Brian Kelly

Marketing director, Chia Bia, on motorbikes, jazz piano and Haruki Murakami

brian kelly chia bia

What was your first-ever job? Designing car stereos for an electronics company in Japan. It was quite the experience.

What has been your worst job interview? For a job plucking turkeys during Christmas week. Unfortunately, I got it. The job itself was OK once you figured out the tips and tricks of plucking turkeys by hand (sorry, I’m sworn to secrecy).

What was the first music single you bought? ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon, after his death in December 1980. I bought it in Cantwells Music Shop in Waterford.

How do you describe your job to your mates? Anything from “I sell chia” to “I improve the world’s health, one chia customer at a time”. The typical reaction is “what’s chia?” and then I have to stop myself from kicking into sales mode.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Working with a young and dynamic marketing team. As a growing company, we are trying to reinvent some aspects of our marketing. It is great to see the team throw off the shackles of the past and be really creative.

What is the least rewarding? They make me seem old and creaky! The younger members of the team have brilliant backgrounds and have even run their own companies.

What is your motto? I agree with Mae West: “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

If you were allowed one dream perk what would it be? A company motorbike. A Moto Guzzi California, if you insist.

What luxury would you have on a desert island? A grand piano, but it should probably have a jazz piano teacher attached. I bought myself a piano last Christmas but still haven’t arranged to get lessons.

What animal most reflects your personality? A sloth with a library card.

What has been the most embarrassing moment in your life? Comparing myself to a sloth in a magazine questionnaire.

Which celebrity would you most like to work with and why? Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami. His understanding of human nature would be invaluable in any marketing team. I first read his novels when I lived in Japan and I’ve followed his career ever since.