TURTEEN YEARS?! Thoughts from our Tipp Man & CEO, Ward Gahan!
As I made trips back and forth to Ireland in the early 00’s, people would offer to give me money to bring them back a gift of a sweater or some crystal or Barry's Tea. I was pure delighted to help them out but the mad dash through duty free in Dublin airport was fierce! Most of what I found was the cheap crap and a lot of it wasn’t even made in Ireland. For all the hassle that it involved, I wanted make sure I was getting higher quality products - a real Irish made jumper (not a sweater) and the Irish crystal (which was nearly bursting out of the bottom of the bag crushing all my poor Tayto Crisps!)
‘There has to be something here’ I thought. Most Irish shops that I’ve visited in the States only carry the hoodies with the embroidered shamrocks or jewelry and homeware that is made in China.
But given that I was the only Irishman within a 70 mile radius of South Haven, I'd better find a way of reaching all the Irish people I'd met along the way like those from the Milwaukee Irish Festival and Chicago Irish Fest - places like that.....
The internet! The World Wide Web had been fabulous when my late wife and I had run the bed and breakfast so sez I to meself. ‘Why not sell the best of Ireland on d'internet? Dis ting could take off…’
And so, I put the wheel in motion! I started the website; loading pottery on there and gorgeous jumpers and then the stuff started coming into South Haven! The lads at the Post Office were swearing at me for all these bloody boxes arriving ...or maybe they were just swearing at me...anyway....
So we were going great! The website had the stuff up on it and friends were looking at the pottery coming in and saying "I'd love to buy that from you!". "You’ll have to wait until I get it online and you can buy it then!” says I. “Why can't I buy it from you now? You should just open a store! Lots of people would buy the sweaters”!... "Yeah but I don't wanna open a store where there are no Irish Americans. This isn't Boston or the Southside of Chicago" says I. “I know... Can you get me some tea and chocolate?"
Fast forward to 2008- "Let’s just get serious about this online thing......" says I. So Annette & Sarah started working away. But Sarah was very selfish and went and had a baby (haha!). We started selling kilt towels...by the hundreds and hundreds and the guys at the Post Office (who are actually amazing) started on to me again! “More boxes here...about 30 of them....Come get them". Cormac was bagging them at Christmas and getting blisters. I still call him up and say "kilt towels" before a final exam for that extra bit of effort!
So it’s been 13 years...I mean TURTEEN and dey say in Tipperary......
Míle buiochas to this wonderful BiddyMurphy.com team and our AMAZING customers who have kept us in business...and I suppose we have to thank the Post Office who actually come to us to pick up now!
Slainte!PS Don't forget to take 20% OFF ANY RING until Sun. 23rd July with code BIDDYRING!