Niamh Cullen: ‘It Was The Most Stressful Situation I’ve Ever Had To Deal With’

Before we even called them influencers, Niamh Cullen was building an audience on Snapchat who followed her for fitness, hair, and fashion tips. This has since grown into an Instagram account of bright, colourful and energetic updates for a ‘girl gang’ of almost 150k.

Our cover star for April sat down with STELLAR editor Megan Roantree for a chat about overcoming the hardest year of her life, and how she’s staying positive going forward.

In 2019, Niamh announced Monday Club, a fitness brand that involved, among other things, workouts on a Monday morning to curb that dreaded start-of-the-week feeling. Then, last year, the business shut down, seemingly abruptly, leaving followers wondering what had gone wrong.

The dispute between her and her then-business partner is still somewhat tied up in legal matters, and Niamh admits that not being able to share what was going on with her followers was incredibly hard for someone so used to sharing everything.

“When my business fell apart, legally I couldn’t let my members or my followers know what exactly was going on,” she says. “Everything was quite messy. So when it got quite serious with legal stuff I went from being so honest to not being able to talk about it at all. The people who follow me are just a large group of girls, like a girl gang. Everyone I meet, I feel like I know them, it’s such a weird, lovely thing! So that’s what killed me. I just wanted to be like ‘look, it’s gone to shit, it’s not looking good, it has to stop and I don’t know where we’re going to go from this but thank you.’”

She goes on: “It was so frustrating. I just had to sit there and think ‘my followers will think I’m a fraud. Do they think I’m not coming on [Instagram] because I’m too big for my boots or that I just got lazy and wasn’t interested anymore?’ It got to a point where I had to take myself away from Instagram because I fell into a depression.”

Niamh’s passion for the project is clear, as she gets upset when discussing the work she put in. “I was getting up at 5am every day, doing three classes a day, five days a week. I really did everything for the business and for the instructors,” she says.

“It just had to come to an end, it was the most stressful situation I’ve ever had to deal with. I was having difficulty with a business partner, so it was just me. I felt isolated… I’m sorry I don’t know why I’m getting emotional,” she says, wiping away tears. “It was just such a long process to get it up and running, and something I was so proud of.”

Read the rest of Niamh’s interview in the latest issue of STELLAR – on shelves now!

Photography: Evan Doherty


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