Whitehead entrepreneur is banking on craft success

Sinead Brennan at the Bank House, Whitehead INCT 08-200-AM
Sinead Brennan at the Bank House, Whitehead INCT 08-200-AM

A Whitehead entrepreneur has told how she swapped telecoms for arts and crafts to breathe new life into a landmark listed building.

Owner of The Bank House Sinead Brennan obtained an Information Technology degree from Queen’s University, followed by a Masters in Electronics before going on to work for BT for nearly nine years.

However, after taking voluntary redundancy when pregnant, Sinead began to make fabric bags, selling them at local craft fairs and shops. She then had the idea of opening a shop to support local crafters, and fell in love with the listed former bank manager’s house in the town.

She told The Times: “Self-motivation, hard work and a passion for your business are key. The Bank House opened in the middle of the current recession and has been well-supported by local people as well as visitors from throughout Northern Ireland.

“nibusiness.co.uk is an excellent source for those starting out, and the internet for reviews or self-help books on subjects such as running your own business, book-keeping and sales and marketing. Carrickfergus Enterprise helped me to write a business plan, which proved invaluable.

“My next project is to rejuvenate the outside space in spring. The café opens onto an enclosed courtyard. I’m hoping to renovate the last unit on the ground floor of the house towards the end of the year, which has planning permission for a studio.”