needed to know
that first year and it has been there since the 1920s so why would I change
the name you know exactly and he made such an impression on you and actually
it’s funny you know that’s kind of a team that’s coming up through a lot of
our interviews that we’ve done today is that there was someone there that
actually inspired her mentored yeah the person who was sitting on the couch you
know and they’re always at every one as well of one or two or tree actually
probably but it is really important to have that person that you can kind of
bounce things off and learn from yeah brilliant so how many pharmacies have
you got now so in nine nine so and from that one too
I suppose after a while I think my ambition can it
grow you know and I just felt that I was competing with some of the big
multinationals customers would come and to us haven’t bought like there’s
there’s a bits time the roads I said and they would come in with you know bags of
shampoo and I’d be like why did you come down there figure some through in the
earth coming up here for your prescriptions and that always and
anytime I’d ask let’s say well three four twos or there’s a section to find
you so I feel like if I got more stories then I would have more ability to
actually do buh-byes and offer that and and offer our customers the same as what
they were shopping around for so that was the driving force offered behind it
really you know and and so that then we’ve gone on to either acquire other
pharmacies like Pierce’s um or to open greenfield sites well I feel that you’re
underselling yourself actually there big time because I know that I would rather
go to a Myers pharmacy than any other pharmacy no because I think what you’ve
done is you’ve made sure that your brand is known for having the stuff that the
new stuff you know the new brands the Irish you support Irish a lot to support
you do you do and that’s something that I like to do so actually another reason
is you’re the brand the package the whole package is something that’s and
the friendliness and the staff and I think when you have that really good
excellent customer service and customer experience you’re gonna go back for more
and more again and again and I feel that maybe and the Irishness as well I
suppose overs is really really evident well first and foremost like we’re an
Irish company we so Irish products and Irish other Irish entrepreneurs are
really really important to us yeah you know to support other people yes
somebody supported me I came here thanks staying here and I think it’s really
important to give back and so once a new beauty brand comes on board and they
want a boundary looking is a packaging right is a product right it’s a price
point right we’ll give it a go yeah you know if doesn’t work babe doesn’t work
right but they have to get listed somewhere yeah and you know and we’re
delighted to be part of you know the girls in spotlight or Jennifer Rock
skincare or Emma Connolly’s you know to be one of the first stockist yeah you
know I’m really proud of that I’m really proud of what those carries have gone on
to achieve as well because we’re part of the same journey and you do actually
mentor a lot of women in the going for growth’s don’t you well I actually did that program six
years ago myself because at that stage we were at this kind of junction of okay
we need to change and pivot the business because we’ve gone through huge HSE kind
of cutbacks and and so the dispensary element of our business was under huge
pressure I knew you had to kind of focus more on retail and in order to can’t get
drive the business and drive the turnover and I’m more than – sure how to
do that because all of my colleagues and farmers are real pharmacist a so that’s
why I went and joined the going for both and you know I got so much out of that
and you know I learned so much from my colleagues around the table that ya then
two years later Paula who runs our program asked me to mentor my own table
so I’ve been doing that the last four or five years now and so and I get like I
love helping those women because I mean she makes us feel better as well when
actually helps us by mentoring young ones when it comes to social media and
stuff oh my gosh they know more tonight like my 13 year old knows more than I do
and they’ve tried things and they’re filled of things and then you learn from
actually you know gosh I must not try that I was thinking of that actually
that’s not the right way to go at all so listen we all get so much out of it and
what’s really remarkable is that no matter what the type of business or the
size of the business it’s the same challenges you know so and you know it’s
great to have a CF open space where you feel you can actually share that it’s
not gonna go away anywhere and you can get the help that you need so yeah I
love being part of that program and and what you said about the whole customer
service in Mars like that is something that we really you know I thought was so
hard on that because I really do believe those are by people but sure I it’s
evident it’s it’s really so well done well you you’ve put they’re getting to
do it yeah and you’ve trained your staff and stuff and then I I love seeing the
little behind the scenes videos and stuff because that makes it more fun as
well and I keep saying this to brands that people do want to see behind the
scenes we do yeah but we like to see like what’s going on and who that person
is and hear that you know and get to know the team
as well and I think you do that and it comes across so well done and I love the
way when you get a package and you order it and Mars you get all packets top
really pretty I love all we’re trying to do there is really to give our customers
who may not have ever crossed our doors of the pharmacy and you know that same
can experience us what they do get hopefully 9 or 10 times anyway whenever
they walk into a pharmacy like oh we I say to our team is what we’re trying to
do is make that person stay a little bit better put a smile on their face because
they’re coming into farms that either because they’re sick yeah or they’re not
well or a loved one’s not well or or maybe they just want to come in and get
a lipstick to cheer them up you know so we’re trying to write a smile on their
face that’s what we’re trying to really do yeah and to advise them this best we
can do so if they walk out armed with a little bit more knowledge and kind of
feel like I’m glad I went and spoke to a person another agenda trying to do be
online we’re trying to put a smile on people’s face so whenever they get it on Johnny one that does rain oh by the way
my respire Missy Josh are you open the website underneath you and we’re doing
the show but like if you want to order presents for Christmas anything like
that gifts you’ll get a gift like every this they are you don’t Pete there Peter
very yeah yeah every Christmas yeah we’re we you can just select it to get
your product gift-wrapped yeah and all that gift wrap and we charge 250 per
product and all our 250 goes to be very very well I’m glad we brought that up
back she because this will be going out around just before Christmas so that’s
perfect so yes so if you are going to be ordering presents and definitely my Rose
pharmacy you can get them all there get them all delivered and then also you’re
helping charged you know so we always put a large brother because we’re always
saying like this is high that’s brilliant I think people most people who are
different was just well you know what it’s those little touches though isn’t
it that makes the difference yeah so for you and we actually all ask all of our
guests these questions so for you and I’d like you to tell us what
is your the biggest piece of advice you can give someone who maybe is trying to
get into a pharmacy okay yeah if they want to come like let’s say they have a
product and they think it’s something that’s going to sell in a pharmacy what
what way how do they go about this well I think they need to be they try and get
connected to the most relevant person that they need to speak to within the
pharmacy so do your a little bit of research so it could be me or it could
be our purchasing team really is the people who will make that decision yeah
but very often it might be a product that has got a really good marketing so
far or you know there’s maybe they’re actually distributed in an Ireland and
it has good marketing in another country so maybe their approach there would be
in through the marketing team yeah so it’s really by pecking who can you tell
your story to that’s gonna land have you ever seen a product and gun do
you know what I’m going to contact this person and then got that product into
your pharmacy yeah so just to be aware that unit is always watching out for
things like this those yeah like I stock social media um yeah and to see what
people are asked there you go yeah prove it’s not just we let me look at other
pharmacies cuz we try and have the products before other pharmacies as well
so we’ve been looking actually what’s going on the UK what’s going on the
states that’s where we loggers and stuff don’t you look at you have a great
relationship with some of the bloggers yeah yeah absolutely we do and a lot of
them are a part of our journey as well some of them have grown up the commune
doing makeup lessons way back in the day and remember grace monkey she was like a
local girl and yeah yeah and we’ve two stories and Tyler she came in to do a
makeup channel and like that’s how he we started to get to know grace similar
with Tara makeup Tara Anderson she she did a makeup look in her borrow Street
store with you know so then it’s about relationships really Samantha oh
actually building up relationships no matter who is amiss with your customer
if it’s with suppliers or aphids but is with influencers or anybody else out
there got to get out and you gotta meet people yes people I’m always saying this
I’m always thinking oh all about people and how you make that person feel as
well and then nurturing the relationship you can build a relationship online take
it off claims a little puffy come to an event
that they’re going to be asked oh and you do all of that like I’d love to get
to more events but I think that is really important you know I know you’re
juggling so anything yeah but I think that whole network and thing you know it
is really important and I know I’ve been at networking events as well where I’ve
kind of gone oh there’s an approachable enough and there’s been time for of just
not Donna from out of fear really and I would always just say what’s the worst
that can happen yeah there’s just turn away and say who you are they might
listen to you and say not for me thanks or you know but if you don’t take that
step if you don’t have that courage it’s not going to happen like they’re not a
mind-reader they’re not gonna come to you so you’ve got to go first last so
that’s a really good bit of advice as well yeah I think so you just have to go
for it and I think if you have a product particularly that you want to get listed
in or a pharmacy or any other pharmacy you gotta find out who is a person who
can get er done for you who’s the decision-maker and then go and figure
out how you can get the front of that person to make a good pitch absolutely
so thank you cuz there might be some people watching that might have
something up their sleeve but okay I’m what about you what was the best piece
of advice that you were ever given well my mom would always say if you don’t ask
you know you don’t get so don’t be afraid to ask and I think you know back
to just what I said I think it’s fear that holds us back over that fear of
rejection yes I think so yeah so I would always and I say this to my team all the
time and they go oh my god the neck and you don’t you’re not even know you not
get the feedback you know so off my ass look I’d say out of every ten things I
asked for I get one like and that’s okay I’m not supposed to get all ten but what
I’d get out of thought they’re 9 times is what I always say that’s why not
exactly yeah I’d say well we don’t have the money for that at this time or we
might have this or this is going on or we’re already working with this partner
or whatever but at least you then learn actually what’s going on in their world
