Irish Made Summit 2019: meet the speakers

Meet the talented speakers who will be leading our fascinating panel discussions at the Irish Made Summit taking place on 6 March.

  • Ruth O'Connor, Fashion Editor

  • Yasmin Hyde, Ballymaloe Relish

  • Jenny Huston, Edge Only

  • Jennifer Rock, The Skin Nerd

  • Emma Kelly, Managing Director of Elevate PR

  • Eddie Shanahan, Retail Consultant & Chairperson of the Council of Irish Fashion Designers

  • Bronagh Conlon, Managing Director Listoke Distillery and Gin School

  • GastroGays

  • Gastro Gays

  • Oisin Geoghegan, Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices

With just over a month to go until the Irish Made Summit, we thought it would be the perfect time to introduce you to the amazing speakers that will be at the event. Taking place on Wednesday 6th March in Smock Alley Theatre Dublin, it’s a day of information, innovation and networking for small and medium businesses in Ireland.


Our panels on the day are made up of industry experts and leaders in areas such as PR, finance, retail buying, marketing, innovation and more, providing insight with tangible, practical advice. We are thrilled to be joined by some of the most creative and talented business minds in Ireland and we hope that you will walk away on the day feeling inspired and ready to take on the world.

At the Irish Made Summit this year we are delighted to be joined by:

Jennifer Rock, The Skin Nerd

Jennifer Rock is the founder and CEO of The Skin Nerd®, featuring the Nerd Network online skin community and consultations, and the Cleanse Off Mitt® makeup removal tool, and author of the bestseller, 'The Skin Nerd: Your Straight-Talking Guide to Feeding, Protecting & Respecting Your Skin'. With a background in various sectors within beauty therapy, including lecturing, holistic treatments and training, Jennifer's goal is to spread the word of skin health across the globe and her aim is to utilise technology to do so, with The Skin Nerd® having been the world's first online skin consultancy.

Eddie Shanahan, Retail Consultant & Chairperson of the Council of Irish Fashion Designers

Eddie Shanahan is Chairperson of the Council of Irish Fashion Designers and a Director of the Leitrim Design House. Eddie regularly undertakes special mentoring projects for the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland. He developed the Irish Designers Create project with Brown Thomas to identify emerging Irish design talent with the potential to sell in this premium department store and works as a consultant in the fashion and retail industry.

Emma Kelly, Managing Director, Elevate PR

Emma Kelly founded consumer PR agency Elevate back in 2001. The agency specialises in lifestyle clients with a focus on design, arts, fashion, hospitality and health. She started her career as a marketing executive with IDA Ireland in Amsterdam and worked on the French market. She studied politics, economics and multimedia at TCD.

Yasmin Hyde, Ballymaloe Relish

In 1990, Yasmin Hyde began producing Ballymaloe Relish in her kitchen, using her mother, Myrtle Allen’s recipe. Since then, the family-run business has been on the exciting journey of bringing delicious tasting products to kitchens all over the world.


Jenny Huston, Edge Only

Jenny is the founder and designer of jewellery brand Edge Only ‘a luxury brand for individuals and black sheep.’ The company ethically manufactures solid gold and sterling silver jewellery in edgy designs for men and women, all produced and hallmarked in Ireland. Edge Only is available online and in select retailers in Ireland, London and New York.

Prior to setting up her own business, Jenny worked as a DJ and music television presenter with RTÉ. There, she presented an indie rock music show weeknights on 2FM. Her book, In Bloom—Irish Bands Now, was published in 2009. The book features interviews with fifteen contemporary musical acts from Bell X1 to Villagers.

Bronagh Conlon, Managing Director Listoke Distillery and Gin School

Listoke Distillery and Gin School based in Co Louth commenced trading in October 2016. Since then the brand and gin school have grown from strength to strength. Managing Director, Bronagh Conlon, describes herself as: “a wife, a mother, a nurse, a midwife, a jam maker, a gin maker, a Business Development Consultant, and an ardent foodie. I’m passionate about good food and good drink, local produce and enjoying both with good people!”

Currently as Chairperson of Discover Boyne Valley Flavours, Bronagh is also involved with producers, venues and food series events throughout Louth and Meath. This brings home the importance and enjoyment to be gained from supporting local, she says.

Ruth O’Connor, Fashion Editor

Journalist and editor, Ruth O’Connor, has written about fashion design and trends for Irish Country Magazine for over three years. Having studied pattern cutting and design, Ruth presented her original clothing and accessories at the Cow’s Lane Designer Mart before becoming a journalist. She has written extensively about Irish design, craft and business for 12 years and holds a first class MA Journalism degree from DCU.


Having cut their teeth in the likes of RTÉ, ITV, the BBC and the PR industry respectively, the pair started GastroGays as a blog in Dublin in 2013, later grown for a number of years in London until the pair returned to Ireland in mid-2017. Aside from writing food and travel content for their own platforms for the past five years, they've regularly contributed elsewhere, including in the likes of The Irish Times, RTÉ, BBC Good Food, The Independent and Based in Drogheda, Hanlon and Alford also launched a new podcast in 2018 entitled Chew The Fat which in the first twelve episodes of series one featured the likes of Donal Skehan and Niamh Kavanagh; chefs Niall Sabongi and Andy Noonan; businesses and brands like Guinness' Open Gate Brewery and Northern Ireland's Indie Fude; alongside producers such as Abernethy Butter, Listoke Distillery, Drummond House Garlic and Bertha's Revenge Gin. Series 2 of Chew The Fat begins in late 2018.

Oisin Geoghegan, Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices



•10am Doors open & welcome

•10.30am Panel #1: Finding the funding

•11.25am Panel #2: Branding & Marketing

•12.15pm Lunch & networking

•1.30pm Q&A with the Irish Made Awards 2018 winners

•2pm Panel #3: The Retail Game

•2.50pm Pitch Perfect Session

•4pm Networking party

The Irish Made Summit will take place on Wednesday, 6th March in Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin. Tickets are €85 and include entry to each of the talks, the Pitch Perfect Session, refreshments, lunch, and entry to the evening networking event. For more information on the event or to book tickets see here.


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Read about last year’s Irish Made Summit in the Guinness Storehouse.

Inform | Inspire | Indulge