Award winning designer Heidi Higgins graduated from NCAD in 2008. Just under one year later she proudly introduced her own label to the Irish market. Since then her business has gone from strength to strength, her creations regularly gracing red carpets and receiving critical praise. Her designs are available to purchase from www.heidihiggins.com. She lives in Tipperary with her family.
What's your idea of a perfect day, or perfect weekend in Tipperary?
The Grange walk is just on my doorstep and I regularly enjoy visiting there with family and friends. I love going out for dinner and enjoy all the fantastic restaurants on offer in Cashel from Mickey Ryans, Baileys and Chez Hans to name a few. When the weather is good a Sunday drive around the Vee along with my picnic basket is a perfect way to enjoy the view. Also when I’m in town with my daughter Matilda she loves visiting the Bookworm book shop in Thurles to pick out her new bedtime story!
Who has made the greatest contribution to Tipperary in your lifetime - and why?
When I was studying fashion in The National College of Art and Design I was lucky enough to spend my Summers working with fashion designer Louise Kennedy in her design studio based in Merrion Square. As a proud Tipperary native her business success and signature style were hugely inspirational to me back then as they are to this day. From designing Aer Lingus uniforms, her international success as a fashion designer and her work with Tipperary Crystal her creative stamp stands out in the crowd for me!
What's your first Tipperary memory?
As I am just a recent blow into the county a day that stands out very clearly in my memory is last years All-Ireland win! Seeing Seamie Callanan lifting the Liam McCarthy cup (my husband’s first cousin) was naturally a very proud moment and hearing the crowds roar along with the celebrations!
What's your favourite part of the county - and why?
I feel I haven’t found the perfect favourite spot just yet as I am only living in Tipperary since last November. I am currently making lots of day trips to different spots around the county and enjoying exploring lots of new places! With a toddler and a new baby, kid friendly spots are definitely a bonus such as Templemoore Town Park which is ideal with kids!
What do you think gives Tipperary its unique identity?
I have to say the people and the sense of community spirit. Coming from a large town to live in a small village such as Gortnahoe has been a lovely experience for me. I am very much a people person so I’m enjoying getting to know all the locals.
Do you have a favourite local writer or author?
My mother in law Breda bought me Peg Hanafin’s book ‘I wish I had known’ which I have really found insightful. It’s like going to ask your Granny for some advise about a life problem. Peg covers all life challenges and gives a two page anecdote on how best to deal with such a problem. It’s a great book that you can just keep referring to time and time again.
What's the biggest challenge facing the county today?
As a retailer for over 10 years I have a passion for brick and mortar stores especially in town centres. I think Thurles being my local town has such a great town centre infrastructure with it’s prominent square and heritage but like many towns around the country it has seen so many shops and businesses close or move out of the heart of the town centre. I believe there is work in the pipe line so I’m really looking forward to seeing it come to life again!
If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Tipperary, what would it be?
I feel I am too new to the county to answer this question but come back and ask me in a few years I’m sure I will have some suggestions!