Today I'm delighted to tell you my good news. On Thursday September 1st I will open a new online venture, Irish American Mom's Giftshop.
Here I hope to share some beautiful pieces of Irish and American artwork and gifts, and help artists on both sides of the Atlantic introduce their wonderful work to a wider audience.
Table of Contents
The Story Behind My Giftshop
A few months ago I received an e-mail from a young entrepreneur Connor with eCommetize in Orlando. He helps create and develop online stores.
After noting how I currently host giveaways to help spread the word about Irish and American artists and writers, Connor suggested I create an online store to streamline the process for anyone interested in purchasing personally curated and hand-picked gifts.
I must confess, my first reaction was to decline Connor. What do I know about online stores? Selling through a website? Irish gifts?
Then, I paused, thought for a moment, and realized, maybe I do know a little bit about Irish gifts and all things Irish.
Overcoming My Fears
So why would I turn down an opportunity such as this?
And the answer is fear. Yes that dreaded emotion fear, and being a true Irish woman, full of Irish guilt and fear, my knee jerk reaction was to close the door on what might be the most wonderful opportunity to come my way since the inception of my blog.
And so I asked myself what am I afraid of? And here's what I came up with.
Firstly, I'm afraid of failure. Yes, my stubborn Irish pride and perfectionism leads to a dreaded fear of failure. But new generations of young Irish are not afraid of failure and small business opportunities. So I decided I need to overcome this ancient Irish trait, and my middle aged doubts. You know how it goes. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
My next big fear is that I might alienate you, my readers. What if you abandon my blog because you feel I'm too pushy, and using my blog as a gimmick for selling, selling, selling? That is definitely not how I want readers to feel about my little corner of the world wide web.
But then Connor reassured me that I will retain control of marketing. My giftshop can live outside my blog and I can link between both sites on my terms. Whew!
And then I contemplated the fact I host giveaways for free, and promote others for free, because I love what they do so much.
Would it be such a bad thing if I made a little money in the process? I do have four kids to get through college after all. And being a triplet mom, probably all four of my kids will hit college at the same time. Yikes!
What Granny Would Have Advised
Finally, when I realized my biggest fear is fear of the unknown, I simply decided to go for it.
I thought about how my grannies might have approached such an opportunity. One granny would have told me that ....
"Everything happens for the best."
"You'll never know unless you try."
My West Cork granny would have been more direct in her approach. She would have told me to ...
"Grab the bull by the horns, and do it."
Or perhaps, she would have been a proponent of another bullish Irish method for tackling problems:
"There comes a time when you must take the bull by the tail and face the situation squarely."
And so, I've decided to take the blessed bull by the horns and the tail and open my little online shop.
In Irish we say ...
"Tapaigh an deis."
(pronunciation "top-ig un deh-sh")
Grasp the opportunity or
Seize the day
And if I still felt a little hesitant, this next Irish saying sorted my fears completely, by telling me, in true Irish fashion, to get on with life, and grasp the opportunities coming my way.....
"Here's to it
and for it
and do it again.
For those that get to it,
And refuse to do it,
May never get to it
To do it again."
~ Old Irish Saying
After reading that old Irish gem, who could sit back and decline a new business opporutnity?
Irish American Mom's Giftshop Launches
And so, my gift shop has taken shape, and on Thursday September 1st 2016, I will officially launch it with a little giveaway.
Every time I host a giveaway I'm humbled by the beautiful comments left by readers, who frequently share their deep seated love of Ireland on the pages of my blog. I know selecting gifts, for those we hold dear, is a cherished task. I hope through my store I will be able to help Irish Americans celebrate our heritage, by curating ideas for thoughtful gifts.
Please feel free to browse through my store, but only buy if you truly love something and can afford the expense.
I am privileged to share the artistry of Ireland and America. If you’re Irish, Irish American or simply Irish at heart, then let me show you the gifts that make my Irish heart sing.
Choosing a perfect Irish gift is a way of sharing memories, of celebrating our Irishness, and teaching our loved ones about our ancestry. Please join me on my new journey.
And don't forget to pop back on Thursday when our doors will open. I'll add all the links needed to discover my Irish American Giftshop.
Update February 2017
I'm afraid this online venture has come to an end, and the virtual doors of my little giftshop have closed.
Due to time constraints and my limited retail expertise, I have decided to return to my original love of writing and focus on blogging rather than merchandising. Thanks to all who browsed and shopped, and supported this adventure. It was a wonderful learning experience.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade
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