Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Irish gift of an idea...

BLOOMING MARVELLOUS: Alix Mulholland's giftware company has still flourished even in these difficult times

Alix Mulholland’s range of giftware is anything but Bog Standard, despite the name, and her diverse range of Irish-inspired products suit tourists and locals alike

When young Northern Irish woman Alix Mulholland submitted her Business Studies coursework at university aged 22, she had no idea that a decade down the line her quirkily named giftware company Bog Standard would have developed from a kitchen-table enterprise into a highly successful and growing business.

Bog Standard is fast becoming a vibrant favourite in Ireland for stylish giftware with a quirky Irish twist. The products can now be found in fashionable boutiques, giftware stores across Ireland and increasingly in the UK.

It has also developed a firm following online, where www.bogstandard.ie is generating 20% of the company’s overall sales.

Fragranced candles are the signature products in the Bog Standard range, which extends to beautiful triple-milled soaps and a vintage-inspired collection of Irish linens, all packaged with eye-catching attention to detail.

Each fragrance is inspired by Irish lifestyles and landscapes, making them an instant hit with visitors and natives alike. “Bog Standard’s original bestselling scents Irish Linen and Irish Field are still firm favourites, but new additions, such as Irish Orchard and Irish Clover, have been extremely well received by customers,” explains Alix.

“The giftware market in general remains extremely competitive, but I believe that one of the important factors in Bog Standard’s success is the fact that we are providing quality Irish-inspired products that suit the developing tourist trade and also appeal to the lucrative domestic market and UK mainland customers.”

She adds: “Ireland itself and our breathtaking landscapes have world-wide appeal, and our products aim to bring a little bit of that into the home. It’s important that we listen very carefully to our retail-trade customer feedback. We are continuously developing the product range and have just launched a range of scented drawer sachets in response to requests from our stockists for more products at lower price points.

“The fragranced sachets have been very popular and we will be developing complimentary products later this summer.”

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