Cork Profile: Sandra Maybury, founder of Maybury Marketing and 2024 President of Network Ireland West Cork
When you were small, what did you want to be as a grown-up?
I always wanted to work with animals. After secondary school I wanted to train as a veterinary nurse, but my career guidance teacher encouraged me to put business studies on my CAO and that was how my career took its current path.
Tell us about your career progression to your role today:
My background is hospitality. I grew up in a family-run hotel and I’ve pretty much worked in hospitality ever since. In 2005, I set up my own business. At the time, online booking channels such as Booking.com and Expedia were new in Ireland, so I travelled Ireland and UK training hoteliers on how to maximise bookings from these channels. My offerings have changed and evolved over those 18 years. I now work with businesses in all sectors, the majority of the work I do now for clients involves marketing consultancy, mentoring with the Local Enterprise Office and SFA, and project management. I’ve learned a few tricks over that time, and I hope I can use this experience in my Network Ireland West Cork presidency.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do?
It has to be the variety. No two days are ever the same, I could never get bored. The use of video conferencing, such as Zoom, means I get to work and connect with business people all over Ireland in various sectors and at different stages of their business.
What motivates you?
Work motivates me. I like to get stuff done! I get satisfaction from my work and I like to help others.
What advice would you give your 15 year old self?
Do your best and that’s all you can do, what is for you won’t pass you. Be yourself. Be kind to others and to yourself. Know that you are enough.
If you weren’t in the job you have, what would you be doing?
I have no idea! I’ve been doing what I’m doing for so long now, I’m not sure I’d know how to do anything else.
What is your greatest life or career achievement to-date?
In life, I’d have to say family. In career, I’m proud that I kept my business afloat through a recession and then a global pandemic. I suppose I did that by not giving up and being open to change.
Who has had the biggest influence on you in your life?
My parents have been the biggest influence in my life and in my career. My dad is nearly 89 and my mother 83 (they won’t mind me sharing their ages). The older I get the more I appreciate the influence they have had on my career. My parents could be described as serial entrepreneurs, who have been in business all their lives. I take my inspiration from them.
What is the life dream now?
I don’t have any big aspirations to take over the world or anything. I’m content with the status quo but every now and then I do like to challenge myself, such as taking on the Network Ireland West Cork presidency.
How do you switch off?
I work from a home office, so it can be difficult to detach from the laptop, it’s not a 9-5 type job but that doesn’t bother me, I like to stay on top of my workload. Sometimes when the mind is full and I need to de-stress, I like to bake! Or spend time with our animals, they have a way of making you forget whatever is bothering you.
What is your favourite Cork memory?
When I think of Cork, I suppose I think of Cork city. Some of my youngest memories were going shopping with my mother. Roches Stores sticks out in my mind, while I’d be bored as she looked at clothes, the bribe of a happy meal at McDonalds on Winthrop Street always worked for me and hearing the Echo boy calling out, down by the GPO. Happy times.
What is your favourite place in Cork?
We are very fortunate to live in such a beautiful place, especially in West Cork. During the summer, as a family it’s nice to be tourists in your own county. But my heart is at my hometown of Dunmanway. I’m a real homebird.
Do you have a favourite quote or motto?
“If you don’t ask you don’t get.”
When are you at your happiest?
I like to spend time at home with family, just chilling. But I’m also very happy working away in my little home office.
What is your hidden talent?
Multi-tasking, like many women, we are often juggling family plus work plus whatever else life throws at us. At work I could have multiple projects on the go, but I love the variety of it.
What might we be surprised to know about you?
I’m married to a dairy farmer, so along with running my own business, being a parent, I also help on the farm, milking cows and looking after young calves.
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
In 2022 I published a book. Acknowledging my parents age, I wanted to record their stories. So I wrote a book entitled ‘Spins’ which tells the story of my parents, Sonny and Mary Maybury’s entrepreneurial journey from the '60s to present day.