Auriel Robinson is a qualified maritime archaeologist who set-up Seatrails in Sligo in 2012. Seatrails offers guided historical and archaeological tours in Leitrim and Sligo. The guided tours can suit all ages and abilities and are in extremely beautiful and unique locations.
A Seatrail tour is a very special experience; Auriel takes you to some of the North West’s most beautiful locations and will inform and enchant you with details of the local wildlife, flora, geology, geography, history and archaeology. Most Seatrails tours are walking tours, for those looking for a little more adventure there are biking and horse-riding tours.
What were you doing (career wise) when you decided to create your own business?
I was working as an archaeologist for the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
When did you start your business and what inspired you to do this?
I started by business in March of 2013. I set it up as I wanted to increase people’s awareness of the incredibly interesting and unique natural and built resource we have in this part of Ireland in terms of cultural heritage. I also wanted to get outdoors more and have this as a part of my working life.
What were your start-up costs? How did you get the money, and what did you use it for?
I have worked hard for many years of my life and saved a little. I used my savings to start up. I used it for marketing the business through design of logo, website, flyers and posters and through online promotion.
What was the biggest obstacle?
Bravery to do it!
Who supported you?
My friends and family and other people I have met through business and on courses.
How long did it take you to get everything your business off the ground?
What do you love most about being your own boss? What are the drawbacks?
I love the freedom of choice that I have and I love being able to be creative in what I do. The drawbacks are – It costs money to make money!
Where do you work from and do you have employees?
I work out of the IT Sligo Innovation Centre and at home sometimes. I do not yet have employees but intend to employ when I am in a position to.
Do you have entrepreneurial role models?
Anyone who is successful in a type of business that I admire or respect
How did you learn and acquire the skills you use to make your business successful? How do you continue to grow and learn
I am passionate about archaeology. I have worked for over twelve years in advising public bodies and private companies in the preservation and protection of archaeological monuments and heritage sites across Ireland. I have acquired a good knowledge of subjects relating to archaeology and I have worked on many archaeological excavations as part of my work. I have also done a huge amount of research in maritime archaeology. I have good organizational and communication skills.
I continue to grow and learn by meeting and interacting with others who have businesses and by listening to what my customers tell me.
If you had it to do over again, what, if anything, would you do differently?
I would start with a bigger financial pot!
What is your best selling item/service?
My guided horse ride which is located in the Streedagh Beach area in North Co. Sligo. I grew up with horses so being able to do my thing while on horse back in a stunning marine environment is the icing on the cake for me!
Are you a LookWester (previously living outside the Western Region) and if so why did you decide to move home or relocate to the West?
I am from Co. Meath. I moved to the west three and a half years ago as I love the land and seascapes here and I started surfing up here about 8 years ago. The people are genuine and the West is overall, more laid back than the East!
What advice would you give to anybody Looking West?
Go and see the hidden gems!
Visit www.seatrails.ie for more information on Auriel and her wonderful business.