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Q1. Tell us where it all began

The idea of Phat Poly emerged many years ago during the 2008 recession, which led me to immigrating to Melbourne, Australia in 2010, like many other people at that time. I worked in Administration for the 5 years that I lived there – getting my first job in Foster’s! Melbourne is such a diverse and colourful city. I was hugely inspired by my experiences there and how people had successful careers in all sorts of creative fields.

I returned to Ireland in 2015 with a vision and a big dream. Being someone who likes to show my authentic and individual self, I have always been drawn to fun, quirky and statement jewellery. The thing that hindered my ability to wear earrings though was my sensitive skin. They were either made from metals that reacted with my skin or were very heavy and cumbersome – which hurts many peoples earlobes. I wanted to create eye-catching and kitsch earrings that were lightweight and guaranteed not to cause skin irritations.

I began working with Polymer Clay (that’s part of how Phat Poly got its name!) and have now evolved and developed my production in the use of acrylic – both of which are featherweight and colourful materials….perfect for my business ethos!

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Q2. What differentiates you from similar businesses in this area?

What I love about how I run my business is how often I get to play with ideas and create new designs. Unlike mainstream jewellery brands, you can find new Phat Poly designs most months! This keeps things fresh and exciting for me and my customers. My new designs are inspired by a multitude of influences from conversations with people I meet at markets to the customers I chat to on Social Media. Following home décor pages on Instagram is always a good starting point for some of my designs too.

My dream is to live in a world where women feel beautiful and confident more often than not and sometimes, I think wearing a powerful pair of Phat Poly earrings to compliment an outfit, mood or special occasion can help us achieve that.

My aim is for Phat Poly customers to feel that they are part of an uplifting and positive community…accepting themselves for who they are – kinks and all! I want them to feel unstoppable, to create a badass alter ego (if Beyonce can – why can’t we?!) and be remembered for the woman who wore those amazing earrings!!!

Q3. What would you say are the biggest challenges your business is currently facing?

I think most Independent Businesses would agree that keeping up with Social Media is very tough. I find my reach on Instagram and Facebook has really diminished in the last 6 months but also I think how the world is lately, people are taking a break from the online bombardment of news (which is a good thing!).

The parameters are always changing on social media and it is a never ending learning experience which can be daunting and tiring at the same time. In saying that, the social interactions with jewellery fans, customers and friends is awesome. That bit never gets tiresome and actually keeps me going!

“My dream is to live in a world where women feel beautiful and confident more often than not and sometimes…”

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Q4. What are your top ‘moments of joy’ over the past 4-5 years?

Being nominated in the jewellery category in the Irish Country Magazines Irish Made Awards was an absolute hoot! I am not one for fancy clothes or fine dining BUT being completely out of my comfort zone and meeting so many inspirational Independent Businesses was fantastic.

There are so many small wins that make up a big pot of “top moments” really. The first time I wholesaled to a gift shop, the first time someone left me a lovely review, the emails I get from people telling me how Phat Poly has made a difference to their lives, opening a gift shop in Waterford with other amazing businesses (shout out to the CC Creatives Crew!). I have found my people and there is no greater feeling!

“Being nominated in the jewellery category in the Irish Country Magazines Irish Made Awards was an absolute hoot!”

Q5. What does the future hold for your business?

I absolutely love designing new ranges and most of my customers will know that I have a new Collection every few months! It keeps the business exciting and interesting as you never know what the next theme will be. I have just released my Rainbow Collection in respect of Pride Month which is always a big hit with people.

Phat Poly is a fun and bright jewellery company so I am also looking into what other fun accessories my customers would love. My Mum has come on board and makes all the Beaded Jewellery ranges, my Mother in Law is handcrafting Phat Poly scrunchies…I never know what is going to be next!

“I have just released my Rainbow Collection in respect of Pride Month which is always a big hit with people.”

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