When did you set up your business and why?
I officially started my own website in May 2021 after softly opening on Etsy with a smaller number of items before that.
I had been blogging for many years as a hobby and even have a YouTube channel (Aideen Fallon) where I show crafting and knitting tutorials.
I have always loved making things and sharing the love of craft with others and after rediscovering knitting in recent years, that’s when I really found my grá for all things knitwear.
Can you explain your process?
With my knitted pieces, I like to try to be conscious of obviously keeping my pieces slow and sustainable, so most of my supplies are bought here in Irish stores.
For example, with the merino stocaí baby booties, I picked a wool available from some small online Irish wool shops, the tags then are lasered cork leather.
The stocaí are made from 100% pure merino wool and the tag is made from cork, so not only are they sustainable, but could even be composted - how cool is that?
I like to work with other lovely small business people that I know, so that I am able to design and make my own tags, stationery, etc, all here in Ireland.
This means that when you make a purchase, you are supporting a few small businesses, which is amazing.
What is your best seller?
Currently, my knitted puimcíní (pumpkins) are very popular, followed closely by Croia personalised baby cardigans and Babóg beanies.
The puimcíní are perfect for autumnal decorating as they add a lovely texture and interest to your seasonal displays.
Then with the cardis, I think there is nothing cuter than tiny knitwear on babies and how sweet and cosy they look.
The personalised cardigans make a wonderful keepsake gift or also are the perfect way to reveal your special little bundle's name. I have snuggly beanies for adults and babógs too.
What is it about your business that brings you joy?
Knitting itself is a mindful activity that really brings me joy - from the designing to the finishing touches, like naming my products using fun Irish words and even the wrapping is a pleasure.
I always say buying and then unboxing your order from a small business is a totally different experience to buying from large-scale stores.
Getting lovely feedback and being tagged in photos of people wearing their Fluff Beag items is definitely another wonderful feeling.
What are your hopes for the next year?
I am at a place with Fluff Beag where I have been brain storming ideas for expanding without having to hand-make every item myself, as I only have two hands!
Now I do have some wonderful ladies who help out, including my mom - it really does takes a village.
So, with that in mind, I have started looking at some possible brands to stock in my shop with a focus on handmade, sustainable and ethical items, so watch this space!
What advice would you give to another start-up business?
Make a start or take the next step now - I always say even just to start maybe on Instagram or somewhere and get a feel of what people think of your products.
The interactions on Instagram will help guide you and will also give you a boost to keep going.
I share a lot of other Irish small business finds over on my own Instagram too with the hashtag #siopaglas.
I am all about community over competition and would much rather see others buying from other amazing small Irish shops and supporting these wonderful people's dreams rather than the usual mass-produced items.
Visit www.fluffbeag.ie or follow on Instagram @fluffbeag.