An aviation worker's handmade wreath business is helping her family survive after her hours were cut due to Covid-19.

Aoife Killeen and her partner, who have a four-year-old daughter, have both worked in the aviation industry for 17 years and moved into their new home in Drogheda, Co Louth, just months before the pandemic began. 

When their hours were cut, they worried about how their family would make ends meet. 

Ms Killeen turned to her love of arts and crafts to ease financial worries and began making wreaths from artificial flowers during the first lockdown. In June, she started up 'Wreaths by Aoife' as demand kept growing. 

"I thought we were going to lose the house," Ms Killeen said. "The worry was real. But looking back, I'm glad the worry was so real because it pushed me into doing this." 

Aoife Killeen is making wreaths for every season

Ms Killeen said wreath-making helped her cope mentally with everything that was going on in the world. 

"I find it very therapeutic, it’s my mindfulness at night time, my daughter goes to bed and I go into my craft room and I literally switch off and think of nothing else but the task at hand," she said. 

"I could find solace from my thoughts about the pandemic and from anxiety and to stop myself from thinking the world is ending. I just feel like it’s hitting the reset button every night, when I come out I feel like, ‘okay, I'm ready for another day now’." 

Ms Killeen says she thinks people are prioritising Irish businesses this Christmas and she is very grateful that people are supporting her. 

"I feel very proud sometimes I need to pinch myself, it is a dream, I love what I do, so for people to love it enough to spend their hard-earned cash on something I’ve made, it’s the greatest compliment," she said. 

All this week we are sharing some of the personal stories behind small Irish businesses or start-ups in this most difficult of years.

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