Interview: Milliner from Cork

Interview: Milliner from Cork
Sarah Bowles Picture: Henry O'Brien

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m a milliner, a yarn dyer, a plus size model and part-time fashion blogger. I’m living in Ballincollig, which is where I grew up, with my mum, a retired civil servant, and our two dogs and cats. I have a younger brother, Colin, an air conditioning and refrigeration technician, that also races motorbikes and my dad is a marine engineer originally from Dublin. 

I took up millinery while studying fashion design in St. John’s Central College, Cork, and have been working in Hedegehog Fibres dyeing yarn for the last year. 

I have been working as a plus size model part time for the last four years and last year decided to start a fashion blog called Curvy in Cork City which I shall be devoting more time to this year.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

Friday night can be a tough one as you’re tired from the week at work but it’s a great night to head out as you avoid the craziness of a Saturday night and for some reason it seems to make the weekend feel longer. If I’m not heading out with friends I love a good night in by the fire watching a good movie.

Lie ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

I know my answer should be up with the lark as I would probably be much more productive and organised if it was but I love my bed/sleep so if I get a chance for a lie in I generally take it!

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Not my day job but my millinery does tend to creep into my weekend. I’m very lucky to love what I do though so it generally doesn’t feel like work. 

I do a bit of plus size modeling sometimes also so generally any photo shoots I would have I try to organise for the weekends. I get to work with some amazingly talented and creative people so it’s more fun than work for me.

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

I’d love to take my Mum to New York for a weekend of shopping and sight seeing. She’s my biggest supporter so it would be nice to take her away for a treat.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries? 

Ballincollig Regional Park or the Lee fields are gorgeous spots to walk to dogs when the evenings are bright. But West Cork would probably be my favourite area. I love it around Barleycove and Crookhaven, it’s so beautiful there.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

As much as I possibly can. My family and friends are very important to me so spending time with them is definitely high on my list of priorities. Life can get a bit hectic so we can’t always see the ones we love as often as we like, unfortunately.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

I do a weekly belly dancing class. It’s a fun way to exercise but it’s much harder than it looks. I’ve always loved dancing. I still consider millinery a hobby also and I do a bit of crochet sometimes too so I get to use some of the amazing wool I dye at work.

Entertain or be entertained? If it's the latter do you have a signature dish?

I would prefer to be entertained but I do like to cook. My signature dish would be Turkish pilaf with lamb kofte and a choban salad(diced cucumber, tomato and onion in a lemon and olive oil dressing).

We have so many places to eat out in Cork - where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

Cork coffee roasters is my favourite coffee for sure. Or for a treat a hot chocolate from O’ Connails Chocolates. I love their milk and white praline hot chocolate, so so good! For lunch I love Perry Street Market Cafe, the staff and food are both amazing, or Fellini’s on Carey’s Lane. It’s what I’d imagine a little Parisian café to be like tucked away in the middle of the city centre.

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

Generally at home during the winter with the fire lighting catching up on a bit of telly cuddled up with our dogs.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

7am. I start work in Little Island at 9am and the traffic in the tunnel can be a nightmare so I generally leave myself a little extra time in case of any unexpected delays but it gives me a chance to listen to Breakfast Republic on 2fm which always outs a smile on my face in the mornings. Jenn, Bernard and Keith always have me in stitches!

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