This autumn, we’re celebrating women with a series of interviews, focusing on women in Ireland. We’re wrapping up with Magee 1866’s Rosy Temple, fifth-generation family member and manager of marketing and retail at Magee 1866.
Can you tell us about your decision to join the family business?
As a teenager growing up, the family business was part and parcel of everyday conversation but I didn’t at first consider it as a career. I was set on doing my own thing and spent most of my twenties in the UK; at the University of York and then working in London. I started work in the corporate art world, selling 19th century pictures at Christie’s Auction House. After three years there, I was itching to explore other types of business and jumped ship to work in a food and drink start up called Rebel Kitchen. The contrast was certainly refreshing, a small ‘go go’ team were responsibility came quick and change was fast. I was fortunate to have some excellent senior directors as willing mentors who gave me invaluable commercial experience on all things brand, together with marketing and management skills. After five years in London, thoughts began to turn both to Ireland and the family business. Dad had never put any pressure on either myself or my two siblings to join Magee 1866, we all went off in different directions and in time all then felt the atavistic pull to come back! For me it took working in different environments to truly appreciate how fortunate I was to have a family business and one with an exciting future. Even though it is over 150 years old, I watched a business that was making changes. I saw that the collections kept sight of our heritage but also moved forward; my grandfather would never have envisaged us bringing a duffle coat to the fore! I joined in April 2018 and haven’t looked back since!
Any advice for young women finding their way professionally?
I think it is really worth taking time to truly explore what you want to do and understand what drives you. This can take time! There is a lot of social pressure to be ‘successful’ but I think that we need to carefully consider what makes us tick and what gives us a sense of purpose.
When at work, whatever your gender, I do think it is important to wear clothing which makes you feel your best. If there is an important meeting with external clients, give yourself confidence by wearing something strong and well-tailored. For me, I’d choose the Moyne suit. It is a beautiful fabric and cut. Putting it on, well, it makes you feel ready to take on whatever the day throws at you!
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
Most definitely from my Mum, she always advises ‘be true to yourself’. For me, this equates to following your own distinctive path and being confident in doing so.
What’s top of mind for you at the moment?
The whole area around sustainability is very important for me. It is a huge buzz word at the moment, it is encouraging that the discussion on the environment is very much in the mainstream media. Now though, we need to make sure to turn words to action. For us at Magee 1866, this means continuing to use natural fibres like wool which are re-newable and biodegradable and to promote slow-fashion. We are continuing to explore ways that will improve how we do business in a more environmentally friendly way. This is often not easy but a challenge that this is worth tackling head on.
Personal style philosophy?
As you might have guessed, I am a big believer in making considered purchases which stand the test of time. Each season, I will add a couple of investment pieces and this AW19, I have my eye on the Alexa coat which is made from fabric woven in our mill and full of character. It is the sort of coat that should be passed on to the next generation!
Your favourite local spot & why?
I’m a fan of the outdoors, from cycling to swimming and mountain running! Without a doubt, my top spot is Salthill Pier (Co. Donegal) which is a stone’s throw from home. Whatever the weather or time of year, you will find me jumping off the pier for a swim!
Your perfect day?
I live between Dublin and Donegal which is a lovely contrast of city and rural life. Donegal does probably win on being the location for a perfect day though! I’ll always kick-start with a swim, followed by a couple of hours out on the bike or on foot up in the local hills. I just love heading up into the Bluestacks and feel so lucky to have such invigorating scenery right on the doorstep. I have started growing vegetables, which is surprisingly time-consuming but totally worth it. So an ideal day would of course include some spuds from the veg patch for lunch! On winter days especially, I’ll light the fire, switch off my phone and take time to really enjoy some decent books on anything from fiction to philosophy. Of course, I’ll make sure to have a throw handy to stay cosy! To round off the day, an evening in a local pub with friends hits the spot.