Another Design Ireland brand owner currently undertaking an audit thanks to the Optimise Programme is Benny Magennis, owner of Whackpack Furniture. Benny and his wife Shelly create simple small stools, made from ash, called “creepie stools” which are inspired by a piece of furniture from the famine era in Ireland.
“The stools are very popular with families, especially the colourful ones, the kids love them and love getting the mallet with them,” says Shelly. We want to grow the business... and we want to sell into America... when you think of the number of people that have Irish heritage there... and to increase our product list but to market the stools as much as we can before we create some new products.”
The couple have developed markets in corporate gifting in the past 12 months - working successfully with Airbnb. Their product is one of the gifts that Airbnb hosts receive when they reach certain milestones.
“Your website creates an international window, especially when you’re coming from a little village in Monaghan,” says founder Benny.