Dublin-based interior designer Elaine Verdon left her job in a marketing agency to follow her passion.
She said after she started growing her social media following, people started employing her to work on their homes.
“I started the Leo + Cici Instagram page after I had gone back to study interior design part-time in the Dublin Institute of Design.
"I wanted to channel my passion for interior design, my aesthetic and what inspires me all into one place,” she said.
“At the start, I started sharing things I loved and pics of my own house.
"From there, the page started to grow and I started to get clients enquiring about me working on their homes.
"Not long after that, I took a leap of faith and quit my full-time job in Thinkhouse, a full-service marketing agency in Dublin, where I had worked as a Communications Director and went full time on Leo + Cici.”
Elaine, who lives in Dublin with her husband Simon, baby Arthur and dog Daisy, said she named her company after her grandparents.
“Leo + Cici is named after my grandparents Leopold and Cecilia O’Neill.
My passion is creating homes that reflect my clients’ personalities with equal parts wow and practicality.
Elaine uses Instagram and Facebook most to promote her business.
“As interior design is so visual, these platforms lend themselves perfectly to my business.”
Social media helped her brand to grow, so Elaine now finds herself using it “too much”.
“As it’s a huge driving factor for my business, it tends to take up a lot of my day, whether that’s answering questions or new business queries, generating new business through content creation to just generally killing time scrolling.
“Interiors is the main focus of my pages, but within my Instastories I tend to go off-piste and talk about everything from books to food to babies and dogs.”
She admits social media can sometimes be overwhelming.
“I think with all social media platforms they have become so overwhelming, and at times really unhealthy where the lines are so blurred, as to what is real and what’s fake.
“If I find I’m becoming overwhelmed, I remind myself why I started the page and what its purpose is and most importantly, not to get bogged down trying to be like everyone else.”
Elaine said her career change was worthwhile as she is constantly inspired by the people she works with.
“I get to work on my biggest passion every day, meet amazing people that I may never have been exposed to and be constantly inspired.”