My place

Pr agency owner Kari Owers speaks to The Journal on the places and people which mean something to her.

Pr agency owner Kari Owers speaks to The Journal on the places and people which mean something to her.

Kari, 33 owns O Communications, a PR agency based above Newcastle's Quayside that specialises in promot ing emerging entrepreneurs, fast growth businesses and lifestyle venues in the North-East.

She is originally from the North Antrim coast of Northern Ireland, but moved to Newcastle in 1992 to study - and aside from three years in Nottingham, she returned to Newcastle and stayed. She lives in Northumberland with her husband Robin and two children Joseph, five and Ailis, two.

Where do you live?


How long have you lived there?

We have just moved two weeks ago from Tynemouth where we lived for seven years, so I'm getting used to being away from the coast, but I love it so far.

What's your dream home?

An open-plan barn conversion in the Northumberland countryside, yet within 15 minutes' drive of my office in Newcastle City Centre, and with a good country pub nearby that serves tasty food!

How do you get around (walk, car, public transport, private jet)?

Mainly by car, a Mini Convertible I've just bought a few weeks ago - I wish the sun would come out soon so I could get the roof down more often! Other than that I run quite a lot and I fly frequently with easyJet to see my family in Northern Ireland.

What is your favourite part of the North East?

Tynemouth Longsands very early in the morning, when there are just a few joggers and dog walkers, and Newcastle's Quayside on a busy summer afternoon, viewed at its best from outside the Pitcher and Piano with a cold drink.

What is your favourite building in the region?

The Treehouse at Alnwick Garden - It's a fairytale type of structure and the restaurant serves great food, plus there's lots of space and adventure for my kids to run around.

What is the best holiday you've ever had?

My honeymoon touring the Cote D'Azur and star-spotting the rich and famous in Monte Carlo and St Tropez. We stayed in one of the "Best Small Hotels in the World" on the Cap D'Antibes, and I love driving so I adored attempting the hairpin bends on the famous motor racing circuit between Nice and Monaco. Other than that every August in Donegal, where I can kick back and relax with no mobile phone signal.

What's the favourite thing in your home?

My new range cooker - haven't cooked anything on it yet though. And the garden.

If you could have one luxury what would it be?

More time.

What are you working on at the moment?

Aside from moving house, and my two children who keep me busy, I run a PR agency called O Communications that specialises in promoting the great business and lifestyle opportunities here in North- East. The company is growing fast, so I am always out meeting clients and journalists.

Who or what is the love of your life?

My family - my husband and two children, Joseph who is five and Ailis who is two.

Where is your favourite place in the North-East?

The Gateshead Angel, it signifies coming home, as I used to live in the Midlands and travel back to Newcastle every weekend on the A1.

What is your favourite shop?

Rubber Soul for weekend casual gear and The Deli around the Corner for great bread which are both in Tynemouth and run by good friends Chad and Sue, and Fenwick or House of Fraser for clothes shopping. I do like shopping online to be honest, as it cuts back on the queues.

What is your favourite restaurant?

Sidneys in Tynemouth with my husband, Prima Pasta or Sabatinis on Newcastle's Quayside for a quick lunch with friends. Alnwick Garden's Treehouse with my kids as they love the "Woodland Platter" on the children's menu and I also tend to eat at The Living Room on Grey Street with clients.

Favourite pub?

Nancy's in Ardara, County Donegal. So tiny only a few people can squeeze in, but the craic is great!

Favourite meal?

Barbecued King Prawns and salad.

Are you any good at cooking do you spend much time in your kitchen?

I'm not a keen cook really as I don't have the patience, but I do tend to do most of it at home. I'm in the process of planning to refit the kitchen in my new house, so when that's installed I guess I'll spend more time there, especially at the weekend when I slow down - I often eat something light and late during the week because I'm out working.

What's the last play or film you saw?

I don't get to the pictures much, so the last film I watched was Casino Royale whilst on a weekend break away in Paris in January - it was in English though, and Daniel Craig was great as the new Bond.

What book are you reading at the moment?

Gordon Ramsay's autobiography - because I have just won several restaurants as new clients!

What are you listening to on your I-pod/ CD player at the moment?

Nelly Furtado's new album Loose in the car and Ibiza Chillout Mix in the office.

What is your favourite TV programme?

Dragon's Den.

What are you proudest of?

My kids, every day they make me proud. And the rapid success of my business has taken me by surprise.

When and where were you happiest?

In Donegal, Western Ireland where I have holidayed every year since I was born.

Do you have any wisdom to share?

Keep a sense of humour - life's too short to take too seriously.

What does the future hold?

Hopefully a very successful business, lots of fun, and watching my children make their way in the world. And one day, retired in a remote cottage in Donegal by the beach.


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