I am really excited to have Fiona Burk from Little Red on the blog today! Fiona launched her company Little Red in 2014 and has been producing and selling skincare products using organic Irish seaweed ever since. Fiona has a great selection of face creams, hand creams, body butter and seaweed bath salts. Please make sure to head over to her website and Facebook page and check out her gorgeous products! If you are in Cork, make sure to head to Mustard on Academy St to stock up on her products! Otherwise jump online and order through her website!
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
I have been my own boss for fifteen years now. Not all that time was spent with Little Red, (which was born in 2014), but I’ve been a market-trader since the year 2000. Being self-employed has its pro’s and con’s of course, and you have to have a certain amount of self-belief, drive and discipline. Being tough also helps, as you will experience some hard knocks along the way, and often you’re the only person who can get yourself back up on your feet and back on track again. Waking in the middle of the night, worrying about aspects of the business isn’t entirely appealing, but often this can turn into a great idea for the business! I love being my own boss, and did not feel fulfilled working for someone else. Taking on challenges in the form of new ideas gives me a buzz, so at least I’ll die knowing that I tried, and hopefully gave it my best shot!
What were you doing before you started your business?
Before Little Red, I was spending more time on my cheese stall at markets around Cork, Kerry and Clare. Before being a cheesemonger, I was working as a mechanical engineer (radical change, I know). Often I would find myself staring out the window, wishing I could be doing something I felt more interested in. This reached a crisis point, where my health suffered and I became depressed and physically withdrawn. One weekend, I got the notion that I could start off my own market stall and change tack altogether. I had friends in the market business and bounced my ideas off them. Thankfully they were very supportive and encouraging, so I gave my notice in on my corporate job that Monday morning. I’ve never looked back…
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
Having the courage to follow my ideas to fruition. Setting up a home for my family and being able to provide for them is result for me.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Just do it.
Which advice would you give to women who would like to start their own business?
Make a start. You won’t have everything perfect to start with, but getting up and out there will teach you more than holding back till you think everything is just right. Stick to your guns. Toughen up. Stay strong but cut yourself some slack too. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
If you could start your business all over again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. It’s all a journey, and I think I’ve learned from my mistakes.
Where do you shop?
Vintage shops, markets, health food shops, local boutiques, ZARA, online Boden and Asos.
What do you wish you had more of in your life?
What do you wish you had less of?
What’s your favourite ‘me time’ activity?
Walking in nature, yoga, dancing, eating (uninterrupted!), shopping in peace
You have a night off and unlimited funds: what do you do?
Either be flown to London with my man, and be wined and dined in a Michelin star restaurant, then party on down town in some groovy, hip London bars/clubs…. OR: book into a spa and get pampered and fed for the evening. The Park Hotel in Kenmare would do nicely.
What are your top 3 favourite places in Cork/ Munster?
Anywhere by the sea: my native Clare coastline, the ring of Kerry, and most seaside towns in West Cork.
What’s your favourite bar and restaurant in Cork/ Munster?
Mulcahy’s in Kenmare is a real treat.
What’s your number one holiday destination and why should we go there?
Quiet, peaceful parts of Mallorca, or mainland Spain. Great food, wine, attitude and countryside…
Which women in business would you like to see on the blog?
Kathleen Holland (of Kathleen Holland Jewellery Design), Caitriona Daunt of Organic Republic.
Please check out Fiona’s fabulous range of beauty products here:
Twitter: not yet – can anyone give me a crash course?!