Weekly Inspo: Pat Kane from reuzi

We chat to Pat Kane from minimal waste lifestyle shop reuzi about her passion for sustainability and harnessing that entrepreneurial spirit

reuzi is a minimal waste online shop and now owner Pat Kane is opening her first real-life shop in Foxrock on 26 August, with plans to help us all become more sustainable little by little. Here we chat to her about the importance of responsibility and some of her favourite sustainable gadgets.

Where do you find your inspiration?

My family, my friends and the everyday heroes, regular folks trying their best to live their lives without harming our planet!

What’s the hardest thing about running your own business?

There are actually two hardest things. The first is remembering to think, not just to do. I am a go-getter, I love ticking boxes and getting s*it done. From time to time, I need to remind myself of the importance of taking a step back. So I can reassess what has been done so far, the good and the bad and the why’s of it all.

The second is to  unplug and rest. I like to say that I wake up and go to bed thinking of reuzi but I know I need to find ways to relax. Failing to do this can lead to burnout and it isn’t physically healthy for my body or mind. I find running a great way to chill out – it works almost like meditation to me.

Do you think social media is a help or a hindrance?

Social media has made me more in tune with our customers. It has given a voice to our brand and a relationship with them. The struggle is finding the right balance. You want to be present but you don’t want to overwhelm people with meaningless messages. I rather focus on relevant nuggets of information, events and product launches than sharing #ootd and other “trendy” bits.

Stojo The Collapsible Pocket Cup €15 from reuzi

Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Yes, since I was a little girl! I used to bake brownies and other chocolate bits to sell them at school and I used to love drawing (quite literally!) my “brand” on labels. I strongly believe that entrepreneurship provides a rush that is almost impossible to replicate. I love the idea of creating my own workspace and surrounding myself with like-minded individuals. Not to mention the people you meet along the way – the entrepreneurial culture in Ireland is almost like a big family – and you won’t find a better group of people willing to offer advice and help than fellow entrepreneurs.

What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

“The high tide floats all boats”, by Milena Byrne from Platinum Pilates . It’s so true though – competition is a healthy thing and the reality is that there’s room for everybody!

What have you learned over the years?

To always be kind, to be generous and to put in the hours. Nothing beats good ol’ hard work! I must add one thing: Some people will love what you do and some others won’t so much. Keep going.

If could go back and do it all again would you change anything?

Hired my accountant Lorraine Cooke earlier – she’s not only a brilliant professional, she’s a lovely human being!

What’s your plans for the future?

We are working on a few partnerships to spread the word on sustainability even further. Education is one of our main pillars and we have been running lunch and learn sessions for businesses across Ireland as well as eco-audits where we identify quick wins for businesses to get their eco on! Also, I know it’s early to say but I want to open a reuzi shop in Clontarf or Malahide.

snack bag €5 from reuzi

Why is sustainability important to you?

Because it’s the right thing to do. Our planet is so incredibly beautiful and rich; it’s our duty to look after it.

What would you love to see happen with sustainability in the future?

I’d love to see sustainability as part of the school curriculum. I’d love to see businesses having sustainability as one of their main values. I’d love to see our Government implement a strong educational programme on recycling and composting with bins around town. I’d love to see a ban on disposables at restaurants… the list goes on. There’s so much I’d love to see happen.

What’s your favourite thing that you sell in reuzi?

This is a hard one considering I have picked each one of our 360+ products myself but I’d like to go with shampoo bars. An easy and fun bathroom swap that will not only divert plastic bottles from landfill but it will also be kinder to your body.
Pat Kane was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She met and married Stephen Kane, a surfer from Monaghan while working in the Caribbean for an Irish business, and has been living in Ireland with her two children, Thomas and Conor, for eight years now. It was when Pat became a mom for the first time she realised the amount of rubbish she was going through every day from plastic wraps and bottles to random boxes and the hundreds of nappies! Pat’s business acumen having worked with multinationals in countries all over the world for the past 18 years helped to make reuzi a reality. 

Read more: Gerry Hussey on the dangers of comparison