as well true and we have worked together ourselves and we’ve actually you’ve
supported the women’s inspire network a lot so we want to thank you for that
that’s the reason you’re sitting on my couch
well because I’m actually trying to give back myself for people who supported me
true the years and the woman’s inspiring Network because you and I know how
important it is to have good support around you to have the right people
around you as well and to you know and I feel you’ve been very helpful to us so
and so I’m really happy to see your success and I’m really and actually
that’s another thing I love seeing people shine and you that that actually
looks like grace like the likes of grace you isn’t it lovely to see that journey
like listen I think to be honest with me it was my people that I loved actually
my team so much is I just love seeing something and somebody that they don’t
even recognize that they have themselves yeah and just trying to nurture that and
encourage them and say you can do this you can do and then then blossom into
some years in person that they never thought to get it ever beat yeah that is
where I get my kicks out of yeah totally that’s what I get my kicks out of and
that either is one of our team members or it could be somebody on the outside
as well it could be an influencer and you just have to give them a better
courage or whatever it could be a supplier it could be somebody who’s got
this product and they’re kind of like scratching their head but you know
what’s really good but the package server has to change yes yes yeah yeah
and giving them that post and then them coming back on oh my god I had no idea
you know and it could be a little pivot isn’t that’s what you’re seeing
sometimes it can be a little pivot counters that you see solutely and can
make all the difference well I have to say that we’ve actually running aratake
music so that was like so fast but is there anything you’d like I suppose a
for a people watching definitely to support the Peter McVerry trust yeah rap
for homelessness yes so well this year we’re doing something slightly different
but we will do the rapping online okay I’m gonna do the rapping in store but
we’re gonna do something slightly different all to be rich are merely an
excuse first time yeah so we’re we’re gonna like for me it’s really important
to give back you know at the end of the day we’re a community pharmacy and we’re
embedded in a lots of different communities and it is so important for
me that you know our customers work live and work in that community it’s always
important to get involved that community and give back but then if you know
broader speaking like socially I think you know the economy has given so much
to me our customers have given so much to me
we need to make a positive impact on ER on the bigger community and I think for
us why we chose Peter McFerrin Trust really and to support them is because
there are so many homeless people who are actually around our stores we see
them we know their names we hear their stories some of them have fallen to
really bad times I think people have this perception that it’s only one type
of person who is actually homeless that’s not the case at all you know
people can be in abusive relationships people can be you know go through your
diction people can go through you know their land or just put up the rent on
the counter for it simple start my maps yeah and then what happens is that
they’ve nowhere to go and all we want to do is there’s nothing worse than can you
imagine not having your roof over your own head yeah and can you imagine the
loss and dignity like we did a sleep out two years ago myself and the team and
back is straight and the mind of people who came up and argued with us because
they thought that we were homeless argued with us give us like awful
comments awful slander and told us to go and pick ourselves up and go and get a
job and we were a disgrace to the community and it like that’s what people
go through you every single night and those are the stories we don’t hear and
like they didn’t choose to be a minister forget this course they want to actually
have a roof over their head so we just want to give people a fresh start in
life and why I’ve chosen food make for us really is because all of our money
goes into an actual unit and we have insisted on that that any funds that we
raise actually goes to getting somebody a door a key to the door one door yeah
you know their own roof over their head and it actually doesn’t cost that much
money because video photos are donated lots of premises and lots of units for
from say the HSE or you know fall into disrepair but on all their so they
actually have the building’s Morley’s the money for it is actually turn them
into livable attraction only classified maybe ten thousand max I’d say to turn
our unit rainy like what like you know if there’s a lot of people contributing
like that’s so like we’ve been able to over the last two years I think we’ve
raised maybe were a hundred and forty 50,000 so that’s like amazing well done
for me you know not only that person but their family and their extended family
we’ve been able to bring families back together again wonderful children back
to their parents again a lot has a massive impact so you know when I pass
on whatever I know my deathbed I’ll be able to think and look back and say well
I did make a difference to somebody out there you know and that’s really
important to me well done and you know what I know you
love to walk to work as well so and it’s been a pleasure talking to you know
Hagen and thank you so much for coming and definitely if you don’t – if you’d
like to we love listen to me listen to your day if you would like to check out
Mara’s pharmacy there are nine branches and all over dope yeah and also Myers
pharmacy Josh I II you can order online as well and they do have cool brands
like Clarins and lancome and don’t you cold sky right do you have that do
chicken ish and and if you would like to also be a member of women’s inspire
network go to women’s inspire network calm we’d love to support you and your
business thank you for watching you

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