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Spotlight On: Irish influencer Niamh De Brún

While she’s best known as an influencer, former pageant queen and the wife of Kilkenny hurler TJ Reid – there’s so much more to Niamh De Brún than we see on social media.

The Limerick native is our latest cover star for our Goss.ie Spotlight On feature, and in this interview she opens up about life in the public eye, preparing to become a first-time mum, and her plans for the future.

At the age of 31, Niamh has a degree in Business Studies, and she’s currently working as a Talent Acquisition Manager at a top biotech company.

Niamh is also a digital creator and influencer, best known for sharing fashion and fitness tips with her 65.4k Instagram followers.

She met her beau TJ in Cork back in 2015, and the couple got engaged in the same county three years later.

After postponing their wedding day twice amid the coronavirus pandemic, Niamh and TJ finally tied the knot in November 2021.

And now, the happy couple are getting ready to welcome their first child together.

In her exclusive interview with Goss.ie, Niamh opens up about dealing with online trolls, the next exciting chapter in her life, and being madly in love.

Take a look:

You and your longtime love TJ Reid finally tied the knot last year – congratulations! How did you meet? 

We met in 2015. He followed me on Twitter and had been messaging me. He asked me for my number and eventually, he asked me to go on a date. I said yeah, why not? So he drove down to Cork, where I was living at the time, and collected me.

We hit it off straight away. We just clicked. He comes from a rural, agricultural background, not unsimilar to both of my parents, so we had that in common. He was really humble, funny, generous, hardworking and honest and I saw those traits in him straight away. And he obviously saw something in me too!

We got engaged I think three and a half years after that. He brought me back to one of the places we went to on our first date, which was really sweet.

Your one year wedding anniversary is coming up in a couple of months, do you have any plans to celebrate it?

Hopefully our little baby will be with us before our anniversary, so it will depend on how that goes.

We’ve no plans just yet because we’re just wondering if the baby will come early or late, so nothing is set in stone yet. But we will definitely be sure to mark it and hopefully our baby will be with us then as well.

What is the secret to a happy relationship? 

TJ is my best friend. I share everything with him and I can’t imagine my life without him. I’m really lucky to have found such a great life partner. He’s a friend, a husband, anyone who knows me knows that I just think he is the best. He’ll kill me now if he reads this! But you need to be really comfortable with the person, and they need to be your friend as well.

You need to be able to communicate with each other, and you need to have your own lives as well. You need to be supportive of each other. I’m so supportive of TJ’s sporting career and the time and dedication that takes. I can appreciate everything he puts into it, and am always so supportive of it. If it means that he’s gone X amount of nights a week for training or the gym or whatever, we’ll manage. And likewise, he’s so supportive of me and what I’m involved in, in terms of fashion and social media.

So communication, having your own lives, being respectful and supportive of your own personal interests.

It’s been a very exciting few months for you as you are also expecting your first child. How has your pregnancy been? Have you had any bad symptoms? 

I have been fortunate in that I haven’t had any nausea. I have been really lucky, and I’m really conscious of people who haven’t had such straight forward pregnancies, or they haven’t been as fortunate in conceiving. I don’t like saying it’s been okay because you know yourself, you can open yourself up to a lot of backlash. But as I said, I have been really lucky.

The most common symptom has definitely been tiredness. It’s the most tired I’ve ever felt in my life. Now that I’m at the last stretch, my sleep hasn’t been great so that’s not helping the energy levels. But I’m still working and I’m still trying to work out. I haven’t been puking which is a plus, so my pregnancy has been fine. I’m definitely one of the lucky ones.

Despite being so tired, you don’t seem to have switched off much at all!

I do find it really, really hard to switch off. My mind never stops racing. I have quite a busy role in my professional career, and I’m trying to exercise as much as possible too because it’s great for the headspace and I enjoy it.

We’re also trying to move out of our house as we have renovations starting, and we’re trying to prepare for our baby – so there’s a lot going on! But I do have great support in my husband, my family, and my husband’s family that all live around us.

TJ is so hands on. He’s great for cooking and cleaning. I’m really really lucky with him, he’s so supportive. A lot of credit is due to him, he’s great.

