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18-year-old Katie McGloin is a truly special teenager.  Despite her youth, the Bundoran entrepreneur recognises the responsibility of business owners to be aware of social issues surrounding us.

Being passionate about the gender spectrum, LGBTQ+ and feminist problems in our world has only contributed to Katie's drive as a young women running a business.

She is the founder of Ireland's first gender neutral clothing brand, K.T. Clothing Co., which is currently taking the country by storm. 

K.T. Clothing Co. is a clothing line set up specifically to allow people to feel comfortable in their preferred style of clothing, no matter what their gender identity is.

The company mission has always been "achieve goals without gender roles", and Katie has stayed true to her word: Every single item of clothing is totally gender neutral.

K.T. Clothing Co. remains affordable to their customers, hoping to allow everyone into their way of styling clothes.

Inclusivity is always the intention, the company aims to welcome everyone with open arms. Fashion can be extremely limiting for many people, especially in terms of both body diversity, class and cost, and gender identity.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Katie is extremely passionate about human rights, which led her to set up her gender neutral clothing brands. She strongly maintains an advocacy for those who are unable to feel comfortable in 'gendered' outfits.

The teen consistently promotes the reduced need for gender roles in modern society, quickly gaining skills as a public speaker and activist on issues such as LGBTQ+ equality, gender identity and feminism. 

As well as her work as an activist, she regularly donates clothes to LGBTQ+ charities such as TENI and LINC Cork, and is an ambassador for Shona.ie, an initiative that supports women from all over the world.

Allowing everyone into the world of fashion is part of Katie's mission, and the business has totally taken off as a result. Clearly, a huge amount of people relate to her, and support her cause.

Dr Katherine Zappone, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, has recognised the work carried out by Katie McGloinn and her dedication to her community from a young age.

Since beginning her business in Transition Year of School back in 2016, she has been awarded and celebrated for K.T. Clothing Co. on numerous occasions.

Katie was awarded as Foroige’s National Youth Entrepreneur of the Year 2017, and won The Irish Women’s Award for Young Entrepreneur this year.

As well as these incredible achievements, Katie has been honoured as JCI Ireland National Top Outstanding Young Person – Contribution to Human Rights and/or World Peace 2019.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Katie knew that if she felt uncomfortable in clothes which were created as either masculine or feminine, there must be others out there who feel the exact same way. 

As of 2017, she is an ambassador for The Shona Project, empowering woman globally and won the Irish SME Award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year last year.

As part of the initiative, herself and the charity's founder, Tammy Darcy, were invited to meet their royal highnesses the Duke & Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry & Meghan Markle on their visit to Ireland during the summer. 

The youngster is paving the way for gender diversity in fashion, and we couldn't be more proud that she's representing Ireland. She's just finishing her Leaving Cert exams, so the world is her oyster.

Feature image: Instagram/@ktclothingco

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The co-founder and chief executive of the HQ Trivia app has been found dead in his lower Manhattan apartment yesterday morning, according to police.

Colin Kroll was found facedown on his bed after a woman rang 911 and asked for a police check-up in SoHo. Cocaine and heroin were discovered in his home.

Kroll also co-founded the formerly popular six-second video app Vine, which he sold to Twitter in 2012.

The app then closed down last year, and Kroll went on to work for Twitter before being fired for 'poor management' following allegations of inappropriate workplace behaviour towards women.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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When HQ Trivia debuted in August 2017, the app became a viral sensation after millions of people came together for a livestreaming-interactive game which inspired numerous imitations.

Anyone who participates has the hope of winning money from answering trivia questions on their phones.

Rus Yusupov founded HQ Trivia alongside Colin Kroll, and has yet to respond to his death.

The norm is that comedians host the game show on their phones, and the difficulty of the questions increases by the round.

The company raised $15 million in venture capital funding, but Mr Kroll's workplace history deterred many investors, yet Mr Kroll has always denied that he ever sexually harassed women at work.

In a statement to Axios, he said;

“It was a painful experience, but an eye-opening one that served as a catalyst for professional development and greater awareness in the office.”

He continued;

“I now realise that there are things I said and did that made some feel unappreciated or uncomfortable. I apologise to those people. Today, I’m committed to building HQ Trivia into a culture-defining product and supporting the dedicated team that makes it all possible.”

In an interview with The New York Times last year, the entrepreneur said the company preferred to be based in NYC instead of San Francisco.

The Detroit native said that;

"Our inspiration is more from media and TV than it is from technology.” Livestreaming gaming platforms such as Twitch inspired the creation of HQ Trivia.

Kroll had previously worked as an engineering manager for Yahoo from 2007 to 2009, and then as chief technology officer at Jetsetter from 2009 to 2013, so had a wealth of technological and software engineering knowledge.

The cause of Colin Kroll's death has yet to be revealed.

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We met Sharon, the founder of Peachy Lean an Ireland-based business providing funky women's gym leggings, who aim to support strong women (like you!) who like to look good while working out in the gym. She spoke to us about her journey so far, its challenges and the advice she would give fellow women starting out. 

1. Tell us how Peachy Lean came to be and about its products?

When I was 33, I fell pregnant with my first son, a joyful time, or what was supposed to be.. Unfortunately, I was one of many women who suffered from prenatal anxiety and subsequently post-natal depression (PND). it was a very, very, tough time. I used exercise as a form of anti-depressant and spent every morning in the gym. 

I was shocked just how much my body changed after childbirth, my clothing just didn’t fit anymore. I was sick of buying branded activewear that was ill-fitting and every time I bent over to do a stretch or squat my rear end would show out the other side!

