More Up Close and Personals with Our Women in Business!

Our ‘Baby’s First Year’ competition closes tomorrow – have you entered yet? Yes, I know, I didn`t say much about it here, but you can check my Twitter profile for more info about this competition. Don’t forget, you can also nominate a friend or family member and we’ve made it even easier to enter with just one question to answer!  Here are the last of our mini interviews with our women in business – including me!

A Chiropractic Touch

Name:  Emir Lervy

Business: A Chiropractic Touch

Nature of business: Treatment of joint and muscle problems. Wellness care

When did you start your business and why?
I graduated from University in Wales in 2008 and worked there for two years before returning home this year to open my own business.  It is also very useful to work around your own hours, especially when you have a little one year old running around!


What’s the toughest part of your job?
Keeping myself motivated and always looking out for places to do information talks or health screens so the clinic can keep expanding.

What’s the best part?
This has to be when someone comes in saying how good they feel, and not only that they have no pain, but their sleep has improved and they can can concentrate more at work.

What’s the best piece of advice you would give to a new mum?
Definitely relax as much as possible and go with the flow, you will get to know your baby and what they want (and need!)  From a chiropractic view, try not to lift your baby (and car seats etc) in awkward positions and get yourself checked regularly – your body has just gone through the equivalent of running a marathon and needs rest and a little TLC.


Name: Elizabeth Smith

Business: MomBoTV

Nature of business: A website/blog for NI mums

When did you start your business and why?
I started blogging in 2008 after my first child was born.  I was bored on maternity leave and felt I wanted something to keep my brain active, and as I’m a journalist by trade a blog seemed an ideal outlet.  It began as a way to record my ideas and feelings about being a new mum and over the years has evolved into a magazine-style blog packed with information, ideas and advice for other mums.  It blends my professional experience as a writer with my practical experience as a parent.

What’s the toughest part of your job?
Staying motivated.  It’s not always easy to come up with fresh material and in order to keep people coming back to your blog you have to post new content regularly – which is not always easy with a baby and a toddler to look after!  I have to be strict with myself when it comes to blogging in the evenings when the kids are asleep; otherwise I’d just watch TV and eat chocolate!

What’s the best part?
My favourite thing is getting emails and comments from people who read and enjoy my blog.  If I write something that another mum finds helpful or even if she can relate to what I’m saying then that is just great, and I want to hear about it!  Those comments help me keep going when I’m wondering if it’s worth it and if anybody out there is reading my work.

What’s the best piece of advice you would give to a new mum?
Trust your instincts.  Nobody knows your baby as well as you do, not even the ‘professionals’!

More Women in Business!

Do you remember the prizes were offered for the ‘Baby’s First Year’ competition? Did you let let all your pregnant friends know about this fantastic prize? I hope so!

Lotus Graphic Design

Name: Oonagh Moore
Business: Lotus Graphic Design
Nature of business: Design of Company Branding and Promotional Material, specialising mainly in print design.

When did you start your business and why?
I started my business in October 2010. I had been working in the newspaper industry for over 10 years and in the printing industry for about 6 years before that. At the ripe old age of 42 with my oldest girl, just finished university and more importantly working and my 2 young boys settled in primary school I knew it was ‘now or never’! I had learned a huge amount through my time working in the media, but there was a limit to what I could do in terms of design. I needed a challenge and with dabbling a fair bit in the world of freelance I felt I had more to offer. I particularly wanted to target the smaller local businesses whom I felt were not always getting a great service in terms of their company branding or marketing material. I wanted to create design for them that would firstly get them noticed, really reflect what their business was about, and help them to compete in today’s marketplace.

What’s the toughest part of your job?
The toughest part is knowing how to divide my time between work and looking after the home and giving the kids the attention they need. I could quite happily sit for hours and design and get lost in it, but that’s not possible working from home and being a mum so I have to set boundaries and try to stick to them. There are many very early mornings though when I get a few hours of uninterrupted time and get loads of work done and it’s often the most productive time of the day.

What’s the best part?
The best part without a doubt is the feedback I get from clients. I love that they are happy with what I’ve done for them as I always strive to get exactly the right look for their business. Also, the various people I’ve encountered in my first year of business has been fantastic. I would never have interacted with so many different people while working in the office environment I had been in previously. I’ve learned a lot from them.

What’s the best piece of advice you would give to a new mum?
With my third child I discovered a book called “The Contented Little Baby Book” and I think I harped on about it to anyone who would listen because I thought it was great and it certainly worked for me. I know there are differing opinions on establishing feeding and sleeping routines in early days of baby’s life but I had the most contented, great feeding, great sleeping baby by following (quite loosely) the routines. So maybe my advice would be to do a bit of research into that as it could be your saviour in the early very exhausting days of motherhood.

