When did you set up your business and why?

I set up in 2003, so I've been here for a while! 20 years in fact.

It has evolved significantly over the years. I started out looking for an unusual Irish-made headpiece to wear to a wedding in 2003 and realised that there were so few products available.

I decided to make my own, drawing on my training and skills in fashion design and it all took off from there.

Over the years, I've worked with hundreds of private clients, I've supplied dozens of boutiques wholesale and I've had trade stands at most of the national racing events.

In 2014, I changed direction and started to teach millinery as I received so many queries.

Milliner and educator Niav Riley.

I developed a range of classes and workshops, creating an online version during COVID.

I also sell a range of hat blocks, specialist millinery equipment, which is designed and produced in Ireland.

Can you explain your process?

As I live in such a beautiful place surrounded by lakes and forests, the changing seasons offer constant inspiration, as does the nearby Lutyens sunken garden in Heywood Gardens.

There is a broad range of specialist millinery materials that can be used, but it has been more of a challenge since Brexit to purchase those. My practice has had to adapt and I've been encouraged to reuse, recycle, rethink and consider how and what I use.

What is your best-seller?

Over the past few years, I've offered a range of flower crown workshops for larger groups, which have proved very popular.

Niav Riley's flower crown workshops are very popular.

What is it about your business that brings you joy?

The people that I meet come from all walks of life. I love to meet new people for in-person workshops and I enjoy doing a good job and seeing my clients and customers return over and over for the quality products and service - then I know I'm doing something right!

What are your hopes for 2023/2024?

I hope to form a creative community at the new hub that my father and I have renovated. We want other artists, crafters, writers, etc, to use this space to share their passion, knowledge and skills to the broader community.

What advice would you give to another start-up business?

Be open to all opportunities. Talk to and listen to your customers - what do they want? Listening to them will help you to fine tune your business. Constantly adapt when faced with big challenges. Don't give up - adapt!

Visit www.niavriley.ie.