Rathangan hat designer’s success story

A Rathangan hat designer, who turned a hobby into her dream job after being made redundant last June, is delighted with how business is going.

A Rathangan hat designer, who turned a hobby into her dream job after being made redundant last June, is delighted with how business is going.

Aoife Harrison, who originally came from Woodlands, was working on the concession stands in Brown Thomas when she lost her job 10 months ago.

She had a flair for hat design, and had been creating some impressive designs in her spare time.

“I was doing it as a hobby since 2008 for friends and family, and then I was made redundant so I decided do give it a go and it’s been grand,” she explained.

Aoife was lucky to get into the Design Centre at the Powerscourt Centre in Dublin, where she can showcase her work to a large audience.

This is her fourth season, and her collection is fresh and new.

She explained how she always had an interest in fashion, and did a course in the Grafton Academy a number of years ago.

“It’s great, because I know I am very lucky that I get to do a job that I love,” she remarked.

“My main work would be for the wedding market – for the mother of the bride, the mother of the groom, and family members.”

Aoife is conscious of the tough economic pressures which people face at the moment.

She encourages people to bring back any hats they may have bought so she can update them with the addition of feathers, mesh or other design fabrics or accessories.

When asked what advice she would give someone starting a new fashion business, she stressed; “It’s really all about contacts. Getting to know people in the business.

“There are lots of great fashion courses out there and in merchandising and sales.

“Try to get some work experience before you go out on your own.”

- Niamh O’Donoghue