THE MINI POST APPAREL & GOODS
Meath woman Orlagh O’Reilly (40) spent much of her career in London as a brand consultant specialising in fashion, beauty and retail before moving home to Dublin where she now lives with her husband Oran and children Kiki (6) and Dillon Blu (2). When Georgina Ahern bought her husband Nicky Byrne and his co-presenter Jenny Greene matching Northsider/Southsider sweatshirts courtesy of The Mini Post Apparel, Orlagh O’Reilly’s website almost crashed.
“Customers are my biggest brand ambassadors, I owe everything to them and social media,” admits Orlagh, a fashion brand consultant who splits her time between London and Dublin — consulting with high street and luxury stores and developing her own thriving online business from her home in Sandycove.
The organic lifestyle-led design brand is very much inspired by Ireland, with riffs on Irish colloquialisms that have now become popular with the Irish diaspora around the world. “It all started with the ‘Deadly’ T-shirt, which is still the most popular item. I designed one for my kids and took a picture of them wearing it as a way to announce we were home, and I was inundated with people asking me where I got it,” says Orlagh.
Initially it was the design that struck a chord with parents; ‘ Rapid’, ‘ Deadly’, ‘How’ya’, all phrases that capture the Irish wit and personality; they were something cool, modern and fresh for both kids and adults to wear that was inherently Irish without being twee. But the clothing line further resonated with customers when they understood its organic trail.
“My daughter Kiki had terrible eczema when she was a baby and I spent a lot of time researching the chemicals that are used in clothing. I’ve also worked in fashion for years and have seen the conditions in factories. It’s horrific, so when it came to starting my own clothing business, it had to be 100pc organic.”
The cotton is sourced in India and overseen by the Fairwear Foundation, which improves working conditions for workers in garment factories.
In the instant gratification world we live in, this process can be challenging; there’s no next-day delivery. One of Orlagh’s biggest worries is the length of time it takes to make and deliver the products. “This isn’t throwaway fast fashion. Growing up we all got my cousins’ clothes and when we were finished with them, they were handed 2 September 2017 down again, they were made to last. So far, there’s been no complaints, people are very understanding and excited about the product, they’re willing to wait,” notes Orlagh, who is pleasantly surprised by her first year in business — it has grown from clothing to stationery and accessories.
“I had no five-year plan or forecast,” she laughs. “I was just passionate about creating something for my kids that impacts their world. It’s about starting a conversation and inspiring each other. Good ideas can only get you so far, there has to be passion.”
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