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Andrea Horan: The Woman Saving Dublin's Social Soul

Always be yourself.

Influence is never a dirty word when used in the same sentence as Andrea Horan, who won our aptly titled Women of the Year Award of the same name. 

CEO of Tropical Popical, she is a creative entrepreneur, a self-confessed “glitter activist” who has a penchant for beauty, art and humanitarian efforts.  

She spent 10 years working in Youth Communications Agency Thinkhouse and then opened nail bar Tropical Popical in 2012.  Or, rather the Tropical Popical ‘experience’ (it’s so much more than a nail salon, it’s a community), which has provided her with a platform to fuse together her interest in art with collaborations with the RHA and the National Gallery of Ireland under her tropical belt.

Creative people skills

It’s also allowed her to do the type of work that’s most important to her, the work she most enjoys – meeting locals within a creative space. 

Andrea celebrates her belief in the three F’s - feminism, femininity and fun – through Tropical Popical and her not-for-profit venture The Hunreal Issues. Established to try and mobilise the army of women who felt apathetic towards politics in general and reproductive rights in particular, the project aimed to (in her words) throw glitter on the subject of Repeal without minimising the issue.


“Eldridge Cleaver most eloquently put it, ‘You either have to be part of the solution, or you’re going to be part of the problem,’” she said, during the referendum campaign. 

Whenever I was worried about starting The Hunreal Issues or having a conversation about abortion I’d always think of this and it spurred me on to do what’s right for the women of Ireland.

This year, she launched R E N A I L S S A N C E with the National Gallery of Ireland, A display celebrating a yearlong creative partnership which saw the nail bar responding to both the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions at the Gallery.

“We never wanted just to stick some nails in a room,” Horan said of the project. “We wanted to celebrate overlooked art forms, fashion included, and turn the tables on how art is usually presented in a gallery format.”

READ: A Glamorous Overview Of Irish Tatler's Women Of The Year Awards

READ MORE: Meet The Irish Tatler Women the Year Award Winners For 2019