My First Blog Post
Hi everyone and welcome to my website. If you’re reading this then I’m guessing that there’s a good chance that you already know who I am but if you don’t then in this, my first ever blog post, I’m going to introduce myself and tell you how I got here and why I do what I do. Going forward I’ll mostly be posting about stuff like men’s style, fashion, grooming, watches, fragrances etc but for my maiden voyage I’d like to tell you a little bit about my background and personal life so you can get to know me a little better.
I guess all this really started around five years ago. I was working in business banking for Bank of Ireland and had been transferred back to my hometown, which was not something I was particularly happy with because I viewed it as a backward step. On my second day in the new job I learned that my mother had a short time to live so in that sense it did help to be close to home during that time.
When I was very young my mother had a brain tumor so I’ve grown up with illness in the family and all the stress and turmoil that it can bring. In 2006 my mother’s condition worsened significantly and in the last few years of her life she was cared for at home. It was a tough time for all of us but it led me to talk to a counsellor which had a huge positive impact on my life and in mother’s final days, I was able to draw strength from the learning that I’d gained through therapy and be a source of strength to the other members of my family.
A few months later, my regional manager in the bank blocked my path to a potential promotion and tried to force me to do a job that I’d done years earlier simply because he needed to fill a gap. I resisted this and it was put to me that “you (me) don’t get to decide where you’ll be in five or ten years, I do and I’m telling you that you’re doing that job”. So I went home that evening and discussed it with my father who was also my best friend and made the decision to leave the bank and train to become a psychotherapist.
I returned to full time education and for the first two years as a student my main source of part time income was bit part acting and modelling jobs. During this people you could have seen me as a doctor in Love Rosie, a CIA agent in the Mario Rosenstock Show, A German footballer in a Playstation ad, a Garda in Fair City or a naked thief in Irish Pictorial Weekly but while the work was always fun and interesting it was far too sporadic and at the end of second year I decided to try find something a little more steady.
I started working in Brown Thomas in the Tommy Hilfiger section in the summer of 2015. When you start working in Brown Thomas you very quickly become aware of an unspoken yet tangible pressure to look your best every day. I say pressure but in no way did I see this as a bad thing as it gave me daily opportunities to express my sense of style and feel confident about it in an environment that encouraged it. I started posting pictures of my outfits on Instagram every day and after a couple of months my following had grown to a few thousand and people started to come into the store to deal with me having seen my style on social media.
Around this time I also got back into modelling more regularly. I say “got back into” but in truth the modelling I’d done up to this point was really just doing favours for people. I was the face of the Mary I prospectus for a few years and popped up in lots of random tourism brochures. Shortly before I joined Brown Thomas my friend Sinead (of Sinead’s Curvy Style fame) asked me to model some menswear looks for her new column in the local newspaper. The pics ended up on the cutting room floor but being the sweetheart that she is, Sinead sent the pictures to Mandy Maher from Catwalk Models who signed me and cast me in an Aer Lingus ad. I have since moved to The Holman Lee Agency as the work is more local but Mandy and Catwalk will always hold a special place in my heart because she took a chance on me and treated me so well.
In 2016 I was asked to start writing a weekly men’s column for the Limerick Leader. This was another huge step for me as it was another avenue to express my sense of style and share some of my knowledge to a wider audience. I’m still writing the column now and while I sometimes feel like I’m running out of subjects to write about, it still brings me great joy and I love it when someone stops me in the street to tell me that they really enjoyed reading a particular article. As this blog grows I’ll be covering some of the stuff that I’ve written about for The Leader as I’ve learned that there are a lot of subjects that guys want to know about but don’t want to ask about.
In the last year, things have really gone from strength to strength. In 2017 I was promoted to the Menswear Personal Shopper in Brown Thomas Cork, a job that I truly loved and I had the pleasure of working with and getting to know a group of people that will be my friends for life. My social media following has continued to grow, as has my profile. I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with some amazing brands like Jack & Jones, Littlewoods, Selected and Happy Socks, I graduated as student of the year with an honors degree, I won Hi Magazines Male Model Of The Year, I’ve judged Miss Limerick and Miss Cork and I’ve achieved so many things that I’d never have dreamed possible a few years ago. But a few week’s ago I considered walking away from all this and deleting my social media accounts.
On the 18th of April, my Dad passed away suddenly and my whole world came crashing down around me. As time goes on I’ll share some of my thoughts and memories of my dad but for now I’ll just say that he was so much more than a father to me, he was my best friend, the cause of my convictions and the inspiration for everything good I’ve ever done. So losing my father and my best friend unexpectedly literally brought me to my knees. I went dark on social media and took a break from writing the article. I can’t say that things are now great again, they’re not and they wont be for a long time but with the love and support of my family and good friends and the help of my counsellor I’ve made the decision to continue on with all this and try to continue to grow and evolve (hence the website and the blog).
I know that there’s a lot in here for a first post but I wanted to share my story, my background and my motivation. I’ve been called and introduced as a ‘blogger’ for two years now even though I never had a blog. I will try to be as honest and genuine as possible in the things that I write about as my credibility is worth more to me than a discount code. Thanks for taking the time to read this (if you made it this far) and I hope you like what you see from here on in.