A former Mary from Dungloe and world champion Irish dancer has set up a new personalised poetry gift company.
‘Just Happy Tears’ provides beautiful, personalised poetry for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, new babies and any other special event.
It was founded by former RTE journalist Lisa McKelvey (32), from Gweedore Road, Dungloe – the first ever local ‘Mary’ to be crowned the overall winner in 2004.
Lisa went on to develop a successful broadcasting career with both Highland Radio and, more recently, RTÉ. She married Dublin entrepreneur Trevor Parsons last New Year’s Eve and the couple now live in Boston, Massachusetts.
She was back in Donegal for a few days earlier this week to spend some time with her parents Connie and Grace and her two brothers Patrick and Eamonn.
“Trevor spends a lot of time in Dublin through his work so I try to get home with him as and when possible,” Lisa said.
A former student of Pobal Scoil Chloich Cheann Fhaola, Lisa secured her degree in English and Politics from Queens before graduating with a Masters in Journalism.
“I’m a journalist – always writing and the idea for the new business came about when someone asked me to write something special for them. They knew what they wanted to say but they just couldn’t put it together and that’s where I came in. It was their thoughts and emotions, I just helped share them and they were really happy. Eventually my husband encouraged me to set up in business and here we are,” she laughed.
“I’m now doing a job of work that I absolutely love – it doesn’t even feel like a job. It’s a very personal thing and if the message isn’t right the customer won’t be happy. It’s not like you’re buying a jumper,” she said.
“If you’re looking for something really special and unique to incorporate into your wedding day, we provide the most beautifully personalised writing and poetry for thank you gifts, your reflection, your cake display, a poem for your speech or anything else you might need. It’s makes a beautiful gift also for the happy couple themselves,” she added.
When Lisa first went to the USA she worked for non profit organisation ‘Self Help Africa’.
“I ran their office. I’m still very close ties with them but this new business is keeping me busy at the moment,” she said.
“A lot of my early business was online, spread through word of mouth among family and friends, but it’s beginning to take off in Boston now too.
“I’ve written poetry ever since I was a child. It is my therapy, my communication tool and my saviour. It helps me ‘find my happy’ again,” she added.
Check out the website – www.justhappytears.com.
Posted: 8:00 am October 28, 2016
Bernie McGuigan, (44), is originally from Mountcharles in Donegal. She works in a GP practice in Malahide village.