Wild Oats Soap, a Lismore kitchen table start up, borne from a love of natural oils, pure scent and the dearth of soap products for sensitive skin has recently won contracts to supply some of Ireland’s leading retail outlets.
The idea to produce fresh fragrant soaps for sensitive skin was the brainchild of marketing professional Karen Cottier back in 2013. Three years later, Karen was joined by analytical scientist, Deirdre Meany and Wild Oats Soaps Ltd was founded. In less than a year, Wild Oats Soap, has expanded its range to include not just soaps, but baths milks and body oils.
Before developing its Tender range, Karen and Deirdre approached Waterford Local Enterprise Office to enquire about what support services were available to help them grow their business.
“Upscaling and developing new ranges takes time, money and support. With the help of Waterford LEO in the form of business advice, mentoring, training and financial support we were able to focus on developing the business and hone our strategy.”
Karen added, “Any small business owner will tell you there aren’t enough hours in the day. However, the support of Waterford LEO gave Wild Oats the time and the opportunity to expand production, explore new markets and export potential.”
Wild Oats Soaps is produced using hand-picked local botanicals, which are then mixed with the finest oils. In addition, they are further blended with Flahavan’s Organic Oats, which provide a natural form of nourishment and protection for the skin.
From the kitchen table to the shelves of leading pharmacies, Ardkeen Quality Foodstores, Kilkenny Design Centre, Galway’s Evergreen chain, Nicolas Mosse Pottery in Kilkenny amongst many other stores, Wild Oats Soap is much in demand both as a beautiful gift and for the many Irish people suffering from skin problems who want scent free, detergent free, natural and moisturising soap products.
Mr. Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at Waterford LEO said that the combination of Karen and Deirdre’s diverse yet complementary skillsets, along with their determination to create a quality and attractive product were the keys to their business success.
“Karen and Deirdre came to us with an attractive, well researched product. They identified a gap in the market for tender skin products and created this product that perfectly fit that gap.”
“Waterford LEO was delighted to support them by providing mentoring and a capital grant to move into a more suitable production facility. Seeing a product that started in the kitchen and is now a prominent feature on the shelves of leading pharmacies and retailers is a ringing endorsement of the hard work and dedication of Karen and Deirdre.”
If you have a business idea and would like to find out more about what support services are available, call Local Enterprise Office Waterford on 0761 102905 or call into the offices at 35 The Mall, Waterford or The Civic Offices, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.
A list of LEO support services is also available on www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford
Continuing our tradition of Wear Red Day, WLRfm are asking you and your colleagues to join us on Friday, 16th December, wear Red To Work and make a donation to the WLR FM Christmas Appeal.
Whether you want to wear a red dress, a red tie or a full on Santa suit, it's totally up to you. But join us for the festive fun, we'll give you plenty of plugs and thanks on-air and you'll be helping people in need in Waterford.
Sign up here.
WINTERVAL NEEDS YOUR HELP
Excitement is building ahead of Winterval 2016 and Waterford's Businesses are invited once again to be a part of this fantastic Festival.
We know that many of you would like to show your support for the Festival, IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO HELP donate even €10 today, every euro counts!
Now in it's 5th year, Winterval aims to help make Waterford City the Number 1 destination for Christmas shopping and festive family days out in Ireland. Supported by Waterford City Council Co Co, local hoteliers and a range of Waterford Businesses, Winterval depends upon a network of committed and energetic volunteers, dedicated to organising events throughout Waterford City.
As a joint business and community project we need the support of every business in Waterford, join us and be part of making Winterval 2016 the best Christmas festival Ireland has ever seen!
Winterval Local Business Supporters will receive:
- A window sticker for your premises or vehicle to identify you as a Winterval Local Business Supporter
- We will retweet or answer some of your tweets to spread your word to our followers.
- Entry into the Winterval 2016 Local Business Competitions in the following 5 categories:
- Best Winterval Staff Christmas Jumper
- Best Winterval Hot Chocolate
- Best Winterval Cocktail
- Best Winterval Window Display
- Best Winterval In House Display
Together we can make a difference, contact Mailo Power, Winterval Hospitality Chair on 051 833 999 or email:
The Department of Creative and Performing Arts BA (Honours) Music will celebrate its annual Christmas concert on Thursday, 1 December in the College Street Chapel at 7 pm.
The WIT Christmas concert is a free event, open to the public that offers a mix of non-Christmassy music as well as a few Christmas tunes.
People of Waterford are invited to come along and listen to a night of music and song from the most promising musicians in the region. Donations will be taken in aid of Focus Ireland.
Students in WIT’s music school and undergraduate students on the music degree will showcase their talent, performing a wide-ranging programme from Mozart to a choral arrangement of Metallica. There will be performances from the WIT orchestra and ensembles, including traditional, guitar, jazz and the chamber choir.
The WIT orchestra comprises over forty musicians including undergraduates from the BA (Hons) Music and students of the WIT Music School, under the directorship of Stephen Mackey.
They will perform Beethoven Symphony no. 6., Mendelssohn Violin Concerto ( andante ) with soloist Eimear Heeney, and some Stephen Sondheim with soloist Tadgh Brennan.
