My name is Eimear Kelly and I am the owner and Managing Director of Darcy the Dingo. I’m married and proud mum to our son age 6, and his little sister who is 4.
What did you do before coming up with your business idea and how was it making the transition?
Prior to becoming a mum, my background was in hospitality, recruitment and administration. When our eldest was born we made the decision that I would become a stay at home mum. While it was a difficult one to make from a financial point, for us it was the best decision we made for our family.
Transitioning from a stay at home mum to a work at home mum has been challenging in ways but more so for me. Any time I would do work during the day, I would feel guilty as I felt our children were missing out which couldn’t be further from the truth. With finding a balance for me, our children and our home, I see how they love seeing mammy doing her work and want to help as much as they can.
When did you launch?
I officially launched Darcy the Dingo on the 8th December 2017.
How did you get started?
Darcy the Dingo was a character who was created by my brother as a way of connecting with my children whom he’d yet to meet as he lives in Australia. Over time Darcy connected with my children through postcards and messages through mobile platforms. Darcy not only connected my brother to them but he also helped out in various ways such as trying to help my children eat new foods and encouraging them when they achieved new things.
As time progressed, so did the idea of bringing Darcy to others and with lots of ideas and planning, the online subscription for Darcy the Dingo was launched.
When I began my journey to start bringing Darcy the Dingo to life in July 2015 my initial step was contacting my Local Enterprise Office where I received great advice and support to help me start my business. From there, it felt to move very quickly and I was very excited but as hiccups arose and life got in the way the momentum that I’d built seemed to dip along with my own confidence.
While my confidence had dipped I’m quite persistent and I reapplied for Acorns which a business programme for women. I’d previously been declined twice for the programme and with this being my last opportunity to apply, I felt why not, maybe this time it’ll be my turn and thankfully it was. Since being accepted to the Acorns programme, my business has changed and I too have changed. It has given me the opportunity to remember why I am doing this and more importantly that I can and WILL succeed!
Starting your own business can be very daunting as there are so many considerations to take into account and you can get knocked along the way but it can be the most wonderful journey too.
What’s your favourite thing about running your own business?
While there is the bonus that I can work from home and still give the attention to my family, my favourite thing is that it is something for me. As a stay at home parent you can become lost in who you are and since beginning my journey I have reignited myself in a new way. I’ve been able to dust off some skills, learn some new ones and use them for me and my business which will in time benefit not only me but my family.
What’s the thing you least enjoy about running your own business?
I think like many business owners its accounts!
How do you fit in work with the family? Is your partner supportive of your business?
I feel very lucky that my husband is very supportive of me starting my own business. He sees how passionate I am about it and helps in any way that he can to help me drive the business forward.
Our children too are very supportive. They have great fun working alongside me with their Darcy the Dingo colouring pages and help me with new activities. Only this week our eldest insisted he was talking about Darcy the Dingo for “Show and tell” in school and proudly told his class friends all about it.
Have you had your ‘I’ve made it’ moment? Tell us about it. If not when do you think it will come
I feel I’ve had many “I made it” moments already. For me each positive step I make is an “I made it” moment. From the first call to making an appointment with my Local Enterprise Office to hearing my son wanting to do his “Show and Tell” about my business, they for me are “I made it” moments. While they are small moments in ways, for me they are the reason I wanted to set up my own business and bring Darcy the Dingo to others.
A big “I made it” moment in the future for me is when I see Darcy the Dingo not only for sale online but within large retail outlets.
Your website link