In the April issue of IMAGE magazine, we talk to Fiona Heaney. After more than a decade of designing her own label, the creative director behind Fee G is enjoying a new wave of success.
Working alongside your husband might seem like a recipe for disaster, but for Fiona Heaney and her husband Don Gormley, it’s the perfect partnership. With a CV that includes design work for David Jones in Australia and as a womenswear buyer for Dunnes Stores, Heaney gained invaluable experience before setting up on her own. “Some scarves I had designed under my own name began selling really well, so my husband encouraged me to launch my own brand and even offered me financial backing. Our skill sets complemented one another’s, and Fee G was born. He looks after the financial side of our business, while I have responsibility for the design.” The company name is a combination of Fiona’s nickname, “Fee”, and the first initial of Don’s surname.
In their 13 years in business, the couple have encountered many challenges, but Fiona recently discovered that stepping out of her personal comfort zone pays off. “In our first decade, I was more concerned about building a reputable business rather than putting myself out there and becoming the voice of the brand. I’ve come to realise that the brand is my story. The more I’ve embraced this, the easier it has become.”
Through her love of design and fashion, Heaney created a label that speaks to women who want to look polished yet feminine. “From the beginning, my vision was to create a design company focused on creating beautiful, high- quality clothes for ladies.” Does she feel she’s succeeded? “I would define my success by whether or not I’m still happy in the fashion business ten years from now,” she laughs.
See more from Career In Focus: Fiona Heaney in the April issue of IMAGE magazine, on shelves nationwide now.