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‘Everywhere we have gone we’ve seen our gifts’ – Avokado & Co a hit with Irish at home and abroad

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Avokado & Co. has been creating gifts that bring people closer since 2014.

It’s an Irish Brand that captures Irish expressions of endearment and transforms them into gifts that are fun, creative & above all reminds you of home. The focus is on creative designs and gift products made on site, which have now found their way all over the world. Along side their main business ‘Indigo Signs’ which has been trading for 15 years, the business is run by husband and wife, Claire and Shane Bannon.

Up until the onset of Covid-19, stock was sold from Irish airports and a multitude of large and independent retailers around the country. Like many businesses in the current climate, Claire had to focus on online sales and marketing and took the time over the summer to rethink the consumer market.

Claire remarks that Avokado & Co. have seen their expressions like ‘What’s The Craic’, ‘Ah For Feck’s Sake’ and ‘Turn Off The Immersion’ go all over the world. “Everywhere we have gone, and our friends have gone, in Irish pubs and homes, you would see our gifts. We walked into a pub in Sorrento in Italy last year and there was one of our signs hanging up. We walked into the Long Hall pub in New York City and there before us, were four or five of them. They’re everywhere”.

In the summertime and with the persistence of the pandemic, Claire felt people needed a reason to smile. In response to this, a new range of kindness and wellness gifts were created. The aim was to bring the gift of a smile, to bring people together, while they were apart. These included expressions such as ‘kind people are my kinda people’, ‘small steps, everyday’ and ‘in this together,’ Claire notes that there has been a great buy-in online.

She comments on one of the favourite gifts within the range, “We have a teddy bear that says, ‘While we’re apart, a cuddle from my heart.’ In that you can write a note on the teddy bear and a note on the box. I’m nearly in tears every day from the people’s stories of what they are writing. Notes about babies that relatives haven’t met yet, people not coming home for Christmas, husbands and wives who are in different countries. Our Send a Cuddle Teddy Bears are really touching people’s hearts.”

Normally, this time of year, we would be getting ready to attend the massive week long Christmas Irish Craft Fair in the RDS, Dublin, but due to the pandemic, Claire explains that the website is now essentially their Christmas store. Throughout the lockdown, she has taken a number of marketing courses and has learned the value of social media in business, although admits, “It’s hard work but is paying off”.

With this shift in the business model, Claire is cognisant that not everybody is able to access the internet and shop online. Catering for the older generation, she has created a catalogue and hopes that any elderly customers that ring her to make a purchase will be greeted warmly and have their needs met. A click and collect service is currently in operation and includes all items on the website, including personalised Christmas gifts.

With eyes on the future, Claire concludes with, “We have great plans for 2021 to get out there physically once again, although things are changing all the time.”

For more information check out www.avokadoandco.com or telephone 061 718786

An avid reader from a young age, Cian’s love of the archives has been shared by Clare Echo readers who enjoy his Reeling in The Years section. Charles Dickens, Terry Pratchett and Michael Crichton were his favourites writers in his younger years while he was always a fan of studying the opinion columns in The Irish Independent. A past pupil of Lissycasey National School and St Flannan’s College, he is currently completing his final year studies at the University of Limerick in New Media and English. From September, he will be commencing a Masters Degree in Journalism at UL.

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