Testimonial from Siobhan O’Connell

I think it was back around 1989, I was young married mother of two children and noticed an advertisement for evening courses on dressmaking at the Mallow College of Tailoring and Design, O’Brien Street, Mallow. Little did I know that evening when I crossed the threshold of the college that my life would change completely. The first thing I knew Mary Cashman, the director of the college, had us drafting up our own block pattern for a skirt, so much for using bought patterns! I was petrified but excited and with Mary’s “can do” attitude everybody in the class had started on their journey into the world of fashion design. Very quickly with the help of Marys’ creative encouragement I decided to do the fulltime London City & Guilds fashion and design course and with a lot of hard work and the drive and determination and inspiration from Mary I achieved distinctions across the board on my results. The final year fashion show was a night I will never forget the excitement was tangible. I started up my own label and had a very successful design studio in Mallow, I also worked as a freelance designer within that business. I then had the golden opportunity to become a designer buyer for a reputable menswear company and within that capacity had the opportunity to travel the world. Mary Cashman is excellent at what she does, she is practical in her solutions to any problems and her real world business experience and optimistic mind set is the magic formula with which to help people grow and accomplish great things in the fashion business world if they follow her advice.

Siobhan O’Connell