January 2018 Mid Ulster Networking Event

Mums at Work First Event

We started off the year in style with our first Mums At Work Networking Event at the White River Hotel in Toome.

33 Like Minded Ladies came together unsure of what to expect and 7 of us had a bundle of nerves as we were all expected to speak to the group.

First up was Caroline O’Neill from Digg Childrenswear Dungannon

Caroline told us all about how she left her job as an occupational therapist and started her Childrenswear Business. She sells mostly occasional wear and sells it via her physical store, her website and Snapchat / facebook. When she realised that the price for online advertising to push her business up through the ranks was massive, she realised that she had to personally engage with her audience and she does that on snapchat and Facebook.

Our second Guest was recruitment agency owner Pauline Haughey – Haughey Recruitment Dungannon

Pauline told us how she started her business after some serious life changing events. Like so many people, when there is a downturn in a market, and they are faced with redundancy, it is time to decide what direction to take. Now Pauline’s recruitment agency is thriving and her tip was to ensure that a personalised service exists to suit the client, to provide a value service tailored to their needs. Pauline also told us how she does Facebook Live at least once a week to engage with her audience

Our third guest speaker was Úrsula Murphy, owner of OhhSocial.com and Sugahfix.com

Úrsula has almost 20 years of PR and Marketing Experience and has now put that expertise to use in her own businesses.

Ursula was able to provide invaluable advice on how to reach target audiences through the use of authentic content, social influencers, Instagram, Facebook and other social media sites.

Our Fourth Guest Speaker was Photographer Catherine MacKenzie

Catherine told us her own personal journey to becoming a professional photographer. In a sector dominated by men, she was put down and told she could not join the PPANI association as women couldn’t reach the same potential as men… needless to say, Catherine proved everyone wrong and has won PPANI commercial photographer of the year. In addition to this, she is a recommended fashion and wedding photographer. Catherine used her love of photography to battle personal demons and her journey is truly inspirational

Fourth Guest Speaker was Orlagh Kelly, owner of Wedding Company Happy Ever Vintage

Orlagh told us how she started her company after years in hospitality as a conscious change to take control of her own career and to work around her family. She told us how difficult it is but she never drops her standards or values because she thinks you should stick to your standards and values and principles. Orlagh Now gets to provide a service to her Brides that she loves, providers her with a good income and that she can arrange around herself. She puts her own spin on her service so it is unique to her and this is tailored to each wedding. Orlagh said one of the secrets to get success was having a good support network around her. She also said it was important we take time for ourselves to recharge and evaluate.

Sixth Guest Speaker was Sinead McKeever from SM Marketing Services

Sinead went from an in-house marketing position to starting out on her own. Her expertise lies with managing customers social media accounts, logo, design and print and all marketing materials including presentations and websites.

Sinead has built her business through word of mouth and from the ground up. She has a busy family life so she loves her job as it enables her to work around her family. Sinead reminded us that we are not all perfect and we can put a lot of pressure on ourselves but it’s ok to drop the ball sometimes.

All our guest speakers did a fantastic job and were so inspirational to all the women, providing fantastic advice both for business and personally. They certainly set the bar for guest speakers to come.

During our break, we passed the mic around the room and asked everyone to introduce themselves. For some this was nerve wracking but everyone did it and overcame their fear of public speaking. They were to be commended too.

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