Monday 23 April 2018

'When I grow up I want to be just like mum'

Catriona Hughes with daughter Emily
Catriona Hughes with daughter Emily

Wedding and corporate events decorator and designer Catriona Hughes lives in Dundalk with her husband, Jimmy, and their daughters Megan (19), Lucy May (16), Molly (15) and Emily (12). She runs her business, Dreams n Themes, from a studio at their home.


"Because my work space is at home, our daughters are well used to seeing clients coming in to discuss ideas. When they were younger they'd tell friends that I was a decorator. They knew what they were talking about as all four help in a practical way with the business.

"Emily's favourite task is filling the favour boxes, because she gets to sample the sweets. Both she and Molly fetch and carry, helping to load and unload the vans. That's hard, physical work, so it teaches them that we have to work for our money and that if you have passion for your job, you'll keep at it no matter how demanding it may be.

"Lucy May doesn't enjoy carrying boxes at all. She's more into design, balloon artistry, draping and decorating.

"All of the kids love the social aspect of the work. They pick up on the buzz and excitement of transforming an empty space into whatever the client desires. That's why Megan wants to work with me when she's older. She tells me she's going to take the business to the next level and I know she will."


"Because I help my mum, I fully understand her job, but I don't really know what my dad does at work. He's a financial adviser, but I'm not sure what that really means."

Lucy May

"I've learnt so much from my mum about her work. When she was away recently, I decorated a party all by myself and I got a great thrill from seeing how happy that made people."


"I'd like to get involved in mum's business when I leave college. Through watching her, I know for sure that I don't want an office job and that I want to use my creative side in my career. I've developed social skills through working with clients, booking DJs, hiring marquees and much more."


"I don't really know what my dad does at work, but I know it has something to do with money.

"I know exactly what mum does all day. Her job's cool. My friends think so too. When I grow up I'd like to be my own boss, just like my mum."

Irish Independent

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