“Do I take myself seriously? Absolutely not. Life is for havin’ the craic”
We met Andrea Horan at her glittery oasis on South William Street to talk about all things tropical before taking a quite walk through St. Stephens Green to find out what the driving force is behind her most recent passion project; The Hunreal Issues. Andrea’s positive personality is infectious. As she strides into Tropical Popical she waves to her staff and says hello as they continue their busy day of glamming the women and men of Dublin, one nail at a time. Here are the bits you don’t know about Andrea Horan.
Have you always been this flamboyant? When I was a teenager I definitely wasn’t as flamboyant: I was the full-on Argos jewellery, Paco jumper and X-works jeans girl. That was my take on glam back then. I started going clubbing when I was 15 – don’t tell mam – and that really influenced how I started dressing. I love a good pattern and I was also obsessed with Ab Fab; I got my first job in PR by saying that I watched the show. I very much channelled my life through Eddie, and I know everyone says that, but I actually did.
Personal image is very important; especially because Tropical Popical follows my image and it is essentially an extension of me.
I definitely don’t think that being a woman made it any harder or easier. Luckily I grew up in a family where my mother and father thought me to be equal to every person; regardless of your gender or status. I’ve thankfully never struggled with any sexism. I just get up and do it.
Advice for women who aspire to be like me? Number one: just do it! That’s very easy for me to say because I had the security of a good job prior to leaving to become full-time tropical. Have your security blanket for rainy days but just jump and do it. Plan and think about what it’s going to look like, what it’s going to feel like, and what the experience is going to be. And have all of those things in your head before you set off.
I hate negativity. Oh, I hate it so much! Whenever anything negative happens I am in emotional turmoil and lie on my bed and shake with frustration. I have to ring about ten people and just keep talking. Eventually, I figure out my own solution to dealing with each problem, I tackle it, and then I don’t let that problem come near me again. I’m very good at dealing and deleting.
I was blogging before it was a thing. I used to run a blog with my friend Matt Matheson called Dublin Streets, and we started it because we wanted to give a platform to Dublin fashion that wasn’t a bandeau dress, blonde hair, and fake tan. There was more to Dublin than that! At the time, Krystal Nightclub was humongous – and that was grand – but it was just to show the other side of Dublin. It was the start of the whole ‘hipster’ era. At the time hipsters weren’t a thing and we were just finding quirky people and taking pictures of them for our blog. But then the whole world turned hipster, and when that happened we stopped. I think blogging is amazing: we were doing it back then because it was something that we enjoyed, but now there’s an entire industry dedicated to it, and that’s deadly.
Famous faces I’d like to see coming into Trop Pop? Beyoncé and RiRi, and Saoirse Ronan, of course.