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Leading with Purpose: The Success Story of Marta Moya Martin – Top 100 Women Leaders in Spain 2023, Expat Entrepreneur, & Brand Creator!

Her Expat Life recently caught up with Marta Moya Martin, named among the Top 100 Women Leaders in Spain in 2023, Marta’s journey epitomises the essence of purpose-driven leadership. As an expat entrepreneur and brand creator, she has not only shattered glass ceilings but also paved new avenues for success. Join us as we delve into the remarkable narrative of Marta Moya Martin, uncovering the triumphs, challenges, and invaluable insights that have defined her path to prominence.

1. Marta, congratulations on being recognised as one of the Top 100 Women Leaders

in Spain for 2023. What pivotal factors contributed to this prestigious accolade,

and what does it mean to you to be a top-tier leader?

Thank you very much! Being recognised as one of the Top 100 Women Leaders in Spain for

2023 is both an honor and a responsibility that I don't take lightly. I think that my background in

the fashion and beauty industry has allowed me to understand the nuances of branding and

market dynamics. My experience at renowned companies such as Cortefiel, Pepe Jeans, and

notably, Inditex, has provided me with a solid foundation in business and leadership.

But the launch and growth of MIA Cosmetics Paris stands out as a significant achievement for

me. Co-founding and steering this brand from its inception to becoming the number one nail

polish seller in Spanish pharmacies, and a benchmark in social media, required persistence,

innovation, and a dedicated team.

Additionally, my commitment to branding, entrepreneurship, and personal branding is

underpinned by a philosophy of continuous learning and sharing knowledge, which is reflected

in my role as an author and speaker. Being a top-tier leader to me means setting a standard for

excellence, leading by example, and fostering a culture where creativity and strategic business

can coexist harmoniously. It involves being a mentor, an advocate for change, and continuously

pushing the boundaries to create a lasting impact.

2. Your professional journey spans across renowned companies worldwide, including

Pepe Jeans and Rebecca Minkoff in New York. Could you share insights into the

enriching experiences and navigating the expatriate lifestyle while operating on an

international scale?

Absolutely, working with renowned companies, especially during my time in New York, has

been a fascinating chapter of my life. The expatriate lifestyle comes with its unique set of

challenges and rewards, though. For me, the most enriching part was the opportunity to

immerse myself in diverse business cultures. It broadened my perspective and sharpened my

adaptability skills. Navigating different markets, understanding local consumer behaviour, and

embracing new trends were all part of the learning curve. And there's a personal growth aspect,

too. Living and working in a different country forces you out of your comfort zone. You become

more resilient, more flexible.

I also cherished the connections I made, collaborating with incredibly talented individuals from

various backgrounds who brought different ideas and visions to the table. It's a humbling

experience that teaches you the value of seeing the world through multiple lenses. And of

course, New York is such a vibrant, pulsating city that it's impossible not to feel inspired every

single day!

3. For women aspiring to pursue careers and lifestyles abroad, what key strategies or

advice would you recommend for achieving success and seamless integration into

diverse environments?

My piece of advice would be to embrace adaptability. Being open to new experiences and

willing to learn from every situation is crucial for me. Each place has its own rhythm, and the

quicker you tune into it, the more seamlessly you'll integrate.

It's not just about fitting in; it's about respecting and appreciating what makes each place

unique. Networking is another essential strategy. Build a support system of local contacts and

expatriates. These connections can be a valuable source of advice, opportunities, and

companionship for sure. Also, I think it is important to give back to this network when you can!

Lastly, maintain your sense of self. While it's important to adapt, you also bring unique

perspectives that can be an asset in diverse environments. Be confident in your value and

don't be afraid to voice your ideas.

4. Reflecting on your career trajectory, what significant challenges have you

encountered, and what strategies did you employ to surmount them professionally?

Looking back at my career journey, a significant challenge I encountered early on was realising

that a career in finance wasn't for me, despite it being a natural path after my degree in

Business Administration. It was a tough decision to step into the fashion and beauty sector, a

field where I had no prior experience. Networking, mentorship, and self-education became my

tools for bridging the experience gap and eventually, they led me to new opportunities.

The pinnacle of my career's challenges was undoubtedly the creation of MIA Cosmetics Paris.

Building a cosmetics brand from the ground up, with no budget or resources, was an almost

impossible task. We had to be resourceful, finding creative solutions for funding, product

development, and marketing. The journey to becoming number one in nail polish sales in

Spanish pharmacies is a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and the importance

of building a strong team who shares your vision.

5. Your brand, Mia Cosmetics Paris, has attained remarkable success, notably as the

leading nail polish brand in Spanish pharmacies. Could you delve into the genesis of this

entrepreneurial endeavour and offer perspectives on the realities of leading as a Female

Co-founder & COO?

