by Liam Cosgrove
A Ballinasloe couple’s creative talents have seen their business boom over the past three years, forcing them to seek new premises and employ three extra people. Husband and wife duo, Eoin and Gina O’Neill, are the original founders of EG QUEST. Eoin is the son of Gerry and Joan O’Neill, originally from Dunlo Hill and was always creative, even drawing all over his bedroom walls, which didn’t impress his father Gerry ! Eoin worked in Athlone for many years as a graphic designer with his main role creating websites for different customers with different business ideas. Gina, moved with parents Valerie and the late Noel Murphy to the town at a young age from Dublin. She attended Ardscoil Mhuire for her secondary education and went onto complete her master’s degree in Business in AIT. She had previously worked with Eoin in Athlone as a marketing manager.
The couple are the proud parents of Jamie, Bella and Callum. Three years ago they set up their new business, operating out of a bedroom, producing personalised caricatures along with mugs, candles and prints for birthdays, weddings, engagements, anniversaries etc. “The business really took off and ten months ago we had to look for bigger accommodation and take more people on” explained Eoin. They wanted to stay local, so they took space in the Enterprise Centre. “We didn’t even consider another location for our business” he added. The company provides gifts to customers in Ireland and worldwide. The idea, to start their own company, came about when Gina ordered a personalised gift for her friends from a website For some reason the order didn’t go through and by the time she realised, it was too late, as the party was that weekend. Eoin, being a graphic designer, decided to make her an engagement gift that she could bring with her to the party. It was a massive hit and the couple wanted to know where it came from. That simple chain of events sparked an idea in Eoin’s mind and the rest is history. Gina’s brother, Karl, was added to the team and later he was joined by Bonnie and Holly. Business continues to grow as they have just taken on 2 more staff members!
They offer their own personalised gifts, plus some handmade gifts from other Irish suppliers which they love to do. They’re really building up a reputation for personalised caricatures along with prints, mugs and candles would be best sellers. If you place your orders before 2pm, you will normally receive your order the very next day. They now have five successful websites both in Ireland and in the UK that ship all over the world. Initially Eoin & Gina started out with one website www.engagementgifts.ie, the goal was to create one website full of great quality gifts rather than trying to make a general occasion gift website. This allowed them to focus on one occasion and get it 100% right. Then when they mastered that website they moved onto the other websites.
First came www.weddinggift.ie then www.anniversarygifts.ie, they had the same strategy with those sites. The final task was to compile all the amazing gifts onto one website for a person looking for gifts for many different occasions, this was when – www.thegiftshop.ie was created. Their customers are based as far away as Australia and America who purchase for friends and family at home and for their enjoyment use as well with a base of 18-60 both male and female looking for that unique gift experience.
Their best advice to new businesses is “never give up, we tried so many things and ideas and failed over the years, but we never let that deter us or knock our confidence. We just kept trying and fortunately for us we found a gap in the market and have been really successful” stated Eoin.
They are located at the Enterprise Centre in Creagh and are open from Monday-Friday and can take a call at any time, ring them on 01 9038769. You can also check out their Facebook page thegiftshop.ie (below) for all their new products and discounts.
Visit www.thegiftshop.ie for a wide range of gifts to suit every occasion and every person
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