Sweet Escape

Name: Sharon McCrea
Business: Sweet Escape
Nature of business: Handmade Natural Bath Products

When did you start your business and why?
Sweet Escape will be launched in the next few weeks (as soon as all the products receive their safety assessment certificates), following many hard years of preparation and research. The business idea came about really from the personal needs of my baby son and the lack of products to suit his needs. He was born with food intolerances and eczema. For the first few years of his life I spent my time applying one cream treatment after another and hated the idea of applying steroids to his tender skin. So I started looking into alternative ways to clean and care for him.

I started using oat baths, which proved a great success and progressed into making soap that he could use to wash with. I tested and devised many recipes until I found one that he could use that would both clean and moisturise his skin. He is now old enough to wash his own hands and face with the soap without the fear that his skin will react and I am proud to say that he has never had an outbreak since he was about two years old.

What’s the toughest part of your job?
TIME! There is just not enough of it! In my view this is the hardest thing for every working mum. There are only a few hours in the day when I can make soap, for health and safety reasons i.e. when the kids are not around! I must manage my time to the max in order to balance all aspects of my life. Multi-tasking is taken to the max when you are a mum working from home! It is definitely not a nine to five job, more a way of life! But it does have its benefits and rewards, it works for me.

What’s the best part?
The best part …..mmmm ….. a hard one! I love making my products, I’m still like a kid at Christmas each morning when turning out the latest batch of soap and cutting it into bars. I love the feeling that I have made something worthwhile and beautiful. But really I would have to admit that the biggest buzz I get, is hearing from people that have used my soap and listening to how it has changed their lives, or even just how much they enjoy using it.

What’s the best piece of advice you would give to a new mum?
Don’t be a hero! Don’t try to do everything yourself – if people offer you help – TAKE IT! Especially in the early days when you are physically exhausted. If they want to help, ask them to help tidy up, make a meal, do some laundry etc. if you are less stressed about the state of your once immaculate home, you will enjoy your time with your little bundle more. You can then guilt free sleep when the baby does knowing that you can! (And believe me these offers will stop a few weeks later, so make the most of it!)

Cupid Creations

Name: Charlene Stockdale
Business: Cupid Creations
Nature of business: Handmade cards/stationery, fabric corsages/jewellery & art workshops for children & ladies

When did you start your business and why?
I graduated from University of Ulster in June 2010 with a BA Hons in Fine and Applied Art, specializing in Textiles. I couldn’t find any jobs at all that were related to my degree or that I had any interest in. Setting up my own business was something I intended doing eventually, but I felt I was still very young and inexperienced to do so yet.

However struggling to find a job that I felt comfortable or happy in, this then motivated me to contact Omagh Enterprise Centre in October 2010 where I took part in a business course, which was a massive learning curve for me. I learnt so much and became confident in myself, and my business plan.

At first I was a bit nervous about how I would combine different aspects of my business together but with their support I was able to see how I could combine my love for teaching others, alongside my love for creating work, and making it business.

Cupid Creations was then officially set up, and I moved into my current premises in January 2011. I have never looked back and couldn’t be happier in my work.

What’s the toughest part of your job?
Doing everything. I knew I was taking a lot on when I was mixing the variety of aspects in my business: the workshops, the cards/stationery, the textiles. Doing this, alongside answering emails/phone-calls/keeping in contact with people/bridal & craft fayres/keeping website & facebook page updated etc it can get a bit crazy-busy at times. Sometimes I find it hard to switch off. I wouldn’t have it any other way however, as I love a busy schedule, and no two days are the same.

What’s the best part?
I find it really achieving when people are really pleased with their completed orders, and when I may have made hundreds of pieces for one order and sit back when it’s made and think ‘WOW, did I just make that?!’ I love getting feedback from customers regarding what their wedding guests have been saying about their invites, or what their friend/family member has said about a necklace/brooch I have made as a gift. It really motivates me when I receive positive feedback.

The best part of the workshops is seeing people’s faces when they have taken on a skill I have taught them, and seeing how they have tailored it to their own artistic taste. I love the fact that I have made someone else feel happy and confident in themselves and what they can do.

The Dream Dozen Brilliant Fathers’ Day Gifts

In case you didn’t already know, it’s Father’s Day on June 20th – which means that if you haven’t already chosen a cute and thoughtful gift for the father of your offspring (not to mention the grandads!) then you are like me! What I mean is that this year being caught between being a mom and a wife, I simply forgot to send a gift to my father this year and I feel so bad! That`s why I`m writing this post. Here are 12 cool, cute, useful and downright fantastic gifts that will make dads of all ages smile this year…

Fingerprint cufflinks – Not On The High Street

Dad mug – Emma Bridgewater

Novelty biscuits in a tin – Biscuiteers

Personalised key ring – Okey Dokey

Menu Vignon Wine Thermometer – Amazon

Leather washbag -Marks and Spencer

Photo books/gifts – PhotoBox

Beer Fund money box – Bombay Duck

Personalised chocolate box from Thorntons

Top 25 Father’s Day Gifts

Father’s Day Gifts

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

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