Interview with Portobello Boutique Owner

What got you into fashion? Did you always want to have your own boutique?
Not necessarily but glad now that I do. My love of fashion, designers and good quality clothes made me want to be involved in fashion.
Did you work in retail before you started your own business? 
No, I worked in a salon for 6 and a half years doing hair and beauty and there was a space in the building so I started Portobello.
Describe a typical day for you? 
Busy and always thinking ahead about my next steps.

Was it difficult in the beginning starting your business? Did you do a lot of market research and what obstacles did you face?
Yes, I think its always difficult starting any business. But with a lot of hard work and determination you can make anything happen.
How do you source your merchandise?
I buy from London, New York, Dublin and many other places and then I also take designer items from people and sell them for them.

Did you do a course in fashion or business before setting up Portobello?
I suppose I did some business in school and a little in college while studying computers,I think its just in my blood.
Have you any advice to share with us?
Plenty, where do I start… just believe in yourself, be positive and follow your dream.

Do we have to make an appointment if we are interested in selling our goods? Saturday’s are our busiest day’s so an appointment is necessary but any other day you can just pop in.

Is it just designer brands you stock?
No, we stock designer brands and some high street.

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
With many Branches around Ireland and London, and with my own label and selling it worldwide.

By Rachel Doran and Eve Landers

Interview with Cat O’Donohoe (GTI)

Why did you choose to be a Make Up Artist?

Since a very young age I always knew I’d end up doing something with
Art. I completed a portfolio preparation course in Limerick and loved
drawing and painting, when choosing my 3rd level I wanted to do
something that incorporated this and also offered me the prospects of
a job when I left college, out of this the Makeup Artistry idea was

Where did you study Make Up Artistry?

IADT Dún Laoghaire and International School of Makeup Artistry

Can you tell me about your work experience prior to working in GTI.

I have had the privilege of working in every aspect of the industry
over the last few years from Fashion and Film to Theatres and Salons
around Galway and the Country. I work a lot with Macnas Theatre
Company and collaborated with other Theatre companies on various plays
between the Town Hall, Nuns Island and Bank of Ireland Theatre NUI. I
have designed makeup for TV Pilots, Miss Galway and The Lost Circus
and taken part in various Fashion shows Hair shows and charity events
around Ireland, Britain and Madrid. I have also taught Master classes
in The International School of Makeup Artistry Briarhill as well as
GTI. Never a dull moment! 

Why do you enjoy working in GTI?

I love being a member of the teaching staff at GTI because it has an
incredible attitude and approach to learning which mirrors how I like
to teach my students. We aim to give the students a rounded education
and learning the subject matter by getting involved and doing it. I
think it prepares students for the transition to third level or out
into the working world and gives us the opportunity to tailor and
teach the individual as well as the class as an entirety. It’s a great
added bonus to be proud of where you work!

What has been the highlight of your career?

There have been so many amazing moments through my career where I have
stopped and realised how much I love my job! Starting to teach others
was a huge moment and most recently was representing Ireland with
Hairdresser Sara Mason and model Aine Kavanagh in the Wella
Trendvision 2012 world finals in Madrid in which we came 5th out of
over 60 countries, that was pretty mind-blowing! As I said with this
career there’s never a dull moment so you never know what is around
the corner!

Why would you encourage people to do Make Up Artistry?

I think it is an exciting and rewarding career, there is a lot of hard
work involved but like anything worth doing the rewards outweigh the

What do you look for in people who are applying to do the course?

All I want to see in people applying for the course is a passion for
makeup artistry as a career and a willingness to work at it! This
doesn’t mean they have to be excellent at makeup before they start,
just have the drive to learn all aspects involved! This can be
displayed in the interview as pictures taken from magazines, rough
sketches of ideas or even Makeup looks attempted on themselves,
friends and family!

Is there any advice you would give to someone who is interested in
doing the course?

Research. Have a look on the internet, the GTI Makeup Artistry
Facebook page etc to get a feel for exactly what is involved with
choosing Makeup Artistry as a career, there can still be a certain
amount of mix up between doing beauty and choosing makeup artistry,
although they are quite similar in some instances they are completely
different too, its important to know whats involved before you choose
your path!

What is your favourite aspect of the teaching the MakeUp Artistry Course?

All of it! I love being able to teach new and exciting techniques to
students and it helps so much when students also love what we are doing!

What modules do you teach?
Makeup Application,Fashion and Media Makeup, Theatrical Makeup, Specialised Makeup effects

What is your favourite and least favourite module and why?

