TELLY’S Anna Daly has told how the folding of her husband’s family business inspired her to set up her own company.
The mum-of-three took the plunge and left Virgin Media’s Ireland AM last year after 12 years on the small screen.
Anna, 44, set about starting up her own casual clothing business, Little Bliss, after the pandemic caused hubby Ben Ward’s family firm, Mothercare Ireland, to shut down.
And the Dubliner says her clothing launch couldn’t have come at a better time.
She said: “Ultimately, it took my husband’s family business collapsing that gave me a moment of ‘there is nothing safe anymore’. I needed to do something for myself because I was working in TV which is a very fickle business.
“There we were thinking Mothercare was as safe as houses but nobody can plan on it in a global pandemic. I had done edits and collaborations with other brands, and I’ll continue to do those.
“But it was all of these logos and scribbles and tear sheets, thrown all over the house, coming together and I suddenly got the balls to do it for myself rather than always hiding behind a big brand. It’s lovely to do that, but for me it was time to do something for myself.
“And I could never have imagined or thought that the world’s CEOs would be sitting on their Skype calls in their jeans and hoodies so it was the biggest fluke in terms of my timing. The world suddenly became casual and I had created this casual range.”
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Mothercare Ireland was one of the first businesses to go under during the Covid-19 pandemic. It was a difficult time for the family, but Anna said she was keen to learn as much as possible from her husband about running a business.
She joked: “Ben is the worst-paid consultant ever, he gets asked 100 questions every day — from VAT, to SEO, to online everything. I couldn’t be exploiting him any more.”
Business is booming for Anna, and early mornings are now a thing of the past. But she hasn’t turned her back on TV forever.
‘I WILL DO MORE TV’
She said of her firm: “It’s going really well, I thought it would be a slow burn. I was doing the fulfillilments, picking and packing everything from the house. But within the space of a month, I was able to hire a fulfillment company, so my stock now gets stored in the warehouse in Portlaoise.
“It’s lovely to feel like you’re contributing to a family business there as well. They pick and pack and dispatch from there, which has given me a chance to develop the business. To be honest, I had enough early starts to last me a lifetime.
“I will do more TV but I would like to pick and choose what I’d like to do for me now. I don’t want to do early starts every morning when I have three kids to get to school and I have a business to run.
“I will look at projects but they will need to work for me.”
Anna was just revealed as the new brand ambassador for AYA, an Irish vitamin and supplement brand. She says she relies on AYA vitamins and supplements to help her family stay healthy at this time of year.
And when she’s not highlighting their benefits, the mum-of-three is focusing on juggling her business and family life.
She told us: “The three boys keep me busy. I’m still hoping for that showhouse but it’s manic. It’s all about finding that balance.”