Entrepreneurship With Aine Kilkenny

Eva Finn

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We knew we wanted to create accessibility to these products. that these 100% organic cotton products, products that are better for women's bodies and better for the planet.” Says our recent podcast guest and co-founder Aine Kilkenny. 

Entrepreneurship is often fuelled by that ‘aha!’ moment when a brilliant business idea is born, often over a glass or two of wine and with great company. However, it’s not often that those ideas actually become a reality. In this blog post we will dive into the exciting journey of Riley, a sustainable period product company, who not only conceived a great business idea but also made it a reality in record time during a pandemic. This blog post will cover the dynamics of starting a business with friends, the role passion plays in an undertaking like this, and the courage it takes to embrace risk as a start-up owner. 

The idea of Riley was born back in December 2020 during a festive catch-up between lifelong friends Aine Kilkenny, Fiona Parfrey, and Lauren Duggan when they found themselves without any period products in a sudden time of need. This dilemma sparked the co-founders vision to create accessibility to 100% organic cotton period products that not only benefitted women’s bodies but also bettered the planet. 


"We executed it very quickly as well... And yeah, I resigned four months later when we launched the website in April 2021." 

What truly sets Riley apart is the unwavering passion that drove the team into action. Despite all co-founders having established careers and diverse priorities, they dedicated their weekends and evenings to bring their vision to life. With backgrounds ranging from tech to sustainable outdoor lifestyle brands, this diversity of skills played a pivotal role in bringing their idea to fruition.

This underscores a fundamental lesson for aspiring entrepreneurs; passion can be the catalyst that propels an idea from conception to execution.

More often than not, starting a business means taking risks, and one of the most significant risks at play can be leaving a stable job. This step requires fierce amounts of courage, as it involves leaving the safety net of a regular pay check and ultimately embracing the unknown. 


Another successful dynamic at play within Riley is the deep connection between the co-founders which has been curated over years of friendship and shared experiences, which play a pivotal role in the company’s success. Aine, along with her two co-founders, Lauren and Fiona, have known and trusted each other implicitly for years, making their entrepreneurial journey smoother and more enjoyable.  

Riley’s story is an inspiring reminder that entrepreneurship is not just about taking risks or having a good idea. It’s about passion, determination, and the power of strong connections.


Listen to more of what Aine had to say on our most recent podcast episode!

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