After discovering a deep interest and genuine love of coffee, Cíara Hillyer has dedicated the last few years to promoting the coffee scene in Bristol. Discovering and falling for coffee after having her ‘first cup of Joe’ in New York, Cíara started her coffee journey with a latte and now is open to tasting all types of brews, coffees and beans!
“I’m the local curly haired, Irish spirited, friendly, camera bearing, coffee drinking gal!” – Cíara Hillyer
Cíara Hillyer supports local roasteries, photographs equipment, baristas and cafes. She is always encouraging her friends and family to experiment with different brewing methods and to try speciality coffee, saying it has “become a ritual for me,” as she finds it therapeutic and relaxing. “Perhaps most of all, I love conversing about coffee and making a brew for someone else! I find coffee interesting, hopefully, others will find my story interesting!” shares Cíara.
“Coffee has become a ritual for me.”
Battling Cystic Fibrosis, a respiratory condition,Cíara Hillyer has spent a lot of her time in hospitals. After a large operation and recovering from a general anaesthetic, Cíara found herself visiting a physio and spending a lot of time recovering. One of her most memorable coffee memories is the morning where her physio came to get her bright and early and took her out for a coffee. The coffee shop was just across from the hospital and the small walk that would have usually taken Ciara and her physio 10 minutes to get to, took them 40 minutes.
Upon arrival at the coffee shop, there was already a shot of espresso and a flat white waiting for them. Cíara describes the memory fondly and reminisces,
“I continue to feel an enormous sense of gratitude from that morning and despite being unwell, I remember that hospital visit fondly. My physio knew of my love of coffee and we had spent a lot of time talking about our mutual enjoyment for the drink.”
Such a small act of patience filled Cíara with determination and along with the coffee and understanding company of her physio she experienced the boost she needed to tackle the rest of the day.
Starting off her photography and filming career raising awareness for the NHS and of life with Cystic Fibrosis, Cíara has shifted her focus to promoting and making a name for herself in the coffee community. Cíara describes how using her voice and showing her vulnerability to those around her opened the conversation for many in regards to hidden illnesses.
Highlighting her most challenging part of her career as,
“Remaining true to myself and not doubting my own abilities,”
Cíara remains proud of her past achievements and has great faith in her photography and filmmaking skills. Although she remains positive Cíara does admit that it can be hard standing out in photography as there are “some incredibly talented people in the industry.”
Finding inspiration from those closest to her, her friends, family and especially her brother, Cíara is constantly working hard to create and develop her photography skills. Her brother is her biggest inspiration, he is in his final year of a chiropractic degree, and has been away from home for a very long time because of travel restrictions. Whilst Cíara discusses how much she misses him dearly, she explains how proud she is of his achievements, work ethic and determination. So much so that he has inspired her to apply for a Master’s degree in Photography, which she will be starting in September, this year!
Following her career aspirations, Cíara sees success as contentment and happiness. She shares that we should be proud of an accomplishment or seeing people you care about doing a good job and seeing them happy too. Through Cíara’s eyes, she sees measuring success and the way you do so as very important; it influences how you spend your time and effort.
“Success can be as simple as making myself a good coffee when I’m having a bad day.”
Throughout the COVID19 pandemic, Cíara Hillyer has learned that taking time out and focusing on something that she knows she’ll enjoy and feel better for, can make all the difference.
“Small pockets of self-care and little victories can make all the difference.”