Monthly Motivation: Avril Keys from School Gate Style


She’s one of Northern Ireland’s biggest bloggers and has managed to become an “at home” entrepreneur. With collaborations with Easy Living Magazine, the Daily Mail and the Belfast Telegraph and working with huge brands such as Boden, Next and , Avril has turned a hobby into a fully fledged career. Inspired to set up her own online store, she now runs her blog School Gate Style alongside being a busy mum to three.
Avril has spoken to us about her journey to major blog success- we hope you find it inspiring to find a career that you are truly happy in.
What was your school/university experience like?
I always viewed it as a means to an end….I didn’t overly enjoy it but saw it as a stepping stone to future success.
What was your first job?
I did meter reading on my bicycle for the Electricity Supply Board during the summer of 1989!
How did you “make it” to where you are now?
I would say my ‘text book career success’ came during my 30’s when I worked in Financial Services to a senior level. The time spent working in a challenging corporate environment has most certainly helped in my success as an entrepreneur.
What is the hardest aspect of your job?
The lack of regular income! As I work for myself, it can be hard as you have to invoice people and maybe not get paid for another six weeks but that’s the price you pay to be your own boss!
Best moment of your career so far?
Taking redundancy and walking away from the rat race at age 36. It led me on to bigger, more creative ideas and where I am now!
What inspires and motivates you?
The intention to be debt free and retired before I’m 60. (The WebRecruit Team are dreaming of this too!)
If you could own any business in Ireland, what would you like to own?
Avoca Handweavers. I adore wandering around their shops and I love how they’ve adapted to a changing market.
What advice would you give to talented people who are looking to succeed in their chosen profession?
Don’t be too prescriptive about what you want to achieve and how you’re going to get there. Work abroad for at least 6 months…it will enhance your career prospects and open your mind.
Many thanks to Avril for her words of advice. If you feel like you need to find the job you’ve been dreaming of, contact us at WebRecruit Ireland. Visit for more details.

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