A YOUNG entrepreneur who lost her dream job as an air hostess with Emirates and returned home at the start of the pandemic has launched a brand new business.
Caoimhe Harkin (26) from Lifford launched her new online jewellery and fashion boutique recently, @byCaoimheLeigh, with a collection of nine sets of earrings.
The former Drumragh Integrated College student set up the business after she lost her job and returned home from Dubai, where she had been living for almost two years.
Although she was devastated about losing her dream job, Caoimhe took the opportunity to pursue another one of her dreams.
Caoimhe said, “My goal has always been to start my own business, however I got a quicker push towards this goal last year when I lost my job with Emirates Airlines.
“I returned home from Dubai after almost two years in July 2020 and I knew what I needed to do to reach this goal.
“I have worked since I was 14 and losing my job with Emirates really effected me as I couldn’t believe this virus took away my dream, so I worked towards another dream I always had.
“I think it’s so important to always have goals and always to remember if your Plan A doesn’t work you can always turn to Plan B or C etc.
“I run my own Instagram account which has almost 22,000 followers and I work alongside other brands so I know I needed to make my own.
“The first collection that I launched has been nine different earrings named after nine special ladies in my life. I decided to launch earrings first however I have a lot of ideas to expand my business very soon,” said Caoimhe.
In the near future, Caoimhe will launch a new collection of necklaces and bracelets while in the coming months, she will be introducing loungewear, nightwear, sunglasses and bikinis.
On the day her website went live, Caoimhe sold out of the earrings in three hours, and she said the response to her new brand ‘has been amazing.’
She said, “Before I launched my website I did sneak peak reveals to my first collection and I couldn’t believe the response. Thankfully everyone loved them all as much as I did.
“My website went live at 11am and completely sold out by 2pm. I couldn’t believe it. A pharmacy in Donegal contacted me and asked me could they be a stockist of my brand also so we’re currently in talks about that.
“It’s all very surreal.
“I am happy enough with things being online for @bycaoimheleigh but as my small brand continues to grow and hopefully expands I would love in the future to stock my products in a number of different locations,” said Caoimhe.
As Caoimhe’s brand continues to grow, she believes anyone who has a dream of setting up their own business, should go for it.
She continued, “To anyone who has always wanted to do it, I think now more than ever is the time to go for it.
“I used all my free time to research and I done the marketing and everything completely on my own.
“Your only limit is you and if you fail at least you can always say you tried. You would rather give it a go than to sit on the side lines wondering what if.
“I hope I’m in a position within the next year or two to speak to other students and teenagers about opening a business and about other options rather than just university. Because there really are so many other routes,” concluded Caoimhe.