Inventor and businesswoman
Graduated in 1998
Having graduated in BSc (Hons) Environmental Planning in 1998, Keira O’Mara has since made a name for herself as an inventor and businesswoman after designing a discreet and supportive breastfeeding scarf, which has proved a big hit with mothers around the country.
After initially working for a social research consultancy, and then in a number of sales and marketing roles, redundancy and motherhood prompted a major change in Keira’s life.
She had the idea for the scarf after experiencing difficulties when feeding her baby in public in a coffee shop. As well as feeling uncomfortable as a result of the disapproving stares from people at the next table, she was also struggling with a lack of support for the baby, while the scarf she was attempting to use to cover up kept slipping off.
The result was the Mamascarf – a hammock-type device which goes around the mother’s neck to shield and support the baby at the same time. Keira registered the intellectual property and the name, before testing the product on mothers and babies. She only made an initial run of 50 but the scarf proved extremely popular and is now on sale in Boots, Kiddicare, Tesco, Mothercare and on Amazon. Keira is also busy developing more innovative new baby products through her company Mama Designs Ltd.
Keira has won awards and recognition for Mamascarf from organisations including Mumsnet (Mumsnet Best 2010) and Practical Parenting & Pregnancy (Finalist, 2010; Silver, 2011). She was also the University's Alumni of the Year 2011 for Enterprise and Innovation.