'The pandemic was a great time to study... now it's time to get back out into the real world'

10 years ago, Monica Rodrigues arrived in Cork to work in tech... but now the Blarney-based woman is running her own style and colour consulting business. Here she features in our weekly column, 'Person to Person'.
'The pandemic was a great time to study... now it's time to get back out into the real world'

Style and Colour Consultant, Monica Rodrigues, who features in our Person to Person this week

TELL us about yourself;

 I’m Monica, a Portuguese woman that chose Ireland as home about ten years ago. I started my journey through the IT world, but technology was never my real passion – I lean towards people and love to be surrounded by interesting, curious minds and expand my horizons.

After all, what can be more interesting than the human being?

In my 35 years I have pursued different sides to art and creativity and was always drawn to the unusual – my happiest times were as a Performance Artist for a circus agency. We used to go to the most amazing parties, do fire breathing, run on stilts, dance in silks and it was a constant surprise and a world of excitement.

Currently, I run my own Style & Colour Consulting business, where my goal is to aid women (and man!) to become the best they can be, help them bring out that amazing person that might have got hidden inside by the plays of life. Because I believe that there’s a unique side to every one of us.

Where were you born?

I come from the third largest city in Portugal, called Braga. A vibrant city, full of youth, culture and entertainment, there’s never a dull moment – and it has the advantage of being in a perfect geographic location, perfectly nested between the beach and the ocean, a protected natural park and the world heritage Douro Vinhateiro, one of the most amazing regions in the country (and Europe if I say it myself!)

Where do you live?

I live in the outskirts of Blarney village, in a little spot of paradise that we bought about two years ago and where we created our little nest.

Family?

Two kids and the most amazing partner – and to them you add a huge extended family! I come from a extended background consisting of my parents, three brothers and a sister, nieces, nephews, plenty of aunts, uncles and cousins – too many too count at this stage!

Best friend?

She’s the woman of the century. She’s been there through tick and thin since the dawn of days and I can rely on her for anything and everything. We joke that she’s the person – the one that knows all the stories and memories that could get me arrested if she spoke ahah. The most amazing, fashionable, always has a moment and can be though when I need her too - she’s currently living the life in Spain, but we still talk almost every day.

Earliest childhood memory?

So many! Going hunting with my father, Christmas parties... but definitely to remember are the Saturdays spent in my Nanny, the hub of the whole family to this day, a place that is both full of magical memories and sad stories, the scent of a fireplace and the never ending sweets and biscuits!

Person you most admire?

My grandmother. She stands amazing at 96 years of age, full of songs and stories and cuddles for everyone. 

And even though life has played her a couple of trick cards and she’s not in the most amazing physical form, her head can still make me travel miles through her tales in seconds.

Person who most irritates you?

Not many… but in general people that are simply full of themselves and/or willing to go to any lengths to get to a destination. I am extremely straight forward in my personality so that attitude doesn’t sit well with me.

Who would you like to see as Minister for Finance and why?

Ahahah I have no idea – I don’t engage in politics at all 

Where was your most memorable holiday?

Sardinia in 2012 – it was simply perfect for the moment I was living; it was like the clocks stopped running and time came to a halt. Loved everything about the island, the food, the landscapes and the ocean… a place to fall in love with.

Favourite TV programme?

I know, I know, I’m the eternal teenager, but Gossip Girl got me hooked from day one and remains a favourite. Other than that, anything related to traveling, history or quizzes.

Favourite radio show?

PJ & Jim in the morning, 96fm.

Your signature dish if cooking?

Seafood rice.

Favourite restaurant?

“Mariazinha” in Porto, Portugal. Speciality is seafood and I love it. Also Taberna Belga in Braga, which makes the most amazing “francesinha”!

Last book you read?

“How not to wear black” by Anna Murphy and “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” by T. Harv Eker.

Best book you read?

“Shantaram” by Gregory David Roberts.

Last album/CD/download you bought?

“Mariza Canta Amália” by Mariza, a Portuguese singer that reinvented the traditions of fado by modernizing it and bringing back the great old school music

Favourite song?

“Chuva” by Mariza and “Christmas 1915” by Celtic Thunder.

One person you would like to see in concert.

Pink Floyd.

Do you have a pet?

We have a beautiful miniature Jack Russell called Cosmo.

Morning person or night owl?

A little of both, it kind of goes in cycles. But in general, Morning is my best time.

Your proudest moment?

The birth of both my children. I know it’s cliché, but due to circumstances around both births, they were the most unbelievable times and I tear up just to reminisce about them.

Spendthrift or saver?

A mix!

Name one thing you would improve in your area in which you live?

Random community interaction – I know there’s a lot out there already but it would be nice to have a random “whole village coffee morning” out there, get people to engage with each other, get to know each other and make even more amazing the sense of community here.

What makes you happy?

A book, a fleecy blanket and a hot chocolate in front of the fire.

How would you like to be remembered?

As the woman that brought a smile to people. If I can give you at least 1 minute of happiness with my interactions, when I get those minutes together I’d have a life well spent.

What else are you up to at the moment?

Just tipping away with my business, getting the word out there as much as I can – the pandemic was good to study and develop but now is time to get back out to the real world! At the same time, my kids got my back into roller blading after 20 years and I am also taking guitar classes… let’s see what comes of it!

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