Latest News County Clare

Women In Business part 1

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Celebrating International Womens Day we ask some of Clare’s top women in business some questions

Dorothy McCarthy Lewis

Tell us about your business?
It’s called Glamorize.
Customers come into us from all parts of the country with their outfits and just say ‘Accessorize Me’, other than the dress & shoes , we have everything else.
We have accessories for any occasion , weddings, debs, grads, christening parties etc.
Our most popular jewellery is by Absolute , people come from all over for it, their jewellery is amazing & this year even more so than ever. Prices range from €15 , so affordable & wearable.
Our other accessories include handbags by David Jones, beautiful clutch bags, ideal for any special occasion, headpieces & wraps.
What do you like best about owning business?
Some customers are not sure how to accessorize , so that is where we help with our advice.
What makes your services special?
The one to one service we give to customers. I have three excellent part time staff who love their jobs & are as passionate about it as I am.
The biggest compliment we get is when our customers say ‘thank you for your help and we will be back’.
How would you describe your business:
Classic but inexpensive, stylish & elegant, without breaking the bank.
How do you relax? Long walks on the beach with my toy poodle called Bear and a little yoga.
What tip would you give women who are starting a business?
Believe in yourself. Don’t let anybody put you off. If you feel you can do it, then you can.
What has been your favourite moment as a business owner?
The satisfaction derived from seeing a satisfied customer
What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
Setting up a new business is always a daunting task
What 4 words would you choose to describe your business? On-trend Extensive, Treasure Trove, A secret gem

Paula Williams & Audrey Flynn
Ennis Electrical

Tell us about your business?
Ennis Electrical Supplies Ltd -Finance, Director 18 years.
Williams Sport Horses Ltd – PARC Stables – Finance Director 13 years.
Also, with the Mid-Western Cancer Foundation Ltd I’m a Director and Secretary voluntarily with this charity for the last 7 years.
What 5 words would you choose to describe your business?
Quality, traditional, friendly, variety, Flexible
What do you like best about owning a business?
It would have to be the privilege of time flexibility. I am fortunate to be able to work hours that enable me to get some time at home. Home life is so busy, with the kids in school, facilitating their training for national & international shows every weekend on top of juggling all the other hobbies & tasks in any one day so not having to sacrifice my time with them by working full time would have to be the best thing about owing a business.
What or who inspired you in business?
My parents, my Mum is one of the hardest workers I know, she is so strong, she has had a huge impact on my life and my Dad equally so too, any idea he ever thought of, he would follow through to the end and that’s so important in everything you do and then my husband, he is very fortunate to have a job he loves and so he is naturally driven, this is always inspiring on the days you feel like its all uphill.
What makes your products/services special?
The sales team that sell them! We sell some mundane items like washing machines, dryers, cookers, toasters not half as exciting as being in the rag trade,,, but when you leave our store happy with the sales person you have met who has made every effort to ensure you are knowledgeable and confident in your choice, you leave feeling brighter than when you came in – That’s special. We have the best sales teams in all our electrical stores, they are a wonderful bunch who make every effort making our customers happy.
What motivates you on a daily basis?
Family, staff, customers!
Without any of them there would be no business. I am lucky to work with my family every day, we have amazing hard working staff, some of who have been with us over 30 years, and of course friendly customers. All make working on a daily basis that bit easier.
Do you think there are any issues for women in the workplace?
Yes, it would be naïve to think there wasn’t, even though we have come a long way throughout history by gaining the right to vote ect there is still an obvious gender bias. I was chatting with Chanelle McCoy recently, she mentioned she was a key note speaker at an electrical retailer conference in Ireland last year. She told me she was shocked to see that there were only 3 women in the room, she said “it was very disappointing to see” so even in our own industry is still very clear it exists. I also believe the nomadic caveman notions of women still lurks around along with the stigma that if a woman has a strong opinion about something she is often labelled in a derogatory manner, this wouldn’t happen to a man.
What tip would you give women who are starting a business?
Women are fierce, I see colleagues & friends of mine that have educated themselves to the highest degree, others master of their own craft in business and still keep things going at home. They are total powerhouses of multitasking and still remember all the smaller details in a day. These women are amazing – I get all my tips from them, but If I had to give a tip or advice in starting a business, I would tell them to make sure your figures add up. Its all great having a wonderfully good idea and deciding to do something you love, but the sad fact is that 30pc of business fail in their first year due to capital issues. Set sales targets, meet them and watch your expenditure. Keep good accounting practices. A new business must be minded like a baby, at the start it needs a lot of care
What other female leaders do you admire and why?
As mentioned before we have extremely successful women in business in Ennis. Jean Mc Cabe of Willow, Sisters, Gwen Culligan and Maeve Flouch of County Boutique, Tina D’auria of Bambinos, Maureen Harrison of Seodin, Aoibhin Garrihy and Sharon Connellan creators of BEO Wellness, all these are leaders in their own right, and ladies to admire, showing huge commitment to their businesses and customers. They are known nationwide and its amazing to think they all came from our little town of Ennis.

