Small Belfast giftware company, Bog Standard is enjoying the sweet smell of success having recently secured over £30,000 worth of orders at the recent Pulse and Showcase trade exhibitions which helped triple its turnover in the last year.
The company was part of an Invest NI delegation of local businesses that attended the Showcase exhibition in Dublin and Pulse in London this year.
Bog Standard is the brainchild of young female entrepreneur, Alix Mulholland from Belfast. The company’s stylish product range includes scented candles, soaps and linens all inspired by Irish landscapes and lifestyles. The Bog Standard range is already stocked in over 150 stores in the UK and Ireland including Fenwicks department store in London.
One of the most prestigious orders this year came from the French company, Aelia, that owns the Duty Free store in Belfast International Airport who recognised the appeal of the high quality products to people visiting Ireland and those wishing to take a stylish Irish themed gift to friends and family abroad.
“The initial order and the subsequent repeat orders from the Belfast International Airport have come as a great boost to the company,” says Alix Mulholland. “We are extremely proud that the Bog Standard products are for sale alongside the very best of Irish giftware at the airport and are seen by thousands of travellers every week from all over the world. Whilst we have been receiving orders from the USA via our website, this particular listing represents our first major inroad into the international market.”
Bog Standard owes a significant part of its success to the support that Invest NI has given the company since its establishment three years ago.
Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Trade Director, says: “Bog Standard is an ambitious and innovative company that is using our comprehensive Passport to Export programme very successfully to gain worthwhile business outside Northern Ireland.
“Our displays at major international exhibitions like Showcase and Pulse enable us to provide a cost-effective platform for smaller companies in the giftware and craft sectors to reach potential customers from external markets”
One of the important factors in Bog Standard’s success is that it develops quality “Irish” inspired products that suit the developing tourist trade but importantly also appeal to the lucrative domestic market.
The company has identified a definite niche in the market in Ireland for a product that would fill the gap between the lower priced ‘leprechaun’ gifts that are bought as souvenirs and higher-end giftware such as crystal and knitwear. As Ireland as a whole grows in international appeal, tourists have become more discerning and sophisticated in their tastes for gifts, the Bog Standard product range answers their requirements for a product that is affordable, stylish, portable and representative of Ireland’s heritage.