Sisters flip from fashion flop… to workshop gurus
THREE sisters, whose online fashion start-up floundered leaving debts of some €900,000, have reinvented themselves as business gurus, charging €349 for a six-hour workshop.
In 2013, Jennie, Sarah and Grace McGinn, started Opsh, an online marketplace for highstreet fashion and received hundreds of thousands of euro in funding in three years.
Opsh secured €25,000 start-up funding from Enterprise Ireland in 2014 through the Competitive Start Fund and another €25,000 in 2015. The State agency followed up with a further €250,000 in 2015, for a total taxpayer investment of €300,000.
In 2015 Opsh also raised €336,000 from a company controlled by Brett Palos, stepson of Topshop founder Philip Green. In 2015 the company was liquidated with debts of €894,124 after two years’ trading. Accounts for the year the business was liquidated show that salaries and directors’ pay had hit €276,544, up from €96,981 the previous year. At the time, the sisters spoke in a statement of their ‘great sadness’ at the failure of company.
‘Ultimately we fell victim to the notoriously difficult investment chasm – the chasm that exists when a sparky start-up needs to move into a global-looking machine,’ they wrote.
Now, they have embarked on a new venture Sister The Agency, which promises to ‘accelerate your business’. They offer workshops for smallbusiness owners that, according to their website, cover branding, business modelling, best practices in digital marketing and ecommerce. The sisters would not comment.
Debts: Grace, Jennie and Sarah McGinn whose fashion website Opsh failed