Shirley Gillespie & Emily Ryan
Supermacs

Tell us about your business:
Quick service restaurant in the heart of Ennis selling freshly cooked, quality products.
What are your most popular products or services?
Our new fresh range has been a great success since it was introduced. Freshly cooked meat and chicken products never frozen.
What do you like best about owning a business?
The challenges it brings and learning the skills to cope with same.
What or who inspired you to start your business?
Pat and Una Mc Donagh have been marvelous support over the last 17 years.
What makes your products/services special?
In 2019 it has to be the move away from frozen products and the use of fresh only.
What is your biggest fear?
Don’t have enough time for that one.
What motivates you on a daily basis?
Not knowing what the day will bring.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
The rising cost of doing business esp Insurance increases.
Do you think there are any issues for women in the workplace?
Even do we are a Franchise we have a very strong network behind us and we both agree we haven’t found any issues for women in the work place.
How do you relax?
Any form of travel, Lahinch Beach, the coast line from Doolin to Fanore.
People may be surprised to know…
Been involved in 2 very successful Fleadhs it was a very spacial time mad but really enjoyable.
What has been your favourite moment as a business owner?
This year we won a major award from we had been nominated over the years which was always an honor but this year we won it was nice to get the recognition out of over a 127 shops little old Ennis won (now we have to keep up the standards).
What are your future plans and what do you want to accomplish in business?
To continue to grow our business and enjoy the opportunity that are around the corner

Fatima Haloui Hughes
LeCroque

Tell us about your business:
It is a fusion of French and Moroccan food but still with Irish classics.
What 5 words would you choose to describe your business?
Traditional, creative, Quality, Focused, Homely.
What are your most popular products or services?
Our croque sandwiches and our salads sell very well, but the Moroccan soups and pastillas also the tajines have become really popular.
What do you like best about owning a business?
I can determine what direction my family and myself take any benefits are for me and my family.
What or who inspired you to start your business?
All my life my father (who has passed away) helped to direct me my mother taught me how to cook and still does also my husband.
What makes your products/services special?
We use traditional recipes for our soup’s tajines and pastillas and we make all our sandwiches and salads to order we try to make people feel at home and just to feel relaxed for the little time they spend with us.
What is your biggest fear?
To stand still and not to be able to develop the business.
What motivates you on a daily basis?
Success, belief in the business and the people who work with us.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
Getting the doors open after my husband ended in hospital.
Do you think there are any issues for women in the workplace?
Yes, women are still underappreciated but this is not unique to Ireland or Europe but an international problem. We forget that in most households our mother are the people who manage the books organize the food arrange the development of the home and now hold down a job because it is to expensive survive without a second income.
What tip would you give women who are starting a business?
Believe in yourself believe in your product and focus on what you believe be patient give your business time.
What other female leaders do you admire and why?
I admire Michelle Obama and Amal Clooney they are intelligent eloquent and elegant ladies fighting for human rights.
How do you relax?
I like to walk I like saunas but I feel most relaxed when I pray and read the Quran.
What place inspires you and why?
It is a small café near nice called café Max it was simple place with simple food all done right.
People may be surprised to know…
My family are very very distantly related to the royal family of Morocco.
What has been your favourite moment as a business owner?
Opening the doors.
What are your future plans and what do you want to accomplish in business?
My future plans are my present plans and that is for the business to be a success and I can only focus that.

 

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