Gráinne Seoige is all set to sparkle in her new off-screen career
Diamonds are a girl's best friend...and they are also Gráinne Seoige's chosen new career.
The former newsreader and light entertainment TV presenter has graced our TV screens for almost two decades. From her start at TG4 to news reading at TV3 and Sky News Ireland, she also appeared on chat shows at RTÉ and ITV's 'Daybreak' show.
However, the Galway native has taken a new career route, re-trained in gemmology and yesterday, she marked her new career as a diamond dealer, officially launching 'Grace Diamonds' to a world market at New York International Bridal Week.
Her concept is a high-end, custom designed diamond dealership which offers a by-appointment- only service to Irish customers who want to design their own ring, or buy a loose diamond and cut out the middle man which brings costs down.
Gráinne set up the custom diamond jewellery business in South Africa with her fiancé, former rugby coach, Leon Jordaan.
The couple met when Leon was coaching rugby in Navan and the idea for their joint venture came about from her own love story. Leon proposed in November 2013 and presented her with an art deco-inspired, brilliant cut solitaire ring with a double halo of diamonds.
They have supplied a number of clients in Ireland to date, some entirely online through their website, and in her first ever design collaboration, the TV star yesterday showcased her 'Sea Queen' range of earrings, rings and pendant.
They are specifically designed as one-offs to complement and reflect the boho, beachy theme of designer Don O'Neill's SS17 THEIA Couture bridal collection.
Gráinne is good friends with the Ballyheigue-born designer, who dresses celebrities like Oprah and a discussion about working together on jewellery came up after Gráinne attended Don's marriage to Pascal Guillermie in Kerry last June.
Her dangling earrings were teamed up with Don's bridal gowns yesterday and featured vintage touches, intertwined sea horses, sea glass and dream catcher feathers "and were designed to show what we can do," said Gráinne who unveiled her business to US fashion editors at the Theia show in Manhattan.
"I think the word Grace represents what every bride wants on her wedding day. It's a word that has very positive, elegant connotations and the inspiration for Grace Diamonds came from my own journey of getting engaged and Leon designing the ring of my dreams.
"Getting that ring and knowing that no one in the world had one exactly like it meant an awful lot to me. I realised there is nothing quite like the service I experienced and that we are now offering to the Irish market," she said.
Working with Leon who has retired from rugby to go into business, their jewellery venture features engagement rings, necklaces, bracelets and occasion pieces with diamonds sourced and certified from the world class diamond area of Pretoria.
"My motivation with Grace Diamonds was to bring affordable luxury combined with the best quality to Irish women."
Three years after their engagement, the couple still haven't set a date for the wedding. "Not yet," Gráinne laughed, "I think I'm enjoying this phase of being engaged far too much."
Formerly married to former TV3 sports editor, Stephen Cullinane, Gráinne was recently home to present the 'Up For The Match' at RTÉ. Gráinne doesn't miss being in front of TV cameras every day.
"No, I don't, I think 'for everything a season'. I've had a ball with what I've been a part of," said Gráinne. "One door has to close for another one to open and that's how these things are."