The #BuyDonegal campaign has assisted enterprises of all types, size and scale in collectively profiling the very best of design, craft, food, beverages and more in the county.
Here we speak with Gary Doherty-McClenaghan founder of The Donegal Wax Co.
This has been a frantic year for Gary, alongside his day job as a Sales Representative for the Donegal News, Gary finished his studies earlier in 2020 having completed a degree in business. While many may have taken some time out, his burning desire to start his own business producing candles and wax products, saw the established of The Donegal Wax Co. in the summer of 2020.
The Donegal Wax Co. started off initially with a primary focus on wax melts as a fragrance offering for the home or car, with an environmentally friendly soy based product. Quickly Gary realised an opportunity to expand his range and looked at the candle market, using Donegal heritage as a key focus with products including Tweed and Turf offerings.
As well as offering bespoke handmade products, focusing on seasonal lines for events such as Halloween and now Christmas, has helped drive further sales and awareness for his brand. Gary feels that the #BuyDonegal campaign is a huge boost to businesses such as his. “People didn’t realise what was on their own doorstep,” he said.
“I’ve received lots of positive feedback from customers who came upon my business through the buydonegal.com website. I’ve also found products and services from other Donegal businesses that I didn’t know existed and have also started using them. It’s been a great collaborative effort among businesses too.”
Over #BuyDonegalWeekend Gary saw orders come in from all over Ireland, the UK and even Australia. As well as the appeal of a hand crafted product, he believes one of the most important elements of success for his business, is the use of the Donegal name as part of his business.
“The Donegal brand is very strong right now. There is a history and heritage linked with Donegal made products and I hope my business can continue to build upon and strengthen this positive association,” Gary said.
So what lies ahead for Donegal Wax Co.? Looking at the profile of sales already achieved, Gary is determined to further develop his export business with a course from the Local Enterprise Office in Donegal, having already availed of the Start Your Own Business Course before establishing the business.
There has also been interest for retail outlets in his products both locally and nationally.
While 2020 was an unforgettable year for Gary for many reasons, he is determined his success will continue to shine brightly in 2021 for him and many other Donegal hand crafted businesses.