Linda's inspirational message for you
A Portmarnock businesswoman has overcome personal tragedy and hardship by using her creative flair for language to start her own business, leaving the harsh and cutthroat corporate world behind.
Linda Minto, a former banking manager, was forced to reassess her life following the tragic death of her son Ryan to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome on the night of her birthday in June 1996.
Here, Linda recounts the trauma she went through following Ryan's death, and how creativity and determination helped her to turn her life around.
Linda says: 'I was in the corporate world in banking management, and was very much a career woman. The Royal Bank of Scotland had set up one of the first online mortgage centres in Europe, so I went over to the UK with the director of the firm, learned all about their processes and how they set it up, then came back and set up the first one in Dublin.
'I was actually on maternity leave when I went on that visit, and it was only a matter of weeks after I got back that Ryan died. It tore my world apart, life was just never the same again because before that, all that mattered was that I'd just keep rising up in my career and make a name for myself.
'I did my work and I did it well, but there just came a point where people I was dealing with could be quite obsessed with money and stuff, and it just didn't really matter to me much after that.'
Linda set up her own mortgage brokering business in 2002, renting a premises in Malahide. As the business had two floors, she decided to open an accessories store called 'Angel Accessories' on the ground floor, with her mortgage business on the next level.
Following a brief stint back in banking, she decided to take some time out to write a book, but during that year, her husband was involved in a work accident and lost his job, leaving the family in financial turmoil.
There was however, hope on the horizon. In 2011, determined to use her creativity, Linda began designing greeting cards, with meaningful messages she hoped would ring a chord with customers. Her fledging business soon began to grow into what would turn the family's circumstances around.
Linda says: 'I had a friend that I used to work with years before, and her husband was a sales rep. I met him for a coffee one day and I happened to bring the cards with me. He just looked at them and said 'I could sell these to the places I deal with.' He took them out on the road, and the orders just came flowing in.
'It all went on the back burner for a while, because the money we owed was horrendous, and I don't know how we coped with it only we'd been through something worse. That kind of stinted my urge to write, but then in 2016, I totally got my mojo back and I thought 'you know what?, I'm going to hit this full on now.'
Linda's cards are now sold in Veritas, where her ranges are being launched next month at their flagshiop Dublin city centre store.
With Hallmark and The Card Gallery now onboard, her greeting cards are stocked all over Ireland.
Mayor of Fingal Cllr Anthony Lavin is due to launch Linda's range of cards at Veritas on June 6, and with plans for more stockists and ranges, the business continues to grow.
Despite going through heartbreak and some very difficult times, she has found that the most important messages are sometimes the ones you write yourself.
Find out more at lindaminto.com