Before launching her business Niamh Barker was a pharmacist by profession, working at first in a hospital and then in the Pharma industry for 10 years. She founded The Travelwrap Company in 2007 and the signature product, the original Scottish cashmere Travelwrap, won The Luxury Gift of The Year in 2008. The following year Niamh won Best New Business globally in the International Stevie awards for Women in Business.
1) What is your name and where do you live?
Niamh Barker, The New Forest, UK
2) What is your favourite soulventure?
Italy, I love Italy, food, culture, art, music people…crumbling monuments, vineyards, the landscapes as you drive through the country, towns and the diversity of it all.
3) What’s something that no-one would guess about you?
I was an Irish dancing champion when I was 7!
4) What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
Being able to sleep soundly for 8 hours, I am slightly obsessed with the benefits of sleep but struggle to sleep without waking up a few times. I have found meditation and exercise both help but it is still a bit of a holy grail for me!
5) If you could be doing anything, anywhere, right now, what would it be?
Running on Murlough Beach in Co Down looking up at the Mourne Mountains in the Irish mist and enjoying the wind in my face!
6) Of what are you most proud?
My cashmere Travelwraps, I invented the concept Travelwrap (a sort of very special cashmere blanket for women!) and we have spent 10 years building an international e-commerce business around it. The Travelwrap won Luxury Gift of the year and I won best New Company in the World at the International Stevie Awards in my second year of trading. Making a speech in NYC was a very proud evening. We are the original Travelwrap, and the best in the world!
7) Who do you most admire and why?
I have an unending list of individuals that I have the utmost admiration for different reasons but I have just finished Michelle Obama’s autobiography. I really admire her leadership, integrity and constant strive for female empowerment in the world.
8) Best kiss of your life?
At the altar getting married to my husband …we have a photo of that kiss framed and on the wall!
9) What is a new skill you’d like to learn (and why?)
I would like to learn to sing properly, sight singing and reading from music. I used to sing in a couple of choirs and love singing but would like to learn properly and be able to perform a solo.
10) Woods, mountain, city or sea?
Sea , I hope I will always live by the sea, there is a freedom with the luxury of only being minutes away from a seascape & it adds another dimension to my world.
11) If you could say one thing to lots of people, what would it be?
Sleep, read, exercise – your life will be much more interesting and you will live longer!
12) What makes you happy?
Laughing at the dinner table with my family.
13) What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Earl Grey tea and a hot buttered scone every afternoon about 4pm!