Independent boutique owner, Stella McGroarty is the go-to person for style with a conscience in Donegal.
Stella, who is originally from Co. Roscommon, came to Donegal in the late 70s.
Her early years were spent in hospitality but in 2002, Stella moved into the world of fashion and in 2016 she set up her own women’s clothing store on Castle Street in Donegal Town, aptly named Stella
After many years supporting the fast fashion industry, Stella is now an advocate for living a more conscious lifestyle
She works hard to support Fairtrade, stocking mainly contemporary clothing made with eco-friendly, ethical practices. Celebrating natural fibres and traditional artisan techniques, she’s on a mission to prove that it is more than possible to live a stylish, sustainable life that doesn’t cost the Earth!
Stella, is also a member of the Donegal Women in Business Network and a proud promoter of all things Donegal.
This is Stella’s ‘My Donegal’
(1) What is your favourite place in Donegal and why?
That’s a difficult one as there are so many but I’d have to say the Bank Walk, just minutes from home, is top of the list!
It’s a tranquil walk through a myriad of mature trees along
the bank of the River Eske. It offers a stunning view of the Old Abbey and the Green Isles with dappled sunlight shimmering off the water, the birds singing overhead and of course the Fairy doors, bird feeders an bug hotels…extending a warm welcome and safe haven to all!
(2) What would your ideal day off in Donegal be like?
It would be spent at home with all my family around the kitchen table…no place like it!
(3) Who is the one person in Donegal that you look up to and why?
We have many greats in Donegal but Noel Cunningham comes top of my list!
He’s the most authentic, hard working, no nonsense person I know and a true giver!
He has faced and overcome many challenges in his own personal life but has always managed to pluck out the positives and come out smiling.
He is forever promoting his beloved Donegal and I’ve never known him to say no to any request of his time for charity.
(4) Daniel O’Donnell or Packie Bonner?
(5) What has been Donegal’s proudest moment in recent years?
Bringing Sam to the Hills twice!
(6) If you could change one thing about Donegal what would it be?
I’d make every town in Donegal accessible by rail!
(7) What is your favourite Donegal-made product?
It would have to be Tweed!
It is natural, sustainable, has provided and still provides much needed employment and is worn and loved throughout the World!
(8) Who is Donegal’s greatest ambassador around the world and why?
Difficult again as there are many but I would single out Enya
She is Ireland’s biggest selling artist of all time.
She has amazing talent and in an age when one’s private life has become a public commodity, she has managed to hold onto hers and let her hauntingly beautiful music take centre stage!
(9) Who is Donegal’s most successful businessperson in your opinion?
That depends on how one measures success!
Profit shouldn’t continue to be the yardstick to measure success. Ethical standards and sustainability must be a business priority!
Ask me in 5 years… hopefully we will have some viable contenders by then!
(10) Who is your favourite Donegal sportsperson of all time?
A bit biased here but my vote goes to Karl Lacey with Michael Murphy a close second!
(11) What is your favourite Donegal restaurant?
Donegal Town is fast becoming the “gourmet capital” of Ireland especially now as it has just been awarded The National Foodie Destinations Award
I couldn’t single out one!
(12) What would your ideal day in Donegal consist of?
If I’m not working, I’m with family…. my two passions!
(13) What is your favourite Donegal saying or expression?
Aye surely! A double positive, Donegal style!
(14) What is the biggest challenge facing the people of Donegal today?
Brexit and all the complications it brings to a border county!
(15) What is your favourite Donegal food?
A Seafood Box from The Seafood Shack in Killybegs
(16) Is there anything that really annoys you about Donegal or its people?
We have the most amazing beaches in Donegal….. cars should never be allowed on them!
(17) If you had a million euro to improve something in Donegal what would it be?
I would set up a programme to educate people on the importance of sustainability…not just tipping their hat at it but really embracing an environmentally friendly ethos.
(18) What has been the most exciting moment of your career so far?
Opening Stella in 2016 and making the conscious decision to only stock Sustainable Fashion
At present, about 60% is Organic, Fair Trade and GOTS registered and I have plans to be 100% Sustainable by mid to late 2020
(19) Is there anything about Donegal that you are very proud of?
I am proud of everything about Donegal, it’s heritage, it’s stunningly beautiful land and seascapes but especially it’s people and the warm welcome extended to me over 40 years ago!Tags: