The McGarvey brothers of Donegal Pens have just made a major investment in their business taking it to a new level.
Not to be beaten by the refusal of funding from state agencies due to their young age, the Loughanure boys have taken a huge step to further their business.
Ronan, 17, and Conor, 14, travelled to the UK where they spent “quite a lot” of their hard earned cash on a new laser engraving system.
The boys had been outsourcing their engraving work since last year but decided that it was time to look at in-house engraving.
The newly installed Mantech laser machine now allows them to laser engrave names, messages, logos, etc on the wood part of their handmade pens. In addition to that they can also engrave glass, marble, tile, ceramics, aluminium, leather and many other materials. They have even personalised the flutes for the Mullaghduff marching band.
The new system is one of just four from the long established UK based Mantech company’s laser systems that is operating in Ireland and the boys are excited about the new addition to their business.
“We explored this option for quite some time but the price of some of the basic laser systems we looked at exceeded €12,000 and that just wasn’t within our budget. We were put in touch with Mantech UK and travelled over to see their high end equipment and soon realised it was what we needed.
“We underwent onsite training at their facility, and following some negotiations on price, we returned to Loughanure with the new system for somewhat less than €12,000,” said Conor.
The boys looked at several machine options and finally went with a model that can both engrave and cut a variety of materials. It has an engraving bed size of 600 x 400mm that will allow them to carry out many other projects in addition to engraving their pens.
They were fortunate to secure a very large corporate order for pens recently and decided they would reinvest the proceeds and put it towards the funds required for the new system.
“It was a huge sum of money to be handing over but we decided that we would take the plunge and add a new dimension to our business. Unfortunately our age restricts us from receiving any grant aid or financial support which we feel is ridiculous. It’s not much of an incentive for young entrepreneurs when funding agencies won’t entertain you because “you’re too young” but that isn’t going to stop us in trying to bring Donegal Pens to a new level,” said Ronan.
It took a bit of time for the boys to get accustomed to the new equipment but they have finally ironed out all the issues and are now up and running with the latest addition to their business.
“So far we’ve had a lot of enquiries and orders for both personal and corporate gifts. The fact that we can engrave company logos etc is a huge bonus as businesses like to use our pens as corporate gifts. Our options for engraving and cutting are basically unlimited so we are excited about this new chapter for Donegal Pens,” added Conor.
Donegal Pens are now stocked in just under forty outlets in Ireland and three in Germany, and the new engraving option is also available on www.donegalpens.com