She’s the woman behind some of the coolest new brands and business revamps in the city.
Deirdre Corcoran and her team at Chapter provide a broad range of design services, from brand development and interiors to websites, event styling and social media marketing, from their uber stylish new Cork City offices.
Honestly though? It’s her stunning husky Lia who ensures we check out her Insta stories daily.
We asked Chapter’s Creative Director for some start-up secrets, earned wisdom and insights into her booming business. Unsurprisingly, she delivered… here’s the lowdown, in her own words.
At Chapter we passionately design brands, interiors and events.
When my son was born I needed greater flexibility. I was an experienced graphic designer with 12 years experience. I wanted more time as a mother and I could work at night when he was asleep. It was a hard decision that I took very seriously. I was leaving a good job to do this.
I made mistakes but I made more good decisions than bad. The toughest part was not being able to say no. I grew a lot of work very quickly and felt the need to say yes to it all. I still had very limited childcare so I worked very late every night and survived on very little sleep for years.
The advice I would give another entrepreneur is to strengthen up in areas you aren’t strong in. For example; for me it was key to have a good accountant as being creative I am not that way inclined! Be nice. Get excited. Love what you do – it’s a pretty amazing industry.
Cork is a small community so your reputation is everything. All our work has come from referral. Be nice, be easy to work with; that’s a huge part of what people remember.
The three things in my working week I love doing are:
Design – I’m obsessed with design – it makes me so happy and I am very proud of the work we are doing.
People – I go to a lot of meetings and I love that. I love working with people. I love when they get excited. It’s a great part of the job.
Studio time – I LOVE my team – I love every hour I spend here with the guys. We do great work, get super giddy and listen to great music! It’s pretty epic.
This year I’m super proud of our Interiors and Branding project for CarStore and also an event we organised every single detail of… we even got to freeze a Rolex!
When it comes to social media… I just post what we like and people seem to like that! It’s a brilliant tool – it has led to both clients and staff for me. I also network more online than offline as my time is limited but I go to many industry conferences.
How do I stay organised? Poorly – but it something I am focused on right now. Simplifying my my life – eliminating stresses. Lunch? I don’t take a lunch ever – that’s 2018’s goal! I eat badly and on the run!
My work wardrobe consists of: Colour! Leather pants, chunky knits, coats, boots. Hopefully a bit fun and unexpected.
I don’t really think about the fact that we are Cork-based – I believe sometimes people allow that to limit them… a belief that the real design goes on elsewhere ie Dublin or London. I believe in our work, our thinking and I believe clients aren’t focussed on location – they care about the work.
It’s a time for creatives – so we are the lucky ones. Many traditional roles will be automated in the near future but this is a time for ideas and those can’t be automated.
Things that have happened in my personal life made the last few years very hard but, that said, work was always my happy place and I focussed all my time away from my little boy into growing this business. You can’t change the past – learn and move on!
I switch off by spending time with my little boy and our dog. I love time with my friends when I can make that happen!
There’s plenty of exciting things happening right now at Chapter. We have lovely work on at the moment that we will share over the next few months. The team is growing and we are streamlining our processes.
For more on Chapter, visit their website.