Top Female Entrepreneurs 2018

18 Irene Patsalides




$100 million

Irene Patsalides founded cosmetics brand Mirenesse while she was still working full time as a pharmacist, frustrated after being unable to find makeup that reliably lasted during long days at work.

She has previously told SmartCompany about how she lost everything in the Cyclone Tracy disaster in 1974 at the age of 16, but from this tragedy sprung a determination and strength of character.

Having a day job as a pharmacist, Patsalides faced challenges during her pivot to the cosmetics industry, but persisted until she found a way forward.

There was a time where she was both running the business and working full time, but eventually she says she decided to “go where my passions lay strongest” and make the jump to life as a full-time entrepreneur.

Nineteen years later, her business has reached the $100 million mark for annual revenue.

“Through drive and perseverance, and my ability to accept what I needed to know to continue the business, I followed my gut instinct to make up for my lack of experience,” she told SmartCompany.


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