Dr Suraya Diaz: The challenge is that we don’t know exactly what is coming or how expensive it will be

Dr Suraya Diaz: The challenge is that we don’t know exactly what is coming or how expensive it will be

When it comes to wellness, prevention is better than the cure. When it comes to business, it’s all about preparation. For Brexit, it means signing up for a Local Enterprise Office Prepare Your Business for Customs workshop.

That’s exactly what health store owner Dr Suraya Diaz did. She knows it’s better to be proactive than reactive. She also makes organic food, cosmetics and wellness products for the Dr Suraya Diaz Organic Health Store in Galway.

Indeed, Brexit is the reason the Portuguese woman moved to Ireland to start a business in the first place.

She finished her PhD in the UK just before the Brexit referendum. The result prompted a move to Galway, where she set up a homeopathy practice.

When she couldn’t find products with the exact blend of ingredients she needed for her clients, she decided to make them herself. She opened a small manufacturing facility in 2019, which she expanded in 2020 with assistance from Local Enterprise Office Galway. Today her products sell online and via health food stores and pharmacies.

Having participated in Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers programme order to be fully Brexit ready, she signed up for the Local Enterprise Office programme Prepare Your Business for Customs workshop.

“Because I was already aware of Brexit, I had tried to limit my UK suppliers as much as possible from the start. As a result, the majority of my suppliers are not in the UK,” she points out.

But with the UK accounting for 70% of her sales, ensuring UK exports are as seamless as possible is vital.

“I am trying to go to other markets as well including Spain, the Netherlands and Germany. Although we will all feel the impact of Brexit, at the same time I think it will open many doors to us.

“There are so many customers out there in Europe who are currently buying from the UK. Those UK businesses might struggle to deliver in Europe,” she says.

“Ireland can find some very important opportunities there. I’m hopeful I can take advantage of that.”

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