This time last week, I published my very first article. What may seem like something small to others was huge for me! I was afraid of sounding stupid or incoherent, I was worried of what my lecturer and peers would think. All in all, I spent 2 days terrified of messing it up. However, I had to do it, this was a new me. Before Covid 19 struck planet earth, I was a musician. Not a half bad one if I say so myself. I spent my weekends travelling around the country, singing at weddings and other events, I arranged music and sang backing vocals for Dublin based artists. I was even meant to be supporting Coolio at one point, but when the lockdown was announced the music and events industries took a major hit. I had no more gigs, no more events and I was beginning to worry about my future in this new Covid world.
I am not the only person with this story and I am not the only person who is trying different things because of it. Many people are using this time to explore new interests or work on old ones. Businessmen are becoming bakers, hairdressers are becoming horticulturists and shop keepers are becoming TikTok superstars! In this article, I talk to 4 super cool, new entrepreneurs to learn all about their new skills and recent ventures.
Aimee McDaid began 2020 working as a visual merchandiser, in a well-known high street shop in Dublin. She loved a good night out and hanging out with friends but when shops were shut her life was turned upside down. Aimee lost her job and had to move home to Donegal. After a few weeks of uncertainty, Aimee was encouraged by her sister Niamh to express her creativity in a different way. Aimee Made Designs was born.
McDaid began to create handmade accessories, jewelry, coasters & home décor out of resin and may I say her designs are beautiful! Aimee uses pigments and gold flakes to make her designs sparkle but she says “I love working with flowers, seashells from my local beach and anything I can get my hands on”. Aimee remains inspired by her customers all over Ireland and the wonderful friends she has made through her new business, even developing “quite a collection of lovely pieces” from fellow Irish designers. Aimee insists that those working in this creative sector should support and inspire each other. Support Aimee by buying one of her wonderful designs. I already have a necklace, a bookmark and a goddess and they are FABULOUS!
In January 2021, childhood friends Colin Lyons and Martin Cunningham launched their own clothing brand ‘Full Pig Clothing’. Colin is a professional drummer and Martin works in a supply chain but it was their shared interest in fashion that made them begin their streetwear brand, agreeing that “fashion doesn’t need to be expensive”. Sustainability was especially important to the guys when designing their pieces and they describe the process as a major “learning curve” but they believed it was essential moving foreword.
Described as urban streetwear, the brands eye catching logo draws immediate attention. Colin describes going full pig as going hard at whatever you do, whether it be studying or going on a night out. Going full pig is about giving it your all! Full Pig Clothing’s first launch will be in April so be sure to check out their cool and sustainable t-shirts and hoodies on the Full Pig Clothing website.
It is not only the adults among us utilizing lockdown to educate themselves in their passions. Kate Lawrie (16) spent 2020 studying for an exam she never sat, the dreaded Junior Certificate. When she began transition year Kate decided to focus her attention on something she loved, NAILS! And don’t we all miss a manicure? In January 2021, at the young age of 15, Kate became a fully qualified nail technician in acrylic nails. Shortly after she launched her Instagram page and has been showcasing her fantastic designs on herself and family members.
Kate explains it has been hard to launch her business officially with the lockdown but she hopes to begin taking on clients as soon restrictions ease. Determined to use her fab new skill, Kate is planning on running her business while studying for her Leaving Certificate, taking appointments after school and on the weekends. How wonderful it is to see such skill, creativity and work ethic in someone so young! Go Kate!
You are never too young or old to learn a new skill.
Let me say that again… You are never too young or old to learn a new skill!
I used to be afraid of turning 30. For some reason, I believed that I needed to have my life sorted by then. That couldn’t be more untrue. Whatever age you are, this IS the right time. Learn a new skill! Creative! Build! Quit your job! Save to travel the world! Begin a new career! Start your own business! Follow your passion! These are only 4 people, there are thousand of more stories like theirs around the world. I hope they inspire you and you do something to make yourself happy. The time is now, the person is you and the reason is because, well… because you want to!