Sustainable Irish sleepwear brands to help you catch some zs
Sustainable Irish sleepwear brands to help you catch some zs

Sarah Finnan

Andrew McGinley: ‘I cannot forgive the act of murder. I can’t forgive how my children died’
Andrew McGinley: ‘I cannot forgive the act of murder. I can’t forgive how my children...

Amanda Cassidy

What actually consitutes self-care when you’re a mother
What actually consitutes self-care when you’re a mother

Sophie White

The expert guide to your hair problems, from thinning hair to heat damage
The expert guide to your hair problems, from thinning hair to heat damage

Melanie Morris

Best hotel restaurants: 16 places to add to your Irish staycation bucket list
Best hotel restaurants: 16 places to add to your Irish staycation bucket list

Sarah Finnan

Here’s how you can manage symptoms of work anxiety
Here’s how you can manage symptoms of work anxiety

Jennifer McShane

Step straight onto the sand with these 5 Irish hotels on the beach
Step straight onto the sand with these 5 Irish hotels on the beach

Megan Burns

5 inspiring self-help books that will change your life
5 inspiring self-help books that will change your life

Jennifer McShane

Jamie Lee Curtis shows every parent how to handle their child transitioning
Jamie Lee Curtis shows every parent how to handle their child transitioning

Jennifer McShane

Toxic relationships: ‘Why walking away from my mum was the best thing I could have done’
Toxic relationships: ‘Why walking away from my mum was the best thing I could have...

Amanda Cassidy

Image / Editorial

5 Minutes With Nicki Hoyne Of My Shining Armour


by IMAGE
07th Mar 2017
blank

Ahead of our next IMAGE Young Businesswomen’s Forum on Wednesday, March 15 at The Westbury Hotel, we sat down for five minutes with panellist?Nicki Hoyne, founder of My Shining Armour.

Where did the inspiration for My Shining Armour come from?

Entrepreneurship is in my DNA so it was always something I would do. My Shining Armour niggled at the back of my mind for a long time. I have always been massively into accessories, quirky gifts and cool homewares. Coming out of college the job didn’t exist and websites cost a fortune. I’m a big online shopper and as technology and the Internet advanced I saw online stores open and I thought I can do that and I can do it even better. Now online is an even playing field, with a good site you can easily compete with the big players and with social media being so free and easy to promote businesses I knew I was onto something.

How did you finance the business initially?

I always put money away for my big venture. I didn’t know what that was for a long time but when it came to starting My Shining Armour I had built up enough for an initial investment and I moved back to Kilkenny to keep my living costs down. As a fashion start-up with no physical location, I wasn’t eligible for any funding. I started from my kitchen table and taught myself everything from coding to photography and graphic design. If you want to do something badly enough you figure out how to make it happen.

What personal skills make for a good entrepreneur?

You have to be hard working, willing to put in the long hours and you must be positive. If you get disheartened or dwell on the negative you’ll never get there and most importantly you won’t enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it, what’s the point? You have to do it because you love it, anything else just wouldn’t be worth it.

Was there a particular ‘breakthrough’ moment for your business when you thought, ‘this is it!’

I was in business a year and a half before people started to recognise my brand. I thought the business would grow much faster than it did. I had good imagery, quality product and delivered a really good customer experience. The challenge was that the current market doesn’t really care about those things the focus is on fast fashion at the lowest possible price. I was focused on brand and strategy and had to play the long game. They say consumers need to see something 7 times before they will try it. So for Christmas 2015, we pushed hard on social media, we feature in British Vogue and Grazia, the Irish press really got behind us, we did a big Black Friday promotion, had a strong Christmas Gift Guide and we secured some key Irish blogger features. Suddenly My Shining Armour was everywhere and we had a fantastic Christmas. From then on we have grown month on month and so many wonderful things have happened.

What’s been the toughest thing about working for yourself?

My Shining Armour is so fun, anything can happy from getting emails from the jewellery editor of Vogue to trending on Twitter. I love to work and be productive. The buzz is addictive and so exhilarating. I am always on, trying to deliver the best customer experience for my customers whether it’s a Friday night or a Sunday morning. I wouldn’t change it for the world but I know it is not sustainable long term. What’s the point if you haven’t got a work-life balance and time for yourself, your?friends and family? I try not to work on weekends and I have a personal trainer, which I find a great destresser. I’m coming out of start-up phase so I am going on a well-deserved beach holiday this year where I’ll completely switch off (well almost).

Describe your personal style?

Comfortable, classic and cool with a pop of colour, print or sparkle. I always keep my clothing pretty simple and love to find unique one-off pieces to make my outfit pop. I don’t feel comfortable if I haven’t a madcap accessory like a statement necklace, earrings, cool sunglasses, a statement bag or a massive cocktail ring. You’ll find me in the supermarket in my gold sequined ballet pumps. I don’t feel me if there’s not a pop. That’s just who I am!

What’s coming up next on My Shining Armour that we should look out for??

Where to start! Most excitingly I’m working on my own designs for a new capsule handbag collection to launch in late Spring. ?We just launched our funny disposable cups that we designed after I had a lightbulb moment in the shower. There will be lots more fun pieces like that. The new 2018 ban.do & Kate Spade Agendas land in late May. We have some UK activities coming up, Pop Up Shops in Kilkenny and Dublin and of course more new brands and categories.

Hear Nicki and fellow panellists Ruth Hetherington and Amy Buckeridge talk about their businesses and how they started up at our IMAGE Young Businesswomen’s Forum next week.

WHEN?Wednesday, March 15
Drinks and canap’s from?6pm

WHERE?The Westbury Hotel, Dublin 2

TICKETS??45*

Also Read

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Why do we keep snatching normality away from our children?’

This summer the government will allow my children into a bar, but not to their gymnastics camp. Amanda Cassidy on...

By Amanda Cassidy

toxic
EDITORIAL
How to let go of toxic people, and the signs to recognise

By Niamh Ennis

alternative asthma treatments
EDITORIAL
Three alternative asthma treatments to try this hayfever season

Approximately 80% of people with asthma also suffer from hayfever, which can make summer days a nightmare. These three alternative...

By Grace McGettigan

blank
IMAGE WRITES
The sexist commentary at Wimbledon still remains a problem

Wimbledon in 2021 and once again female athletes are singled out on the playing field, a great deal of the...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
CULTURE
Reality Bites: TV shows like Love Island are warping our minds

It may be the most unifying show on television, but shows like Love Island are promoting some pretty damaging messages....

By Amanda Cassidy

Vegan
EDITORIAL
Delicious vegan-friendly spots to try for a weekend brunch in Dublin

Check out three of our favourite vegan/veggie-friendly spots in Dublin worth trying this weekend. The best bit? Chances are, even...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
EDITORIAL
The life-changing act of binning all your terrible underwear

A life of wearing the wrong underwear had Sophie White’s knickers in a twist. She reports on the unexpected satisfaction...

By Sophie White