Empowerment, energy, quality, authenticity and style – these are just some of the words that five Donegal women in business associate with themselves.
And an empowering energy filled the Ballroom Suite of Harvey’s Point last night for the launch of the She Owns It! Video production for the Donegal Women in Business Network.
The 20 minute video hears from former Harvey’s Point Hotelier Deirdre McGlone, Marketing Consultant Evelyn Mc Glynn, Personal Stylist Carmel Sheerin, Executive Coach Cathy Kelly Sweeney and Interior Designer Patricia Connolly.
Through warm and forthcoming interviews, Aileen encouraged the women to talk about successes and setbacks, lessons learned and their legacies in business.
Cathy Kelly Sweeney discussed seizing opportunities after redundancy, while Carmel Sheerin took a leap of faith to follow her dream.
“It’s better to do something and fail, then to never do it at all,” was a key piece of advice shared by Carmel.
Patricia Connolly of Poppy Interior Design opened up about overcoming life’s hurdles after being diagnosed with cancer three times over three consecutive years.
She said: “The first time, it felt like the ground opened up and swallowed me. The second time I thought, how am I going to deal with this? The third time I just said, this is ain’t going to get me, I am going to come out of this and everything is going to follow on.”
With over 20 years of experience in interior design, Patricia spoke of her love for making people happy in their homes, adding:
“The legacy I want to leave behind is: this woman set up a business because she really wanted to do it, and no matter what life threw at her, she went back to what she loved and what she was good at.”
Resilience was an important theme of the video, which was created to mark the 20th Anniversary year of the Donegal Women in Business Network.
Evelyn Mc Glynn, PRO of the network commended the hard work of businesswomen in the decades gone by and said: “When we look at what we have today we need to be very grateful. This year with the Donegal Women in Business Network we are looking at our theme ‘Looking Back, Moving Forward’.
“We are looking at women in business throughout the years who have had greater challenges than we have. We have to appreciate that it is of our time, we are here and we are able to do something wonderful.”
Cathy Kelly Sweeney had a motivational outlook on finding resilience. She said: “Take every opportunity, no matter how small, and go with whatever feels expansive for you.”
For Carmel Sheerin, resilience comes with relentless determination. She said: “It’s better to do something and fail, then to never do it at all,” she said, adding that her legacy dreams of “I’d like to be remembered for helping people feel better about themselves. And for being unstoppable, against all odds, I succeeded.”
Deirdre McGlone spoke about picking yourself up after setbacks and said: “Resilience comes through determination to succeed and also the belief in yourself and what you do.”
Cathy Kelly Sweeney echoed those comments with an inspirational motto for all women in business: “Allow yourself to shine. Don’t think yourself small. Let your personality show in your business.”
Once the video stopped rolling, director Aileen Kelly had the opportunity to let her own personality shine. She commended each of her interviewees with a heart-warming compliment and talked about her latest art projects.
As she is now available for commissioned paintings, Aileen said: “I want to spread beauty and joy to the homes of Donegal.”
Aileen’s video work earned high praise from the participants and viewers. Those who were interviewed said that they enjoyed the experience and appreciated having the opportunity to share their views. Audience members commented on the engaging video style and the open and honest interviews.
For a unique change, this video premiere event was open to all Donegal Women in Business Network members and their friends, family and colleagues. Children, relatives and partners were all given a warm welcome to the celebration of entrepreneurship which was intended to shine a light on personal stories, to share advice and to inspire.
DWBN President Deirdre Mc Glone explained: “There’s one thing I always believe, is that when women support women, incredible things happen. This is what the network does, we support each other through thick and thin.”
The Donegal Women in Business Network is a voluntary, not-for-profit, peer-support group for all women with an interest in business. Find out more about joining here: donegalwomeninbusiness.com/why-join
See the full gallery from the event below: