Local women treated themselves to a glamorous Saturday out today with the She Said Club's first visit to Donegal.
The She Said Club podcast sisterhood visited the Shandon Hotel on Saturday 9th March to celebrate theme of “Nourish to Flourish”. Health, mental wellness and business were big topics of discussion among key speakers.
She Said Club founder Naomh McElhatton led the inspirational interviews.
First up was Lucinda Nolan, a strong woman inside and out who is dealing with multiple sclerosis in her own healthy way. Lucinda talked about how her MS diagnosis was a devastating blow before she realised “I’m not living, I’m just existing”. She then decided to focus on feeling good and devote her energy to health and fitness.
“Look for the gratitude in everything” was Lucinda’s motto from her heart-rending but positive talk.
Curator Naomh McElhatton also highlighted gratitude as a way of being content in life and maintaining good mental health.
She opened up about how failures in business and in her personal life led her on a humbling journey to the She Said Club.
She spoke about self-care, ambition and imposter syndrome – and this self-doubt soon emerged as a shared trait among many speakers on the day.
Carolynne Harrison, General Manager of the Shandon Hotel, has led the business during a period of major change – from an empty hotel to a thriving holiday hotspot. But Carolynne’s journey was not without its challenges, as she revealed in her interview.
Carolynne talked about her own past experiences and how she overcame trauma by focusing her mind on her work. Her open and honest discussion on balancing work and family life resonated with many others.
Lorraine Boyce, Letterkenny-based women’s health physiotherapist, also talked about how she struggled with self-care and work/life balance.
In the early years of establishing her business Down Below Physio, Lorraine said she was so busy that she neglected her own health. She said: “I was in an industry of taking care of people, but I wasn’t taking care of myself.”
Lorraine talked about how she reassessed her approach to work and now enjoys growing her business while making time for rest and exercise.
Lorraine led an engaging workshop on the importance of pelvic floor strength. Her talk was hugely informative, before she made everyone try some exercises that sparked plenty of giggles.
The event finished with a showcase of the pop-up shop businesses on the day.
One young entrepreneur, Cara Sweeney of Grace Loves Embellishments, touched everyone’s hearts with her story.
Cara said that she had struggled with severe depression in recent years, but recently followed her passion for arts and crafts to make jewellery and accessories. She has since flourished from dark days to develop a beautiful business, and her talk was met with a standing ovation from guests.
The first She Said Club gathering for Donegal was a great success, packed with moving talks, pop-up shops, goodie bags, bubbly and a delicious afternoon tea for all.
Naomh has hinted that they’ll be back in the county later this summer – so watch this space!
Check out more photos from the event below: