take 10 Jane Swarbrigg
The managing director of cosmetic brand Inglot, who is based in Dublin and Belfast, is also the daughter of Eurovision legend Tommy Swarbrigg who represented Ireland in the 1975 song contest with That’s What Friends Are For as part of the Swarbrigg Plus T
1. What is your earliest memory?
Summer birthday parties in our old house in Mullingar, Co Westmeath. My brother and I had joint parties as our birthdays are 10 days apart. All our cousins and friends would come over. I still remember the water fights and games we played thinking our little garden was a jungle... and the rice crispy cakes we insisted on having, even though mum said they were a nuisance to cut.
Who are the most important people in your life?
My family and fiance — I work with my mother and brother — they are my rock. We have a great dynamic managing Inglot. While we’ll look after different areas we come together for the big decisions.
My dad is a ray of sunshine, full of positivity and just a great character. He keeps us all laughing and instantly puts a smile on my face. And helping me to keep a balance between work and downtime is my fiance Brendan. He’s helped me realise how important it is to put the laptop away in the evening and enjoy quality time after a hard day’s work. It can be very easy to get consumed with business but over doing it can be counter productive and make you resent what you were trying to achieve.
Shock us! Tell us something very surprising about yourself…
I have a fear of needles and still don’t have my ears pierced. When I was younger my parents wouldn’t let me get them pierced until I was 16. On the day of my 16th I ran into town with two friends, but in the end freaked out and couldn’t do it. I have hit the deck a number of times when getting bloods taken… even the thought of it makes me shudder.
What’s your greatest fear?
Losing someone close to me. My family is so tight-knit I can’t even bear to imagine it. We are very lucky to have had no serious illness in my immediate family and I thank my lucky stars all the time. I try not to take things for granted and we travel to my home in Mullingar and to Belfast, where Brendan is from, as often as we can. Family will always come first.
What makes you happy?
Sunshine. I book as many long weekends in the sun as I can throughout the year. I just love a few days away to switch off and lap up the sun. I don’t like breaks longer than four or five days as I get quite anxious to get back to work, so a few days away does the trick. I love the Canary Islands as your guaranteed some sun whatever the time of year.
And your biggest regret?
I wish I worked harder in school and college and really applied myself. I was the ultimate messer, easily distracted and no doubt drove my parents demented. I would love to see what I could achieve if I went back and did it all with a wiser head on my shoulders. School for me was about the craic but thankfully it all worked out in the end.
How do you chill out?
I like the really simple things like a trip to the cinema with Brendan or just chilling at home with him and the cat. My girlfriends and I try to meet about once a week for a catch up over tea and chocolate. I live beside the Phoenix Park in Dublin and love going for strolls on nice evenings too. I’m a country girl at heart and love being outdoors — it’s my little haven in the city.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in life?
Take risks and don’t let fear of the unknown consume you. Thankfully the risks we took with Inglot paid off, but it can be hard to not doubt yourself and decision making. I think having self belief is a hugely powerful thing. If you don’t believe your own hype why would anyone else?
The book that means the most to you — and why?
The Power of Positive Thinking. This book had a great impact on me it teaches you about the power of self-belief and visualising goals. A great read.
If you could change on thing… what would it be?
Worrying less, although I have mellowed over the years. Looking back I probably brought a lot of stress on myself. Now I try to roll with the punches... but that’s easier said then done. Inglot brand is now available in CastleCourt, Belfast