This week we chat to the lovely Deidre O'Flynn from Alice & Blair. Deirdre has always been obsessed with hair and how fantastic a 'good hair day' makes you feel. Whilst binge watching gossip girl in Dublin with her sister, Eimear, who was recovering from major spinal surgery she fell in love with Blair Waldorf's incredible hair accessories. This fuelled her desire to create unique, luxury and memorable pieces with the highest quality materials at a reasonable price point.
What inspired you to start your business?
I have always been obsessed with hair and how fantastic a 'good hair day' makes you feel. Whilst binge watching Gossip Girl with my sister, Eimear, who was recovering from major spinal surgery I fell in love with Blair Waldorf's incredible hair accessories. This fuelled my desire to create unique, luxury and memorable pieces with the highest quality materials at a reasonable price point.
I run a team in financial services in The City in London which I do love but it is all rather serious and doesn’t allow me to express my creative side. Alice & Bair started as a hobby and is now a fully-fledged side hustle.
What have been your greatest challenges?
Staying inspired to constantly design new pieces. They say creativity has no expiry date, but for me it definitely comes in waves. From a more personal perspective, the juggling act that comes with being a single working mum is absolutely a challenge.
What have been your greatest rewards?
I adore seeing customers in pieces I have designed. The most wonderful thing happened last Saturday. I was walking along the Kings Road to meet a friend for lunch and I passed the most beautiful and happy looking bride outside Chelsea Old Town Hall. As I passed I recognised her headpiece, The Grace Headband that I had designed! I am naturally quite shy so didn’t want to say anything but decided to turn back around and speak to her. It was such an emotional moment, meeting this gorgeous girl, finally getting married after many postponements wearing Alice & Blair.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Be more confident, care less about what people think, ask for what you want. People that look like that have it all together externally are often winging it. Stay true to yourself and trust your instincts.
What advice would you give young, female entrepreneurs?
Start today, it’s great to come up with an amazing idea but the hard work starts when you make the time and put in the effort to implement that idea. You do not need loads of cash to start a business, I started Alice & Blair with a couple of thousand pounds! Be obsessive and passionate. You can teach yourself almost anything for free on YouTube. Including creating a website, photography, accounting etc. Use your network, each of your friends will have a talent, skill or area of expertise that can help you to get started and keep your costs low in the beginning.
What’s your vision for the future of your business?
I’m currently asking myself the same question, let me get back to you on that one!