New online store siopa.com, offering overseas customers products from Irish designers, expects to see an annual turnover of €10 million and 100 new jobs created from local suppliers.
Siopa.com was set up by Irish entrepreneur Lulu O’Sullivan who has worked in online retail for over 15 years with giftsdirect.com. The new store will offer unique, authentic products from Irish designers and producers targeted at the 40 million Irish Diaspora in the US.
The online store was launched by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the site expects to have an annual turnover of over €10 million. The Irish crafts industry is work €500 million annually in general.
In addition, it expects to create 100 local jobs in indigenous Irish craft and gift businesses and small producers across the country.
“We are honoured that An Taoiseach, Mr. Enda Kenny, T.D., was available to officially launch siopa.com today,” said O’Sullivan.
“As part of siopa.com my team and I travel extensively around Ireland to source the best quality traditional products and we can now provide an extensive outlet for unique Irish products such as Foxford Wool Blankets from Co. Mayo and Belleek Pottery from Co Fermanagh.
“With jewellery and traditional craftspeople still at the heart of Irish creative talent, we are proud to support this talent and are delighted to be in a position to provide those living overseas with a convenient way to stay connected to their heritage,” said O’Sullivan.
Potential of online retail
Siopa.com’s business partners employ 12,000 Irish people directly and 300 indirectly in supply, distribution and other activities. The store supports over 100 Irish suppliers, whose ranges include brands such as Waterford and Tiperrary Crystal and Carraig Donn Knitwear.
“At a time of serious economic challenges in the country, I believe that siopa.com represents the very best of Irish innovation and entrepreneurship with the real potential to grow jobs and exports,” said Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
“It is companies like these: export-led, online focused, that have the potential to return to Ireland and its people a sense of pride, financial stability and hope for the future.”
Commemorative pin for Obama
For the launch of the site, a commemorative pin was commissioned for US President Barack Obama for his visit to Ireland on 23 May.
The pin fuses Obama’s dual ancestral heritage which incorporates a Celtic image and a tribal image of the Kenyan ethnic group Luo. A limited number of pins are available from siopa.com.