5 Minutes with Mum – Cliona



Name: Cliona


How many children do you have?   1


What did you find hardest about being pregnant? What did you enjoy?

I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome so I was pretty weak for a lot of my pregnancy. I really enjoyed feeling so connected with my baby and loved having a bump.


What do you find is the most rewarding thing about motherhood?

Seeing my baby achieve new little milestones and knowing I helped her along the way. Seeing the intelligent, affectionate and funny little girl she is turning out to be fills me with pride. I could gush on for ages here!!


What is the worst/most embarrassing thing your child has done?

Probably her sudocrem incident (a right of passage for every parent!) Where she managed to get it EVERYWHERE! Covered the screen of my tablet, pushed cream into the charging dock, rubbed it on all the freshly washed clothes, on the walls..need I go on!?!


Do you have a funniest memory?

Too many to choose from!


Best kid quote?

The most precious jewel you will ever have around your neck is the loving arms of your child.


Who is your favourite celebrity mum and why?

Pink. She seems to encourage her daughter to really be herself.


Do you have any top tips for a first time mum?

Every child is different and will reach different milestones at different stages try not to compare with other babies too much and enjoy every second of it as they really do grow quicker than you would believe.


Five Minutes with Lauren Allen of Rosy & Bo Ltd.

Rosy and Bo - Toys, gifts & lifestyle products for families with special needs

Name: Lauren Allen

Company: Rosy & Bo Ltd

Position within company: Co-founder

What does your company offer? We are an online shop showcasing toys, gifts and lifestyle products for special needs families. RosyandBo.com is a stylish and uplifting place to shop. We add new products all the time and our aim is to have products for every special need and to be the go-to place for special needs families.

What made you want to work for (or start up) your company? I have an academic background in developmental psychology and over 10 year’s practical experience of working with children with special needs. Through my experience of working with a range of families both at school and in a home setting, I quickly realised that there was a gap in the market as well as a desperate need for a resource such as RosyandBo.com within the special needs community. It was also pretty convenient that my friend and colleague came up with the idea during the same week!

Who is your biggest inspiration? Why? I am very inspired by successful entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Richard Branson and I love reading books they’ve written or autobiographies for inspiration. But really, I am so inspired by my incredible business partners – Hannah and Lesley. We work so well together – our strengths (and weaknesses) puzzle up perfectly and we all bring something different to the business. Lesley has many years of retail experience, Hannah has a PR background and has a child with special needs, and I have the hands on experience of working with children and families who are part of the special needscommunity.

What is the best part of your job? Being able to help and inspire special needs families! I also love that every day is different and that I get to meet so many different and incredible people through Rosy & Bo – both sellers and customers. I still work as behaviour consultant and therapist so my days are filled but always interesting!

What are your plans for the future? Well, we are in the process of building RosyandBo.com up and are actively looking for investment. We would love to be able to employ passionate people who could join us on the RosyandBo journey in helping families all around the UK.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given? ‘There’s always a solution to a problem’. This is my mother’s mantra and I use it all the time when I am faced with a tricky situation – I take a step back and try to look at the bigger picture in figuring out ways to sortit out. There’s no use in getting myself wound up, but rather focus on the positives.


Five Minutes with Lucy & Dawn of Little Elephants Closet

Little Elephants Closet

Names: Lucy & Dawn

Company: Little Elephants Closet

Position within company: Owners

What does your company offer? Stylish, innovative and practical is our motto! We offer lots of items for both baby and mummy. We stock everything from clothing to accessories and many lovely gifts as well. All of our beautiful items have been personally chosen for their unique designs and award winning qualities to make life with your little ones as enjoyable as it should be. Many are backed by scientific research and have been proven to encourage and help with babies development.

What made you want to work for (or start up) your company? Little Elephants Closet was born from our passion for all things little people! Having special little people arrive in our own lives and turn them upside down (in a very happy way!) is where the journey began! We began shopping about for all the usual necessary items that any baby would need and soon realised that it was not so easy finding anything ‘different’. So the search began and little elephants closet was born.

What is the best part of your job? Getting to source lots of amazing items for all our mummy’s and seeing their little ones enjoying them!



Five Minutes with Deborah Maguire of www.irishmadegifts.com


Name: Deborah Maguire

Company: www.irishmadegifts.com

Position within company: Owner/Manager

What does your company offer? Irishmadegifts.com is an online shop that offers quality contemporary gift ideas that are made here in Ireland by artists, craftspeople and designers.

What made you want to work for (or start up) your company? We wanted to showcase what is best about Irish craft & design in a way that generates a viable income for makers scattered the length and breadth of Ireland so we created our own global platform for guaranteed Irish!

Who is your biggest inspiration? Underdogs Why? Never underestimate people!

What is the best part of your job? Meeting makers and seeing the incredible diversity and high standard of work produced here in Ireland.

What are your plans for the future? World domination for Irish craft!

What is the best piece of advice you have been given? Setback? Sitback…then kick back!

Five Minutes with Shauna McCarney-Blair of Heavenly Tasty Organics Ltd.


Name: Shauna McCarney-Blair

Company: Heavenly Tasty Organics Ltd096_201010

Position within company:  Managing Director

What does your company offer? Fresh Organic baby food which is also Dairy Free and Gluten Free

What made you want to work for (or start up) your company? My 2 older children who suffer from serious food allergies

Who is your biggest inspiration? Why? My Dad. He built a really successful business from nothing and that instilled the desire in me to run my own business one day.

What is the best part of your job? Being able to be there for the children when they need me.

What are your plans for the future? To grow the business internationally, and to enjoy my family.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given? ‘In order to grow and change, we need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable’.  This inspires me to always try and do something I’ve never done before.


Five Minutes with Marianne Valiente of Feed Me Mummy


Name:  Marianne Valiente

IMG_1859 - Version 2

Company: Feed Me Mummy

Position within company: Owner

What does your company offer? A new innovative nursing vest that mums wear under their normal clothes which helps with discreet breastfeeding.

What made you want to work for (or start up) your company? I couldn’t find any affordable breastfeeding clothes that covered the bits I wanted covered so when I came up with the design of the Feed Me Mummy Vest I felt I had to share it with other mums.

Who is your biggest inspiration? Why? After setting up Feed Me Mummy, I’ve realised how hard it is to run a business from home as well as looking after two young children full time. So I’m in awe of all parents out there who run their own business surrounded by their children – it’s hard work!

What is the best part of your job? Getting great feedback from mums who love their vests. I recently did a Baby Show and so many mums came to my stand saying they were wearing their vest – this made me very happy!

What are your plans for the future? To keep spreading the word about our vests and hopefully introduce some new colours.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given? When I was first starting, I was told to believe in myself and just go for it!