Aisling Brennan – True Self, True Art
Aisling Brennan has always been drawn to the benefits of art as a therapeutic tool for empowering people’s lives. Personally experiencing the benefits of art therapy, combined with her interest in spirituality, she has created her own business offering art therapy, wellbeing and spiritual accompaniment services.
Aisling Walsh – Ash Ecology and Environmental Ltd
Over the years, Aisling’s entrepreneurial streak was in evidence. It was this spirit of enterprise, combined with her passionate love of wildlife and nature, and her desire to protect the environment, that led her to set up Ash Ecology & Environmental (AEE).
Andrea Mears – Andrea Mears Jewellery
Andrea Mears has always been passionate about high quality and sustainable jewellery. Inspired by the slow fashion movement, and designs that are not trend-driven, she has launched her own collection of delicate jewellery and turned it into a business.
Anne Marie Feighery– Feighery’s Farm
Having grown up on a family farm, Anne Marie has always had a passion for all things health, food and exercise. The inspiration for her healthy beetroot juice came from her father who was on the hunt for it after coming across numerous articles highlighting the many health benefits, including lowering blood pressure.
Brenda Ward – AcuWellness
Brenda Ward worked in medical sales in the pharmaceutical industry for several years before finding herself drawn to eastern medicine. Fascinated by the holistic approach, she qualified as an Acupuncturist with the Acupuncture Foundation of Ireland in 2008.
Brónagh O’Rourke – Burren Farm Experience
Moving to the West Coast and being struck by the beauty of the land, inspired Brónagh O’Rourke to set up a unique touring experience on her husband Cathal’s family beef farm in Boston, Co Clare.
Carlene Lyttle – Sailespin
From Derry originally, Carlene spent six years living in Switzerland where she worked in Business Development with a technology company. After her son Aidan was born, the pull home grew too strong and in 2017, Carlene decided to move to her mothers’ home – Inishowen, Co Donegal.
Clare Tully – Jackanory
Clare was inspired to create Jackanory, an online children’s boutique in June 2018 after researching and testing out brands and products on her son. Clare runs the online shop, which stocks clothing, accessories, gifts and essentials for babies and toddlers, from her home in Navan, Co Meath.
Denise Rocks – Little Green Growers
Initially, Denise produced organic edible flowers and other garnishes for restaurants, but when COVID-19 hit she pivoted to produce certified organic salad, vegetable, tomato and flower plug plants for home gardeners in May 2020.
Eimear Reynolds – Bakealicious
From making jam tarts with left-over pastry from her mum’s apple pies to pouring through baking books as a child, a career in baking was always on the cards for Eimear Reynolds. In December 2016, just before Christmas, she opened the doors to Bakealicious, a café and bakery in the heart of Navan.
Emma-Jane Leeson – The Johnny Magory Company Ltd
Emma-Jane began self-publishing books starring Johnny Magory in 2016 as a passion project, having written them 12 years earlier. After seeing the popularity grow organically, she decided to quit her corporate job to focus on her dream of building a business from the Johnny Magory brand and spending more time with her kids.
Fiona Smiddy – Green Outlook
It was while travelling in South America that she became increasingly conscious of how our daily lifestyle choices impact the environment and came up with the idea for her own sustainable business. In March 2019, she set up Green Outlook as a one-stop shop for eco-friendly products with a focus on Irish made.
Irene Treacy – Helping People with Parkinson’s
Irene Treacy, from Tramore in Co Waterford, became Ireland’s only dedicated Parkinson’s disease coach after initially setting up in business as a distributor of Smovey rings – a health and fitness product developed by Austrian tennis instructor Johann Salzwimmer after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Joanne Butler – OURganic
After her children were born, Joanne wanted to grow her own organic food to feed her family and was inspired by her success to share what she learned with those in her community. As a result, Joanne set up OURganic Gardens as an outreach educator in the community gardens around Donegal. In 2017, she wanted to expand and run education workshops from her home in Gortahork, Co Donegal.
Kasia O’Reilly – Sana Naturals
Kasia’s love of nature was passed down through generations and, growing up, she was always picking wild plants and digging clay from the rich Polish soil to make herbal potions. This passion, and her own sensitive skin, led her to develop her own natural, eco-conscious, artisanal skincare range, Sana Naturals.
Máire Griffin – OrganiGo
Máire, who has a BSc in Food Science and Health and a Masters in Food Law, had a background working in food factories and with an organic wholesaler and distributor in the UK. She realised there was no certified organic processor in Ireland bringing ready to eat organic vegetables to the retail market, so she started to investigate the market opportunity in early 2019.
Margo Mulvihill – Where Digital Goes
Having worked in sales and marketing for over 10 years, Margo realised that the whole industry was shifting towards digital. She decided to upskill in social media with a firm focus on digital marketing. In May 2018, she accepted redundancy and started her own marketing agency.
Marion Kane – She Means Business
Marion Kane was always passionate about working with small businesses. With 13 years’ experience as a chartered accountant under her belt, she decided to set up her own business, helping fellow female-led companies with their financial management.
Mary-Thea Brosnan – Kerry Kefir
Having suffered from digestive issues for years, Mary-Thea Brosnan was prescribed tablets to be taken before every meal for the rest of her life. She spent years looking to help her symptoms through diet until a nutritionist advocated milk kefir, a fermented milk beverage packed full of beneficial bacteria and yeast for your gut health.
Meg O’Gara – Megnificent Creative
Meg O’Gara always had a creative streak while growing up, and it’s something she’s turned into her own creative design business, helping other entrepreneurs thrive. Based in Glencomubille, Co Donegal, Megnificent Creative provides services in graphic design and illustration, project consultation and creative solutions, and web design.
Nicola Gavigan – Seclusion Spa
Established in March 2017, Seclusion Spa is a boutique spa in the beautiful rural setting of Ardfarna, Bundoran, Co Donegal. The spa promises peace and tranquillity along with fabulous treatments for an overall memorable experience.
Nora Irwin – Arona
Having grown up surrounded by beautiful scents, Nora has spent her whole life intrigued by perfume. One of her family members worked as a fragrance designer and Nora enjoyed exploring the world of aroma. Taking this passion for fragrance with her throughout life, Nora eventually followed her dream and went to London to study the art of fragrance.
Pamela Farrell – The Brand Edit
After 13 years working as a graphic designer in creative agencies and running her own letterpress stationery business, Pamela launched a design consultancy firm – The Brand Edit – from her home studio in Navan, Co Meath in 2017.
Roisin Cahill – RoCa Healthcare
Roisin was working as a community pharmacist when she noticed a lack of products and medicines that were suitable for digestive issues long-term. During her research, she found that many chronic diseases in Ireland are thought to be linked to the gut. Roisin wanted to reduce medicines where possible and look at other ways of maintaining gut health.
Sarah Jane Foster – SJF Productions
When people hear the name Foster they automatically associate Sarah Jane with music, but she was focused on the cameras rather than the instruments and she quickly fell in love with production work. In 2016, she started to notice a change in how people were advertising their businesses and flirted with the idea of starting her own production company.
Sinéad McKeever – Little Lingua Languages
From a young age, Sinead went on regular holidays to France by ferry with her family. Fascinated with the whole culture – the smells, the sights, the new language – she would beg her mother to get her French classes, but there were none available for primary school children.