|Posted on 21 November, 2017 at 5:30|
Want to buy Irish this Christmas? We've found some great Irish brands to shop for your loved ones.
Irish Gifts for you & Gifts for you is the brainchild of Lisa and Lynne; two Irish mammies raising their seven children in rural Ireland.
We spoke to Buyer & Sales Manager, Lisa McMahon Winters to find out how the business came about and what makes their products so popular with the Irish diaspora.
When did you set up the company and how did it come about?
We initially met at our Local GAA club, our kids were interested in several sports but mainly football and always looking for football jerseys GAA and soccer so we thought there was an opportunity to produce festive football/rugby jerseys not only for our own children but Irish children and adults living abroad.
We set up the company in October and have been flat out since because we know this will work.
Having both lived in America at some stage and with lots of relatives abroad we realised the importance of Irish traditions and Irish products...
...to support Irish heritage of kids born in America, Australia, European countries something parents and grandparents hold dear and something that relatives can send to the Irish living abroad so they feel a little bit of home at Christmas.
How nice would it be to get a gift packaged in our cardboard & twine with a wee taste of Ireland be that Tayto crisps or Cadbury chocolate or maybe a teacake?
Do you both have a business background?
We both come from a business background and before children worked with corporate companies in various sales and marketing roles.
Like most women who step out of the corporate world to have children, it's hard to get back in at the level previously held and still give a young family the time and attention they need.
Time flies past and we didn’t want to miss the first days, we want to be able to do the school run, teacher meetings but still feel challenged outside of the home.
We work this business after our day jobs, and generally it’s when our husbands come home from work and the children are in bed.
Literally, it’s in a garage when the kids sleep and we get peace to give this our 100% attention and commitment.
During the day we reply to emails, gather orders and visit the post office and that’s shared as best we can.
Who is your market?
Our largest market to date has been the United States and Canada followed closely by Australia and UAE.
What is the big picture plan? The big picture plan is to see where it takes us, we want to bring a little bit of Ireland to families all around the world.
We also see the need for affordable gifts for mammies with multiple children.
We collectively have six children at primary school that can be huge eighteen teacher presents (when you include classroom assistants) so we also have a lovely affordable ‘bling range’ that means mammies aren’t out a fortune on gifts - key rings, bag holders something a wee bit different.
We also have Irish language gifts, aprons, stockings which are proving popular in the states with customers wanting to ‘Irish’ their name or family name.
Who are your advisors/helpers?
The best advice is from mammies at the school gates coupled of course with the harshest of critics - our children and husbands, who are also our greatest support.
What is your key product?
The Irish Elf & packages span all age groups, we initially thought it would be for Irish families abroad but has been even as popular with all ages groups, we think this is because of the Club and County Irish Elf packages which have been a massive success.
A lot of the items are made in Ireland and we think could be the USP (Unique Selling Proposition).