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QVC beckons for Tourmakeady brothers

QVC business beckons for Tourmakeady brothers

Anton McNulty

TWO brothers from Tourmakeady are to appear on the world’s largest shopping channel, QVC, where they will be given four minutes to sell handcrafted wooden home accessories made in a small unit in Cong.
Twenty-nine-year-old Stephen Donoghue and his brother John (36) will be pitching their wares to over 60 million customers when they travel to Philadelphia in the US and appear live on QVC on September 4.
The brothers founded Éirewood in January where they make handcrafted timber gifts and home accessories. They appeared at Showcase Ireland in January and after their products were spotted by QVC representatives they were invited to travel to the US to appear on the show as part of the channel’s Annual Rose of Tralee Celebration which showcases a number of other Irish products.
QVC placed an order for 3,000 wine glass holders to sell on the show and Stephen admitted he was nervous about appearing on television for the first time but it was a great opportunity for the company.
“It is very exciting to be going to America and going on QVC. I was never on television before and we are being thrown in the deep end,” he joked.
“We are only a new business and this is a great opportunity for us and we will try and get as much out of it. We will be given four minutes and basically we will try to sell our products. We are already in 40 shops in Ireland and this will let people know we are out there and get our product recognised,” Stephen told The Mayo News.
Both men had previously worked in the construction business where Stephen worked as a draftsman while John was a carpenter. With work getting scarce in construction Stephen said they didn’t think of emigrating because they were two ‘homebirds’ and decided to set their minds on something different and diversify their talents.
“We spent all last year working on it before launching as we noticed that people were looking to buy Irish products and there was an opportunity in the gift market for what we are doing. At the moment it is going well but any business is tough and we are still learning,” Stephen explained.
Since QVC made the order for the 3,000 wine glass holders, Stephen said they have been ‘flat-out’ trying to reach the order, so much so that they took on extra help. As well as the wine glass holders, the company design and make around 15 different hand crafted products for household accessories as well as for the tourism market and are continually working on new designs.
They are also developing a website where they can sell their products on-line and at the moment Stephen said they are looking to feed into the Irish market while they are also getting a good level of interest from the European market.
As they prepare to fly out to Philadelphia for their television debut in front of a potential market of 60 million customers, Stephen explained that the most pleasing part of being asked to appear was that it was an endorsement of the work they were doing.
“It is a great feeling when somebody comes up to you and say they love your product and they want to buy it. When you put your heart and soul into something and the likes of QVC say they like it and would want to buy it, you get a real sense of satisfaction,” he said.
More products from Éirewood can be viewed from their website, www.eirewood.com.

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