Tell us about your background? Professional & personal
I’ve lived all my life in Kilkenny, Ireland, aside from when I was in college. I was really sporty in school and played a lot of hockey and camogie (an Irish sport). I met my husband for the first time when I was 18. I was working as a waitress in a hotel for a summer job and he was a chef (he was 22). We kissed for the first time while I worked there but we didn’t start going out until 2003 when we met again and we’ve been together ever since. I studied economics at Trinity College Dublin and I got married the summer after I graduated.
My mother is a retired primary teacher and my father has his own business (furniture removals, storage, and self storage). I have one brother, who works with my father, and I worked in his business from about the age of nine. I worked answering the phones, and I worked on the removals trucks, not joking!! It was really hard work but I was seriously strong by the time I was eleven and I would have lifted what an average man could have lifted because I had the right technique.
So if all falls apart I can go back to working on the removals trucks:)
I had my son at 25 and started our food manufacturing business at the same time. We’ve been working non-stop since then and it feels like the Apprentice time was almost like a holiday. Strange comment to make but it really was!
What is your proudest achievement?
Although this isn’t a specific achievement I feel so proud when I see Harry developing as a person, seeing his cheeky side and seeing him develop. Sometimes I watch him and say, ‘I made him and he’s amazing’.
Who is your female inspiration?
My grandmother. She’s extremely glamorous, accomplished, and also has 12 children-which isn’t easy!
Tell us a bit about Harrys Little World
Harry’s Little World is a fresh food discovery brand. Our first range of products are our baby and toddler soups. These soups are ‘free from’, fresh, and organic. They are designed to meet your child’s nutritional requirements and each pot contains one meal for your baby, you don’t need to supplement it with extra protein etc. The brand is about teaching people about importance of fresh food for our babies and toddlers and changing the mindset of supermarket brands to meet increasing demands of parents for fresh baby food and also making.
I want to make fresh food fun and tasty for your children.
What inspired you to start your own business?
I believe that every good idea comes from a problem and when Harry was a baby I had no convenient alternative to home cooked soups so I spent every night blending vegetables because I wanted him to have the best food every day. I saw a gap in the market and I’ve taken out a loan to hopefully fill that gap. The product is right and feedback from Irish mums has been really positive so fingers crossed for the UK market.
How did appearing on the Apprentice affect your life
Getting fired from the Apprentice really affected my confidence when I came out but I quickly realised that I needed to snap out of my self pity and pull myself together because I had so much going for me outside of the Apprentice. After that initial period I forgot about it until the show aired.
What would you like to achieve over the next 12 months?
I want to make a success of Harry’s Little World and really build the brand in the UK. I have some really innovative ideas for future products and I would love to get them to market and offer parents great choice for feeding their babies and toddlers. My other priority on my big wish list is to have a holiday-first one in four years.