The journey has been multifaceted. One reality of leading in this role is the importance of

resilience. The beauty industry is dynamic and highly competitive, and standing out as a leader

has meant constantly learning, adapting, and innovating. It's about making strategic decisions

that align with our brand's values while also driving commercial success.

Another aspect is the importance of building and nurturing a team that shares your vision and

values. As a leader, I believe in empowering those around me, fostering an environment where

creativity and strategy go hand in hand. By staying true to our core values and focusing on the

consumer's needs, we were able to create a product line that resonated with our audience,

ultimately establishing Mia Cosmetics Paris as a leading brand in Spanish pharmacies.

Leadership, especially as a woman, involves showing up, not just as a leader, but as an

advocate for change, quality and innovation. It means being at the forefront of the brand,

ensuring we stay relevant, ethical, and true to our mission.

6. What advice would you extend to fellow female entrepreneurs aiming to cultivate their

own brands and enterprises in today’s competitive landscape?

I would say that it is crucial to believe in the value of your idea and be prepared to back it with

unwavering conviction. The road to cultivating a brand or enterprise is filled with challenges, but

passion and perseverance can carry you through.

Firstly, understand your market inside out. Know your customer, their needs, and how your

product fits into their life. Differentiation is key in today’s saturated market, so find your niche

and capitalise on it.

Secondly, don't underestimate the power of storytelling. A brand is more than a product; it's a

story, an experience. Use this to connect with your audience on a deeper level.

Networking is vital! Build a support system of mentors, peers, and professionals. Don’t be afraid

to seek advice and learn from others experiences.

And crucially, embrace failure as a learning opportunity. Not every idea will take off, but each

misstep is a chance to refine your approach.

Lastly, balance ambition with pragmatism. Set achievable goals, but also dream big. It’s a

competitive landscape, but there’s always room for innovation and quality.

7. Drawing from your experiences abroad, could you elaborate on the specific hurdles you

confronted and the underlying reasons behind their complexities?

One was the cultural and business practice differences. Each market has its own unwritten rules

of engagement, and understanding these subtleties is crucial for effective communication and

negotiation. For instance, the pace at which business is conducted can vary greatly. What is

considered urgency in one country might be the norm in another.

Another complexity was the legal and regulatory frameworks. From employment laws to product

compliance, each country has its regulations that can impact every aspect of business

operations. Navigating these required thorough research, local expertise, and sometimes, a fair

amount of patience.

Language barriers, even when not insurmountable, often required a deeper level of attention to

ensure that what was communicated was not just understood, but also felt, especially when it

came to branding and marketing nuances.

And, of course, there was the personal challenge of expatriate life, the need to establish a new

support network, to find a sense of community and belonging while being far from home, friends

and family.

8. From where do you draw inspiration for your business endeavours, and how do you

translate these inspirations into innovations?

Inspiration comes mostly from an innate drive to invent and create. My creativity is fuelled by the

beauty of everyday life: nature’s patterns, the vibrancy of city life, and the transformative power

of art. I’m constantly observing and questioning, which sparks my imagination.

I translate these inspirations into innovations by tapping into my love for invention. It begins with

curiosity, allowing myself to dream and think outside the box. I bring ideas to life by engaging

with my team and our customers, whose stories and experiences provide invaluable insights

that help shape our creative process.

As a creative individual, I relish the brainstorming phase; it’s a playground for the mind where

we can conceptualise and iterate without constraints.

Ultimately, the key is to blend this creativity with a systematic approach to innovation. This

means not only dreaming big but also refining and testing those dreams until they become

viable, impactful products that resonate with our audience and embody the essence of our


9. Reflecting on your global ventures, are there particular destinations or experiences

that hold significant personal meaning to you?

Living and working in New York was transformative; it's where I truly grasped the pace and

pulse of an international career. The city taught me resilience and the value of diversity in both

thought and culture.

Another profound experience was co-founding MIA Cosmetics Paris. Bringing this brand to life

from scratch, with all the inherent challenges and learning curves, was not just a professional

milestone but a personal triumph. It has a piece of my heart and represents the essence of my

entrepreneurial spirit.

10. Lastly, who’s entrepreneurial brand/business do you admire and why?

I deeply admire Inditex for its remarkable agility and innovation in the fast-paced world of

fashion. As a Spanish entrepreneur, I'm inspired by their ability to scale, adapt, and respond

rapidly to changing market trends while maintaining a commitment to customer satisfaction.

Their business model has revolutionised retail and they've set a standard for others to follow.

Cantabria Labs also holds a special place in my esteem. They have successfully combined

science and dermatology to create products that enhance people’s health and quality of life.

Their entrepreneurial spirit in the pharmaceutical industry, particularly in dermatological

research and innovation, is exemplary. Both brands exemplify the strength and potential of

Spanish entrepreneurship on the global stage, and they serve as a great source of inspiration

for me in my own journey.

Connect with Marta:

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