“Hooper’s faces light up when they get a trick and that happiness is infectious.”
They say that every journey begins with a single step, and for GirlCrew Dublin member, Niamh Kane, this journey began with the rather tumultuous step of redundancy. Having worked for 10 years in a national newspaper as a Graphic Artist, Niamh found herself looking for new opportunities when the company closed – “when I received my redundancy it was either get another job or travel.” Choosing the latter, Niamh set her sights on India to “…embark on a bit of an “Eat, Pray, Love” adventure to find myself and shake off all the negative behavioural patterns I’d accumulated over the years of partying hard, eating disorders and bouts of anxiety and low self esteem.”
Having always had an interest in sustainable health and well-being, India was the perfect place to heal from the inside out. Filling her time with health studies, cleansing and yoga, Niamh soon got the itch to move on so she made the decision to head East to “…to meet a circus in Thailand, who were raising money for refugees in Burma.” While with the troupe this globe-trotting GirlCrewer gave Ayurvedic massages to help raise funds, and also performed at a series of festivals in Australia. “I began giving pop-up hoop classes where ever I went and I managed to get the materials I needed to custom make travel hoops for fellow enthusiasts (this also helped my travel budget).” Eventually, Niamh found herself yearning for the Emerald Isle. Her return proved to be very timely as she was able to spend some quality time with her family before her dad sadly passed away. “My dad had so much faith in me creating a business from the heart with something I love that I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do than encourage people get their hips shaking, heart pumping and giggles going with an adult sized hula hoop. That’s pretty much how ChiQi Hoopini has evolved. I’m now looking to open various locations in Dublin, run a free park hoop jam monthly (details on Facebook) and I sell my custom made hoops on Etsy at Tiny Space Creations.”
This sounds like the perfect event to make the most of the current sunshine we are getting and Niamh has generously giving all GirlCrewers a special discount.
1. What is the best thing about your role?
The best thing about being a certified hula hoop dance instructor is the look on everyone’s faces when they realise how awesome they are at hooping. Hooper’s faces light up when they get a trick and that happiness is infectious.
2. What did you find most challenging about it?
The most challenging thing for me is the discipline required with being your own boss; it is a new learning curve for me. After 4 years travelling the world not really having to answer to anybody this is definitely a new phase in my life and I’m really enjoying how all the tools I’ve learned along the way are pivotal to shaping my business to last.
3. What is your proudest work related achievement to date?
My proudest work related achievement is still in progress. It’s relative to the amount of energy I’ve dedicated to following my dream. I’ve saved and invested as much as possible in education, buying a car, tubing, fancy tape, drills, rivet guns, room rentals, etc. And I’ve no idea how it’s all going to turn out but I’m happy to put everything I have into it.
4. What would be your one tip to others who want to get involved in this industry?
Never give up. Just pick up your hoop everyday and dance whether it’s for one song or one hour. It doesn’t happen overnight but if you put your attention on it every day in some way, even if it’s teaching your niece a trick or watching #hoopspam on Instagram, something will click and your path will show up.
5. What would be your motto in life, and in work?
May your self-care, pelvic floor, intuition and gratitude be strong.