WIT Chamber Choir
The orchestra together with WIT Chamber Choir, directed by Bridget Knowles, and accompanied by Dr. Marian Ingoldsby will perform Mozart ‘Laudate Dominum’ and the choir will perform arrangements of Keane’s ‘Somewhere Only We Know’, Metallica’s ‘Nothing Else Matters’ and Pentatonix ‘White Winter Hymnal.’
WIT traditional ensemble
The WIT traditional ensemble directed by uileann piper Dr Jimmy O’Brien Moran will play the tunes of old Irish collections along with their own take on standard traditional repertoire. The ensemble performs a selection from lively jigs and reels to the beautiful slow airs of old Irish tradition featuring banjo, flutes, mandolin, piano and uilleann pipes.
WIT guitar ensemble
The WIT guitar ensemble led by Irish guitar virtuoso Michael O’Toole is an exciting and alternative approach to instrumental music. Performing their take on contemporary music, their eclectic repertoire creates a unique soundscape that is an unmissable experience for all music lovers.
WIT jazz ensemble
The WIT jazz ensemble plays a collection of jazz compositions from a variety of styles including swing, bebop, latin and modern. It is led by accomplished composer Philip Collins who has brought his own style and influence to this ensemble through his arrangement of standards from the repertoire.
Hot Club de WIT
Hot Club de WIT is a vibrant new group led by guitarist Dylan Bible combining acoustic guitars, violin, clarinet, double bass, electric bass and vocals to create an infectious classic Hot Club vibe. Their up-tempo and dynamic sound is based on various musical styles encapsulated by the “gypsy-sound”, inspired by Django Reinhardt’s “Jazz Manouche” style with a modern twist.
The Viking Triangle in Waterford has been named as the “Great Place” in Ireland and the UK at a prestigious awards event in London.
The award is one of five given out annually by The Academy of Urbanism to recognise the best, most enduring or most improved cities, towns, neighbourhoods, streets and places. Voted on by Academicians, who include leading architects, planners and developers, each award looks at a number of social, economic and environmental factors, including good governance and commercial success.
The Viking Triangle beat off competition from the Greenwich Market in London and the Leicester Market in Northern Ireland to win the award.
The judges noted that the Viking Triangle is more than a traditional physical regeneration initiative. “Supported by a strong historical narrative and harnessing the best of their assets, their strategy has been simple yet effective. Public funding has served as a catalyst and with local buy-in this has led to an improved perception of the area. In turn this has enhanced the quality of life and competitiveness of local business which is leading to private sector investment” said Nick Childs, lead assessor.
The Viking Triangle wasn’t the only Irish winner – Clonakilty won The Great Town Award.
Sarah Richards always had a creative streak. After graduating from the Crawford College of Art and Design, the young art student funded her fledgling painting projects through baking.
This newly discovered passion heralded a change in career for Sarah and she trained as a chef at Ballymaloe Cookery School. It was under the tutelage of the Allens that she discovered her love of bread making.
Fast forward ten years and three children later, Sarah recently opened The Seagull Bakery, a small artisan sourdough bakery in Tramore, Co. Waterford.
From home-bakes in the kitchen to a busy town-centre bakery that produces hundreds of sourdough loaves, pastries and buns daily, Sarah’s journey in entrepreneurship was bolstered by assistance and advice from Waterford Local Enterprise Office.
“When I started baking, I had no idea where the business was going, I didn’t have a business plan or any long-term forecasts or projections, I just loved baking sourdough bread.”
“Baking at home and selling loaves at local farmer’s markets and festivals was the starting point. However, as demand for our sourdough grew, not just in Waterford but throughout the region, I realised we had a choice to make. Do we keep going as we are or do we commit to expanding, taking on new staff and investing in a new premises?”
“I met with Waterford LEO and the advice, assistance and support I received was invaluable. It took the fear and uncertainty out of expansion. While initially I felt a little out of my comfort zone, it gave me the confidence I needed to drive the business and take it to the next level.”
With the opening of the Seagull Bakery in September, Sarah now employs three bakers in the quaint artisan bakery which supplies to customers, restaurants, cafes, artisan shops and farmers’ markets.
Mr. Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at Waterford Local Enterprise Office said “Sarah is the embodiment of the entrepreneurial spirit in Waterford. She had reached a stage with the business where the easiest and safest option would have been to keep going as is. However, like many a great entrepreneur she was passionate about her product and wasn’t afraid to fail, so she just went for it.”
“I have always said Waterford entrepreneurs, in particular those in the food industry, are almost zealous about providing the highest calibre of product. Sarah had the baking expertise and skills to create a wonderful product, and with some funding, mentoring and support from Waterford LEO, she was able to turn her passion into a successful enterprise.”
Since LEO Waterford opened its doors in Waterford and Dungarvan in 2014, almost 1,000entrepreneurs have availed of the myriad of support services on offer from LEO Waterford helping them take their businesses to the next level.
As part of a network of 31 LEO’s across the country, Waterford LEO works with people thinking of starting or growing a business by giving them access to the full range of State supports from different Government bodies, such as Waterford City and County Council, Enterprise Ireland, Department of Social Protection, the Credit Review Office and training bodies.
If you are thinking of expanding your business, call Local Enterprise Office Waterford on 0761 102905 or call into the offices at 35 The Mall, Waterford or The Civic Offices, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.
A list of LEO support services is also available on localenterprise.ie/Waterford