While Malta is hardly the winter wonderland we see depicted in Christmas decorations and the greeting cards we exchange with each other, the country’s high levels of humidity and lack of central heating in homes means the festive season can still get quite chilly, if not snowy.
That’s why Joanna Delia, Founder and CEO of People & Skin, has made it a habit to escape to more tropical climes over Christmas.
“I’ve done Thailand, Ghana, Mexico and Costa Rica in the last couple of years. This year we plan to be in Antigua,” she says, adding that another reason why she chooses to go abroad is her aversion to “traumatizing” gatherings with extended family.
“There’s a lot of judgement and unwarranted interference in personal decisions – it’s not easy being a strong, successful woman in a typical Maltese family.”
Joanna says that before she had children, Christmas did not mean all that much to her.
“Now it’s just magic – a warm fuzzy break from our daily routine to spend time with the ones I love.”
A big part of the magic of Christmas is the anticipation surrounding the giving and receiving of gifts. Asked what the best gift she’s ever given to someone was, Joanna said:
“A weekend in Berlin to my incredible manager at the clinic – Michelle!”
Ironically, the gift somewhat backfired, as Joanna heard the trip was more stressful than she had imagined, as Michelle had two toddlers in tow.
“But she deserved a bit of fun!”
Another question we’ve been asking CEOs in our series of Christmas interviews is what the worst gift they have ever received is. And while up till now every interviewee has preferred to be diplomatic and either said they’ve never received a bad one, or that there’s no such thing as a bad gift, Joanna is less circumspect:
“I think the worst would have to be a fire extinguisher – but then again, it’s useful.
As for the best gift, Joanna points out the “precious” paintings done by her kids Peppi and Leila.
Looking back at 2021, Joanna says both her best and worst moments of the year happened around her 40th birthday in May.
“The lockdown meant I could not celebrate as I had imagined I would, but my partner Henry and our friends organized many little meet-ups with live musicians and performance artists, opera singers and even a burlesque show. We celebrated for 10 days!”
Turning to the future, Joanna admits she hasn’t thought of any New Year’s resolutions yet, but does have a few ambitious long-term projects in the pipeline.
“I’m hoping to launch my new company and start renovating a holiday home in Sicily to name two. And empowering two new doctors who are joining our team and People&Skin! Very excited about that!”
On what the next year has in store for the medical aesthetics sector, Joanna notes while people’s the desire to look and feel confident is a constant, this doesn’t mean there can’t be innovation from the business side of things.
“The big players in the research and design of medical devices and pharmaceuticals have been quite quiet for these two years, so I predict there will be some launches of new products at the big conferences in Paris and Monaco. We will have to wait and see.”
At a time when the world seems to be getting more confrontational, Joanna shares a lesson she’s learned from 2021 that is worth pondering on.
“Although individuals in our society behave in ways which are more and more selfish, they still deserve to be supported when in times of need. Because everyone has a story. “
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