Section: Inside Interview
Author: Judy Gilroy | More from this author >>>
Whoever said you can’t have it all has obviously never met Emily MacKeogh. Barely even 25 years old and she’s not just climbing mountains; she’s moving them.
Not only is she signed to Ireland’s top model boss; Andrea Roche, but she’s also featured on reality TV show ‘Fade Street’, has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and is set to conquer the Himalayas later this year, as you do.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg...or in this case; mountain. Emily is not just a model slash TV star slash glamazon, but she’s got really great hair too. And did I mention she runs her own business?
Jewellery brand “Crystals & Co” is the brainchild of MacKeogh and her best pal, Leah O’Reilly (who of course, is also a gorgeous model).
Specialising in all that sparkles, the company has gone from strength to strength, and has cultivated a massive following both in Ireland and abroad.
“Crystals & Co” is a firm favourite of a host of celebs including Georgia Salpa, Laura Whitmore, and Stacey Solomon, and has even proved to be a hit stateside with fashion designer Whitney Port giving the brand her seal of approval.
Yes, Mac Keogh certainly is moving mountains – and what’s more, she does it with a bit of sparkle.
“Crystals & Co” is going from strength to strength, and has gone from being a relatively small scale online venture to an international brand. Where did it all begin?
Originally I was an Interior Architect and my partner, Leah was working as a Tax Consultant. We had been friends for years and had the idea of setting up a business together. We did loads of research; both put the money together, so we just went for it and learned as we went along. I think we’re both pretty driven people and we had always wanted to do our own thing so it made sense.
The brand has proved to be a massive hit with celebs. What stars have worn ‘Crystal & Co’ jewellery?
We have fantastic people wearing our jewellery; Whitney Port, Stacey Solomon, Laura Whitmore. I think it’s great that Laura (Whitmore) supports an Irish brand like Crystals & Co – she’s done really well in the UK and it’s nice that she’s internationally known too.
Georgia (Salpa) wears our jewellery too, and her doing Celebrity Big Brother has been absolutely amazing for us. She’s one of our best friends so when CBB came around, she came to us and said she really wanted to wear our stuff. We were really fortunate and it worked out great – we hadn’t even been trying to get into the UK at the time but the response we got was amazing. We had a presence over there at the time so it really helped us in terms of expansion – there’s a big market for affordable jewellery. People can’t necessarily afford diamonds but still want a bit of bling.
How did you get into modelling?
Leah had been modelling for a couple of years and when Andrea (Roche) opened her agency I started then. I had been asked to do it a couple of time over the years but I suppose it wasn’t ever something I really saw myself doing.
It’s been really handy and because I have my own business I can take time off if I need to – obviously the business is my priority but it’s really nice to have modelling on the side. It’s glamorous, fun and it’s a nice change from working in an office and working on the business all the time – I really enjoy it.
Is that how Fade Street came about?
Fade Street was mostly for advertisement for ‘Crystals & Co’ but that’s another story! It was a great experience and all the girls on the show are my friends so it was a very natural thing.
Another series didn’t come out of it but I got to do “Catwalk to Kilimanjaro” (also produced by Straywave Media) from it and I’m doing “Catwalk to Himalayas’” later this year too.
Catwalk to Kilimanjaro Fade Street
How do you find the time to fit it all in?!
I never sit still. I’m always on the go and I’m at my happiest when I’m busy so I always find time. If it’s a case that I need to work late in the office so that I can go and do a shoot during the day then I’m happy to do that. I never want to miss a beat. I work really hard and I love it. And I’m happy as well so I think when you enjoy doing something you don’t mind working hard at it.
Tell me about your personal style ...
When it comes to style, I really like mix and match. I like clothes that are on trend but I also like mixing styles and whatever I wear, I want to be comfortable but look cool.
I might have a simple outfit but then dress it up with funky accessories and I like to dress down but pay more attention to my hair and make-up.
Who is your style crush?
I like Whitney Port’s style. She’s quite tribal and she mixes her jewellery. She’s a huge style icon of mine so I love that she wears Crystals & Co.
High street or designer?
I wear a mix of high street and designer clothes. I would spend money on designer hand bags and designer shoes, or maybe a nice designer dress but I love the high street. I go into River Island and Topshop a lot and I like to buy little dresses in Chica. And of course I dress everything up with Crystals & Co jewellery!
Do you have any favourite pieces in your wardrobe at the moment?
I got these really funky leggings from TopShop with gold studs down the side that I love because they’re really comfortable to wear. I also have a cool army jacket from Zara that I can just throw it on over leggings and a top.
Have you ever had a fashion disaster?
I was at a festival wearing a really tight pair of skinny jeans and I was dancing so much that the jeans ripped all the way down the centre...that was definitely a bit of a disaster!
What’s next for Emily MacKeogh?
We’ve got the Catwalk to Himalaya’s coming up around Christmas time so in the meantime we’ll have loads of fundraisers coming up to raise money for the Girls Club in Cork. We’ve loads of ideas for fundraisers this year and plan on getting really stuck in with collections on Grafton Street, a charity fashion show and maybe a movie night.
I’m designing a bracelet at the moment which will be sold to raise money for the charity too. We’re going to sell it on Crystals and Co, at fundraisers and hopefully in other shops as well.
Crystals & Co stocks an extensive range of embellished bangles, clutch bags, earrings and costume jewellery online. For more information check out their website at www.crystalsandco.com , like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter
Author: Judy Gilroy | More from this author >>>