Do you and TJ know the sex of your baby or are you waiting until the birth to find out? Have you picked out any baby names? 

We don’t know the sex, we’re going to wait until the birth to find out. So I’ve just been buying loads of neutral colours!

In terms of baby names, we have spoken about a few. There’s a few names we like but there’s nothing set in stone yet. I think we’ll wait until we find out the sex. Everyone says to wait until you see the child and it will be easier to pick a name then.

You have a huge social media following and share a lot of your life online. Have you decided whether or not you’re going to share photos of your baby online?

TJ and I haven’t spoken about that yet, but we definitely will make a decision together. I haven’t thought about it to be honest, I’m going to just see how I’m feeling at the time.

Katie Boner

Speaking of the online world, you have had to deal with a lot of trolling in recent years. How do you handle that? 

You learn to deal with it a lot better. I have been in that social media world now for a few years, so I’ve definitely learned to be more equipped on how to manage it. The biggest thing for me was realising that the people sending those comments aren’t the ones that are happy in their own lives. Like I would never do that to anybody because I’m content in my own life, and obviously these people aren’t and they’ve little to be doing.

If something does get to me, I am good at talking. I’ll talk to my husband, to my family, and to other people in the industry. Anyone who puts them self out there on social media will get hate in some form.

Trisha Lewis (@trishas.transformation) had something really funny up on her stories before which said something like: ‘If you stick your bum out the window, you must be prepared for it to be slapped.’ And that’s exactly it with social media – if you put yourself out there, prepare for trolling because it’s going to happen. Just try not let it get to you too much and if it does, talk to people. Don’t bottle it up.

There is a lot of public interest in your relationship – would you and TJ ever consider doing a reality show together to let fans into your life a bit more?

I’ve never thought about that and I’d be so surprised if people were interested in seeing that! I don’t know… If the opportunity arose, myself and TJ would sit down and talk about it together. But it would mean opening ourselves up a lot more.

At least with social media, you can control the content you put out and what you share. People can be quite intrusive, even sometimes they don’t mean to be. So letting someone into your home, I don’t know about it.

Wives/girlfriends of sports stars are often stereotyped as a ‘WAG’ and nothing more. Have you found this to be true and if so does it bother you?

It doesn’t bother me to be honest. I can’t control what other people say or think. If they think I’m a WAG, so be it. Anyone who follows me or knows me personally will know I’m driven myself, that I have my own careers and ambitions. TJ has his life, I have mine, and then we have our life together. So comments like that just go over my head.

Maybe if I was any way conscious in myself or conscious in my abilities with my professional career, maybe it would bother me then. But it doesn’t in the slightest.

Are there any TV shows you would love to do? Something like Dancing with the Stars maybe? 

I’ll always try my hand at something once, although probably not Dancing with the Stars because I have two left feet! Although TJ is actually quite a good dancer, so he would be much better at that than I would.

I’d be more interested in something fitness related, like Hell Week or one of them. It’s tough going, and it would definitely be a challenge, but I’d enjoy that.

You have great style – would you like to start your own clothing brand? 

Probably not. Social media for me has always been kind of a hobby. I never thought my page would grow like it has. My focus will always been in my professional career in human resources. I do collabs with different fashion brands, but I don’t think I’d ever bring out my own line.

There’s a lot of work that goes into a business like that, and you need to be able to dedicate all your time and resources to it, which I don’t have the capacity to in my current role. I have thought about my own brand in the past, but I want my focus to be in human resources and progressing my career there. My number one focus will always been my family, and then number two will be my work and professional career.

Is there anything on your bucket list you’d still like to achieve, either personally or professionally? 

I have professional goals that I want to progress in. I joined a company last October/November and I was promoted about five months into the role, which was on my bucket list. I didn’t think it would happen as quickly as it did, which I was obviously thrilled about. So in terms of my goals there, I want to continue to work my way up the ladder.

In terms of personal goals, I want to continue to focus on my family, spend time with them and if we’re fortunate enough, to continue to grow our family.

Where do you hope to see yourself in five years?

You never know what is around the corner so in five years time, I just hope I’m healthy and happy and that my family are as well. As long as I have that, I don’t care where I am in five years.

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