The activewear leggings I was spending big money on just didn’t support women in areas like their tummy and rear pelvis, so, I decided I was going to design and manufacture leggings that were non-transparent, supportive in the pelvis and fit the way they're supposed to. 

2. What are the main challenges you face?

Design: I’m not a designer by trade so I'm learning as I go. I’m trying to design for all shapes and sizes but make each woman feel supported. My fabric is unique – if you can imagine Spanx but in leggings – the fabric is spandex and nylon but extremely comfortable and washes well, very important when designing gym leggings.

Time: Not enough hours in a day; multitasking to another level, running a business while being a stay-at-home mum can be quite challenging, to say the least! 

Cashflow: Currently I'm self-funded but I will need more investment to be able to grow at the rate I’m growing. New stock costs money and I have so many designs now I want to create and grow my brand in other markets across Europe and the US.

3. What three things could you never have anticipated starting your own business (good or not so good)? 

Freedom: to rear my son without the guilt of being away from home all day. I work my own hours, now, that's not to say I don't work hard, sometimes I feel I work two full-time jobs, but I like the freedom of working my own schedule. 

Support: there is a ton of support for startups and women entrepreneurs. These are some supports I have accessed on my journey into the business world, mentoring and the likes of: DCU Ryan Academy female high flyers programme, UCD Innovation Academy and Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers programme. 

Fun: I have had so much fun creating and growing my business. I think if its not fun you shouldn't be doing it. Don't be afraid to do what you love. 

4. What motivates you?

Strong women. I’m super proud to be a strong woman and I have a real passion to support women in their dreams and aspirations. All my life, I was told I was bossy and grew up thinking this was a bad thing. Now when I come across girls who may be bossy I make sure to encourage and compliment them as future leaders or entrepreneurs. I hate seeing girls who may have leadership skills being put down for it. If we all were to encourage each other to do what we love then we might see a more balanced society, where women sit on boards and run major operations, more women in government etc…

"I love seeing other women do well, and reach their goals and dreams, it has motivated me all my life."

Also, I’m super competitive so if I see someone doing something cool I'll always give it a go, especially if I have a passion to succeed in something. Success motivates me.

5. What' the best thing about running your own business?

Freedom – financially, creatively and personally.

I have always wanted to earn my own money and be financially independent. 

The freedom of running my own work life schedule, allowing me to enjoy the little everyday things that are important to me.  I am very lucky to be able to drop everything and just enjoy a moment with my son as he shows me his latest Spiderman moves or another spins off another rendition of Buzz Lightyear's "to infinity and beyond." 

6. What advice would you give any woman starting out on the same journey?

Do it! Please, Don’t be afraid, there is so much support out there for women entrepreneurs. 

Try not to overthink.  Nothing has to be perfect.

Just start with the smallest of things, validate your problem and your solutions by speaking with as many people as you can and before you know it, you’ll have the confidence to get going and later on you will look back and think why you hadn’t started years ago.

There is nothing more satisfying as a thank you email from a happy customer or waking up to sales in your bank account that you earned and generated all by yourself, it’s awesome. 

For more information, visit peachylean.com or find them on Instagram or Facebook

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2017 was clearly the year that Ireland's leading influencers decided that they wanted to try their hand at something new. 

A number of young, talented Irish women have created business endeavours of their own, as an extension of their own personal brands. 

These ladies are paving the way to their dream careers while maintaining an adoring legion of online followers. Kudos gals, kudos. 

Luna by Lisa Jordan

Lisa Jordan, blogger at Just Jordan and winner of the Best Dressed attendee award at the SHEmazing awards has branched out from blogging and into makeup creation. 

The mum-of-one has just launched her new Luna by Lisa collection of lipglosses, which she proudly showed off at the Irish Beauty Show this week.

The collection, which includes a set of four nude lipglosses, has already sold out online, so you better be on the ball when they're restocked in October.

 

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Love Lift by Holly Carpenter

Food, fitness and fashion influencer Holly Carpenter's new jewellery line has been in the works for months, but the model only recently debuted the collection on social media. 

'Holly knows that she is not a food blogger and she always wanted to find her niche,' a source previously told VIP Magazine.  

'And she has, she loves art and creating and obviously she loves fashion and accessorising. So it’s the perfect match.’

The model-turned-jewellery designer has channelled positive energy into her new line, which aims to promote empowerment and self love. 

 

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Aluxe Elite Collection by Rosie Connolly

Rosie Connolly debuted her Aluxe sunglasses collection a number of months ago, and now the blogger/influencer has branched out into makeup brushes. 

Rose has been a trained makeup artist for an entire decade, so if anyone knows brushes, it's her.

The collection includes a set of five brushes, covering everything from eyes to cheeks. 

'I've been working on my own collection of makeup brushes for months now, and they're finally ready,' Rosie said, in a recent Instagram caption. 

'I have been a qualified makeup artist for almost 10 years now, and it was always a dream to be able to work on my own makeup brush range.'

 

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Taylor & Rose by Ciara O'Doherty

Irish blogger and stylist Ciara O'Doherty launched her unique hair couture endeavour Taylor & Rose a number of months ago. 

'The idea for it started over a year ago when I was putting together an outfit for a fashion event here in Dublin,' said Ciara. 

'I was looking for a really special headpiece – I wanted something unique, luxurious and affordable – and after searching high and low I realised that this was a collection that I wanted to bring to life myself.'

The collection includes a carefully curated range of statement earrings, Gossip Girl-influenced headbands and headpieces to see you through wedding season and beyond.

 

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