Cork's Eimear Varian Barry: “I think it’s really important to be open financially at the moment and get rid of the shame we feel when talking about money."

EMMA CONNOLLY catches up with one of Ireland’s original and most successful ‘influencers’, Eimear Varian Barry from Friars Walk to talk about her career success, family life and COVID-19
Cork's Eimear Varian Barry: “I think it’s really important to be open financially at the moment and get rid of the shame we feel when talking about money."
Eimear Varian Barry has 94K followers on Instagram

EIMEAR Varian Barry recently opened her direct messages on Instagram for the first time in around a year, to allow her 94,000 followers contact her.

But the seasoned content creator admits she was not ready for the tide of s*** that came her way.

She had earlier posted about the challenge of getting a medical appointment. But some people had lashed out at what they perceived was her criticism of the NHS.

Crying, actually bawling during an ‘Insta’ story, which the Cork woman said she would later be mortified by, she said: “I don’t understand the s*** I’m getting. Most of the time I don’t react to it but sometimes it gets too much. I thought I was after getting to a place where I was balancing it, but these people need to know they’re hurting people.”

It’s been well over a year since The Echo checked in with Eimear, who is one of the original and most successful ‘influencers,’ and a lot has happened in her life since.

For starters, she’s now a mum of three and baby Lennon has joined sisters Saoirse and Harper to make the household a busy one; she’s been very open about her mental health challenges too.

Eimear Varian Barry, who is mum to three, originally from Friars Walk, now living in London.
Eimear Varian Barry, who is mum to three, originally from Friars Walk, now living in London.

And while she might give the impression of being an open book, Eimear, who grew up in Friars Walk and now lives in Surrey, insists that she’s in complete control of what is posted, and what’s not.

“I don’t feel pressure at all and that is what people don’t understand about me,” she insists.

“I am a creator, not a blogger/YouTuber who puts pressure on themselves to post, post, post. I’d crack up. I have the freedom to create and then make the decision to put what I want of myself out there. When I want to.”

After the recent backlash she got from followers, Eimear explained on her ‘stories’ how the medical appointment was to renew a prescription for medication that helps with her anxiety. She went on 20mg Citalopram last year and said it had changed her life, taken away her paranoia, and made her a better mother.

“It makes me wonder why I never went on it before. But it’s not some sort of magic pill. You have to want to work with it, if you want to reduce your anxiety/depression. I do yoga, take long hot baths listening to the medication on the Calm app and, most importantly, I’ve realised there are only so many cakes I can bake in a day,” the 34-year old said.

Eimear Varian Barry is a creator, not a blogger, of YouTuber and says she is in control of what she posts on social media.
Eimear Varian Barry is a creator, not a blogger, of YouTuber and says she is in control of what she posts on social media.

She’s a little more guarded about her near decade-long relationship with builder Daniel, dad to their three kids, and whom she split from a few months back, before reconciling. At the moment she said she’s “sensitive about opening up about it”.

The pair met and fell in love in Australia before moving back to Daniel’s native UK.

Three kids, several house moves, including one major house renovation later, Eimear said: “I think everyone has relationship issues, don’t they? We are all human.”

Right now she’s completely focussed on helping small businesses stay afloat during the global Covid-19 crisis and is encouraging local enterprises to contact her, so she can give them a ‘shout out’ on social media.

“I think it’s really important to be open financially at the moment and get rid of the shame we feel when talking about money. I put a screenshot of my overdrawn account on my stories. Broke! We all need to open up more than ever to be able to help each other.”

Eimear Varian Barry, aged 34.
Eimear Varian Barry, aged 34.

And that just about sums EVB up perfectly.

Eimear has been documenting what she loves about life online for seven years now and, rather than calling herself an influencer, says her role is ‘taking photos, telling stories and seeing beauty in everyday life’. She’s now at the helm of a one woman show, which is a very profitable business, but she knows what it’s like to be broke, and has said her drive comes from knowing that.

“I’ll still turn down work that isn’t very ‘me’ though. Anybody I choose to work is always something that I use/would use in the future.”

She also feels humbled by her huge following and the lucrative contracts it earns her: “It grows slow and steady and that’s what I love about it. Every follower is a human being and I honestly do feel honoured that someone would be interested in following my journey.” Having said that followers are fickle, and her ‘bawling’ episode lost her 250 of them.

“Seems it gets a bit too much, when I’m too real,” she joked.

Her lifestyle is a hectic one and there was almost an audible gasp of online relief when she recently started accepting help with childminding, etc.

“It’s only taken me seven years into motherhood and three kids later to be able to ask for help without feeling bad about it. Not having family here is hard. Nowadays I think if that was one of my babies, I would never want them to struggle and be scared to ask for help,” she said, joking that she still needs to find an assistant.

Eimear Varian Barry has opened up about her anxiety.
Eimear Varian Barry has opened up about her anxiety.

Despite the fact that her phone is essentially her business, Eimear has introduced super-strict boundaries surrounding it and says ‘it’s changed her life.’

“I always leave my phone in the front room or in the kitchen when I go to bed. I sometimes leave it behind when I collect the kids from school or when I do a food shop. Basically, when I don’t need it and I’m more present! If anything happens, I can just borrow someone’s phone. There’s no need for phones to be glued to us. Technology has killed connectivity.”

“It’s only when I went away that I realised how engrained the arts are in all of us. As Irish people, we have a unique perspective and there is so much creativity engrained in us because of growing up in such beautiful natural surroundings.”

Bottom line, would she encourage others to try their hand in the industry?

“Go for it! We now live in a world where we have the ability to change the system. To be entrepreneurs with no business experience (points finger at myself) I would say if you are good at photography, styling and communicating, you were made to be a content creator.”

Her own ultimate aim is to make documentaries, but in typical EVB style, she says she rarely knows what she’s even doing next week. Chances are, whatever it is, it will attract plenty of Instagram comments.

It’s only taken me seven years into motherhood and three kids later to be able to ask for help without feeling bad about it. Not having family here is hard

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