None! All the modules are relevant so learning one feeds into the next
which keeps it interesting!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully still teaching! I love my job and still have the ability to
take part in outside events which is great for the students work
experience opportunities too!

Where can someone progress to after doing this course?

Past students are now working in various areas in the industry from
Makeup Retail counters in both Brown Thomas and Debenhams Galway and
across the country to Freelancing as Bridal and Special occasion
Artists and Photography work.

With the skills acquired from the course students are more versatile
in their range of experience and skills going into the working world.
Some students have also progressed to 3rd level education in similar
fields gaining an even more rounded education in their chosen area.

What do students go on to do after successfully completing the course?

Freelance Makeup Artistry, Retail, Beauty, Fashion and photography!
During the course students get a taste of all aspects Makeup artistry
as a career leaving them free to pursue their chosen area or work in
all of them!

By Rachel Doran and Eve Landers

An interview with Linda Conway

By Roisin Power

Why did you choose GTI? 
I wanted an overall insight into the different areas of fashion. The fashion industry practice had a practical on hands approach and covered all areas I had ever considered.

What have you been doing since GTI?
After GTI, I got accepted to colleges in London, Leeds and Dublin. I choose to go to Dublin as I got accepted into the degree year of visual merchandising and display. The main attraction was that there was a work placement. I did mine with stylist Angela Scanlon, I guess everything just fell into place from there.

How did GTI fashion industry practice help you with your career?
The course was gave me the opportunity to experience the different areas of the industry. As Ireland has such a small fashion industry areas always cross over, you’ve got to have a finger in every pie. What I learned in the course has become invaluable to me.  You were introduced to all aspects of the industry. It wasn’t until I had left that I realised that the course was the absolute back bone of my career.

What has been the most interesting part of your career so far? 
Its all been really exciting. I’ve got to work with some really talented people and go some amazing places. Everyday really differs. One week I was in Paris shooting by the Champs Elysees, the next, I was in a field in Kilkenny doing another shoot surrounded pigs. Other than that it’s either TV, writing or personal shopping. I feel really lucky to have had such great experiences and opportunities so early in my career.

What is your favourite thing about been a stylist?
I guess it’s the creative side. I work with some really talented photographers and brands. We get together and come up with ideas and themes. I love personal shopping too. When you meet a person who has no confidence in their style and walk away feeling amazing, it’s nice to feel you were a part of that.

When did you first realise you wanted a career in fashion?
I have a sketch book from when I was 6, I spent hours drawing clothes. Growing up there was nothing more I loved than flicking through fashion magazines. I always knew it was the only thing I ever wanted to do I just wasn’t sure what area was best for me; GTI really helped me make that decision.

Best thing about your job?
Meeting and working with new people all the time, the fact that no day is ever the same, getting to go into a shop and pick up a magazine and see your name to your work.

What and who inspires you?
Everything! My friends, my family, music, places I’ve been, the list goes on. I’m a freak for keeping lists so if I get inspired I write it down or take a quick snap.

How would you describe your sense of style?
It’s pretty contradictory to be fair. It’s evolved over the last couple of years, now it’s mainly casual and a bit androgynous. I love strong tailored pieces with the odd print, chiffon or bright colour thrown in for good measure.

What are your Favourite high street shops and why?
Zara, for it’s tailoring and sleek silhouettes. Topshop, for more trend driven and fun pieces. COS, for basics and great shapes.

What are your favourite items of clothes?
Skinny jeans, Chelsea boots, a great leather jacket, perfectly tailored blazer, chunky skyscrapers, a sequins mini and a denim shirt. Finally, as much rose gold jewellery as you shake a stick at.

Your favourite looks for Autumn/winter?
Psychedelic prints layering, ornate brocade and velvet.

Galway Hotspot’s

By Sinead Lodge and Amy Holland

New to Galway? You need not worry about finding yourself in this big city, we have done a survey among GTI students and have compiled the top contenders for eating, drinking and shopping etc. It can be quite daunting with so many places to eat and drink, although sampling them all isn’t a bad idea, it’s nice to know the number one spot that you MUST try out.

Eating Out: The Cellar on Eglington Street
Drinking: The Front Door on Quay Street
Shop: Penneys (value for money), Public Romance (vintage)
Take-out Coffee: Arabica
Relax: Spanish Arch (on a sunny day)
Friday night: Cocktails in Kellys, Spanish Arch
Shop for College Supplies: Powells on Shop Street
Best Live Bands: Roisin Dubh on Dominick Street
Best Cupcakes: Sweet Pies on Middle Street
Best Ice Cream: Gino’s on Shop Street
Odd Bits/Nick Nacks: TK Maxx on Bohermore, Athena