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Delving into skincare formulation sounds fun (and it is) but actually building a business is anything but easy or glamorous, especially without a business background. I’m the lady who took art, sociology, and women’s studies in school. I have an MFA, not an MBA. Spreadsheets and I are not natural friends. 

When everyone suggested I get a real job, it was my Dad (a former Chartered Accountant) who helped with everything from my taxes to deliveries, while picking up and dropping off my then young son to and from school so that I could teach early morning and late afternoon yoga classes and work on my skincare business during the day. He touched my life and that of others in so many ways. I would receive notes asking me who the lovely man was who dropped off their order. 

Soft-spoken and gentle with a twinkle in his eye and a great smile, my local customers got to know and love my Dad. Without judgment that it would be difficult to launch a skincare business, he helped me plod along before I could contemplate even hiring a part-time helper. 

Without my father’s love and support, we would not have the business we have today. Nor would I be the person that I am. His quiet helpfulness, tireless work ethic, uplifting spirit, wise mentorship, belief in my business — not to mention his overflowing unconditional love, will never be forgotten. I am so incredibly grateful. 

Paulo (as we affectionately called him) was in incredible physical shape, regularly getting up at 4:30am to be the first at the gym. He didn’t preach fitness or healthy living but he inadvertently inspired many. He was the one that everyone thought would live to 100 and so did I.

My Dad fought cancer like a boss, inspiring his family with his clear mind and lack of fear. He lost half a lung and barely missed a step. But when it came back only a few short months ago, right in the middle of a global pandemic, things were a little tricky. Unable to have a family member come with him to appointments or to visit while in hospital, my father dealt with a lot of this on his own. 

These are the things one does not discuss on social media, especially while making adjustments in our business through a global pandemic and the world’s most significant social rights movement, but with my father’s passing a month today, I felt it was important to tell his story and how he helped make this business possible. 

Because of his support, I was able to take this project from being something I sold at craft events to a promising global brand. I’m extremely lucky that he believed in me. I’m grateful that his legacy lives on in every bottle of Graydon Skincare that is lovingly created. 

Paulo, we love you and I know you will never be too far away. 

Ps. My Dad was tall, strong and under stated, just like the beloved beech tree in this poem written you'll find in his not-so-typical obituary.

It was a beech tree, real alive. 
It stretched on upward toward the sky. 
One day we learned it soon would die. 
Insidious rot meant it must go, tree men came and told us so. 
How could it die? Why? 
It had gone through dreadful storm from dusk 'til dawn. 
That guardian beech was our true friend, it stood - majestic - to the end. 
With faith and fortitude may we stand fast, just like that noble tree.


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