Meet Andrea from Galway
When I first met Andrea I noticed a colourful tattoo edging down her lower arm, after enquiring I saw it wound its way up to her shoulder. A rich entanglement of a phoenix, some ivy, names of those most important to her and a Celtic knot at the very top. This artwork embodies Andrea.
Having worked as an Irish teacher for years, Andrea decided to become a stay at home mum when her eldest son was born. She swapped her career for a chance to raise her three boys. But like the Phoenix this new role lead to a rebirth in her own career. A naturally creative person Andrea decided to make a hat for a wedding she was attending. She wasn't expecting for it to turn into a career but before long she had become recognised as one of the most creative milliners in the West of Ireland. Her work is featured in regional and national press and already she has won both the, Gradam Seosamh Uí Ógartaigh Business Award, and the SCCUL Enterprise Business Award.
The ivy represents renewal and Andrea decided to that her business name, Ti Tighe, should not just focus on millinery to allow herself the room to grow and develop her lines. This has already become a success as she is just after been chosen to take part in a new and exciting reality TV venture for TG4; Gléasta chun féasta. She will have the task of creating ten completely original clothing designs for contestants. This allows her the creativity and artistic freedom she has always dreamed of.
As a person Andrea is extremely attached to the Irish language and Celtic mythology. It seems only fitting that the fluidity suggested by the ever growing, ever changing phoenix and ivy is matched by her way of life. She speaks with constant, yet fluid, transitions between Irish and English. Her studio is based in her family home where she is still able to raise her boys while working. Like the Celtic knot there is no beginning or end to work and home life. She has created a world in which she is creatively happy and surrounded by those she loves.