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A Day in the Life: Olga Klofac

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I get up at 6.30am and get our two girls (aged eight and ten) ready for school and myself ready for work. After I drop the girls to school, I start my baby photo sessions. Babies are in the best form in the mornings so I dedicate that time of the day to them.
When I set up my baby photography business six years ago, I was told it was a great hobby but I couldn’t really make a living out of it. Today I have clients who visit me repeatedly with every addition to their growing families and continuously recommend me to their families and friends.
I have clients who travel to me from all around the country, some of them making a five-hour round journey six days after a c-section just to have their baby photographed by me and I am very proud of this tremendous trust that my clients have in me.
To work with babies you need enormous patience. You need to be gentle, kind and handle every baby with incredible love and care and make sure they are safe at all times. But it’s not just about the baby. You also need to make the parents at ease and if they’re bringing their other kids you need to get them on your side too.
For me, baby photography is not just about giving your clients flawless images, it’s also about giving them a beautiful relaxing experience in what is often a very emotional and exhausting time in their lives.
After my clients leave, I switch from photography to my eyewear business and start checking my Fairy Specs emails to see what needs to get done that afternoon.
A few years ago our youngest daughter was diagnosed with farsightedness. You know how a mother looks at her child and thinks it’s the most beautiful face in the world? For five years you’ve been looking at this beautiful face that makes your heart fill up with joy and then suddenly you have to put this obnoxious piece of plastic on it.
She used to call herself a fairy princess and put on her fairy wings as soon as she came home from school. I just wanted some beautiful sparkly pink glasses for her that would match her personality. But it proved to be an impossible task, everything we found in the shops was either too strong, too dark or just plain tacky so what do you do? You set up an eyewear brand and design your own!
It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride so far, every day you’re met with new challenges and learn something new. Last year I was selected to take part in Empower - a programme for female startups at GMIT in Castlebar which is funded by the EU. If you’re running a business it can often be hard to get out of your own head and to have a safe space with others who are in the same boat, to bounce ideas off each other, is very refreshing.
Work/life balance
At 3pm I take a break to collect the girls from school and once they’re at home I get back to work and am usually at my computer until late in the evening.
Because I work from home I am often interrupted by having to do what every other mother has to do. It is certainly a challenge to keep a work/life balance when you have the kids running around, but at the same time I love having them around and wouldn’t have it any other way. They were the reason I wanted to work from home in the first place.
My husband and I came from the Czech Republic to Charlestown in 2004. I just finished my master’s degree in economics and turned down a well-paid job in a French company to move to Ireland. The plan was to stay here for a year and look at us now, 15 years, a house and two kids later! We would never move back though and three out of the four of us have Irish citizenship now.
Some evenings I have business events to go to and one evening a week I go salsa dancing with a group of friends, but on the nights that I’m home I make sure to spend an uninterrupted bedtime hour with the girls. We get in the bed together and either read a book, play games or just talk. In that hour, nothing else exists. Because my husband and I both work during the week, weekends are for life’s little joys. It’s the time to meet up with friends, go swimming, listen to music and spend a lot of time cooking beautiful food.
We really enjoy living in Ireland. Compared to other countries, life is much more relaxed here. Irish people don’t seem to be rushing as much, they’re more laid back. It’s great to call Ireland our home.

In conversation with Edwin McGreal

Factfile
Name: Olga Klofac
Age: 38
Lives: Charlestown
Occupation: Business owner
mayophotographer.ie
www.fairyspecs.com

Quickfire questions

If money was no object, what would you do all day?

See new places, try new things, study, invest in science, and spend more time taking care of my body and mind

Tell us something about yourself we don’t know?
I have a very dark sense of humour

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten? 
I’m a vegetarian so most of what I eat you’d probably find unusual. But for me it was a cow’s tongue on a trip to France

Where’s your favourite place in the world?
Anywhere good people are

What makes you angry?
Small minded people

First hero?
My mum

Name three things that are always in your fridge?
Homemade sauerkraut, houmous and gherkins

What makes you nervous?
Parallel parking on a busy road

Favourite TV show? 
I don’t really watch TV except for the news. Never seen a single episode of any soaps or any reality TV shows

Best holiday?
Always the one that’s coming next

What do you miss most about being a kid?
Being unaware of the inhumane things humans are capable of

What’s your most prized possession?
Big fat folder of my favourite recipes that I’ve been constantly adding on to for the last 20 years

Best advice you ever got?
A year from now you will wish you had started today

Describe yourself in three words?
Creative. Independent. Perfectionist

How do you unwind?
Go to sauna, get a massage, dance and cook ... in no particular order.