This is the first in my new series of ‘5 minutes with’ interviews with inspiring, talented business women in Northern Ireland. First up, one of the funniest, sweetest ladies I have had the pleasure of meeting in 2018 …. Carrie Anne Hunter aka The Koala Bear Lady.
Tell me about little about your journey to your current job?
I’d been working in different part time jobs since my daughters were born and have always been mad for social media. So I decided to retrain as a Social Media Manager and work with social media full time.
What services do you offer customers?
I’ve grouped all my skills together and offer more than just social media advice. I’m a retail mystery shopper, editor and proofreader, customer service trainer and influencer marketing advisor. I help small businesses polish and perfect their social media pages so they’re firing on all cylinders.
How did you decide on your Business Name?
The idea came to me in the middle of the night! People think koalas are furry and cuddly but they are wild animals and can be vicious! It occurred to me that social media for business is the same – the soft & fluffy side is the products you sell and your shopfront. The vicious side is the financial viability of the business and the day to day running.
Who inspires you?
Quite a few people inspire me, I think Naomh McElhatton from SMART Global in Cookstown is a legend – I really admire her business sense and drive. I could say the same about Sinead Norton from Swift Wedding Event Hire in Magherafelt. She founded the Mums At Work Networking Group here in Northern Ireland at the end of 2017 which has since snowballed into a phenomenon! It was the encouragement from the other members of Mums At Work that inspired me to go into business for myself.
Doug Hehner and Jamie Otis from the first US season of Married at First Sight are an amazing couple. Their journey from meeting at the altar as strangers to getting married, moving in together and starting a family keeps me riveted! I follow them on Instagram. They are documenting and sharing their lives with all the good times and the tribulations. A dose of realism on Instagram!
Finally, my Mum inspires me to be a better person. I already knew she had a heart to help people but it was at her funeral I heard from strangers how much she meant to them and the kindness she showed. Just goes to show you, kindness is free – sprinkle that stuff everywhere!
Describe your ideal customer …
A lady just like myself who is working for herself and trying hard to succeed. She needs advice and tuition about social media and all that comes with that. I’d also like her to be a talker, so she’ll recommend me to others!
What is your best attribute or quality?
It’s not exactly an attribute but I have a deep well of empathy for anyone who’s suffering. Having lost both my parents and battled with grief and depression in the years since, I feel a strong connection with anyone suffering from poor mental health. I’ve had some very dark days but am glad to say better times are always around the corner. Thank God for optimism!
Describe yourself in 5 words …
1. Australian 2. Crazy (in a good way!) 3. Outgoing 4. Cheerful 5. Couchpotato (that’s definitely one word LOL)
Being happy in your work, able to pay all your bills and have enough left over for fun stuff and having satisfied customers.
What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
Everything under the sun. Twice.
What fictional place would you visit if you could?
The setting of Pride and Prejudice. I’d love to get an idea of the life that Mr Darcy and Elizabeth lived.
Are you normally early or late?
What’s your favourite quote?
“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone forever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you.” Captain Wentworth in Jane Austen’s Persuasion.
How do you relax?
Watching tv and lying in on the weekends.
5 things that remind you of being a teenager?
1. New Kids on the Block 2. 80’s music 3. 80’s films 4. Ripped jeans 5. Permed hair
If you were a crayon, what colour would you be & why?
Pink. It’s my favourite colour!
What is the best compliment that you have ever received?
That I’m a breath of fresh air.
Thanks so much Carrie Anne for speaking with me. It’s been a pleasure to get to know you and find out more about The Koala Bear Lady.
Remember to come back soon for my next interview in the 5 Minutes With Series.