Life | Business | 11 months ago

Brought to you by Popertee. 

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business?

This time last year Irish sisters, Gigi and Cavanagh Foyle's successful neon sign business, bag&bones, was only an idea in the back of their minds. Fast forward to the present day and they're running a successful business, making waves in the design world and looking to add to their London premises with a Popertee pop-up shop this Christmas.

If you haven't heard of the girls then you will soon. The Clifden duo is taking the business world by storm with their flashy neon light creations. With clients such as Kate Moss, Grazia and Alexander McQueen under their belt things are looking bright for next year (pun intended).


We caught up with the sisters to talk creativity, pop-ups, and how to start a business in 2017.

Were you both interested in Art and Design growing up?
Yes, very much so. We would often be dragged to auctions and antique fairs with Mum and Dad so have grown up with an appreciation for art. Although,  back then, an antique fair was our idea of hell. Now, I can’t think of a nicer way to spend a day. Our Dad is a really creative, passionate and talented character. We definitely inherited his artistic abilities and he was always the first to encourage us to pursue all creative endeavours. I remember him always telling us to think outside the box…think differently!
What did you study at school/college?

I did a science degree and Cavanagh studied law but we have always been frustrated artists at heart!

How did the idea for the business come about?

I have always loved neon for as long as I can remember the seductive glow of neon has lured me in. It just has such a positive effect on my mood. I have bag&bones neon all over my house and whenever I turn it on my mood is instantly lifted.

When did you start the business?

1st July 2016 (just 5 months ago!).

Did you face any struggles getting the business off the ground?

Managing our time! It seems like we never have enough time, especially once we're in the design phase. There's a lot more to running a business than creating the products and sometimes we wish there wasn't as it's what we love most about our jobs.

Is it hard juggling a business and personal time?

At the moment I am rarely not working but because creating bag&bones has been a lifelong ambition and neon a lifelong love, I don't really see it as work. I mean, don't get me wrong it can be full on. But I love it and if I had to think and talk about neon all day long for the rest of my life, I wouldn't mind at all. Although, my friends and family might get tired of my chat!

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs starting out?

I love this question and we get asked it a lot and we always give the same answer; Work hard. Be nice. It sounds quite simple but it is so true. We put all of our early success down to this.

In this world, I think too many people think you have to play hard-ball to get to where you want to go but I think the complete opposite. Being open and nice has got us to where we are. I don't think exposing your vulnerabilities is a bad thing. We have always been honest about our strengths and our weaknesses and it has served us well.

Who has been your biggest client to date?

Kate Moss! Her agency asked us to turn their logo into neon. We love pretty much everything about Kate, her style, her drive, her passion. To make a bag&bones light for her was such an honour.

You’re setting up a pop-up shop in Temple Bar this Christmas, have you used pop-up shops before?

Yes, we’ve just done one in Notting Hill, London. It’s a really great way to get your brand out there.

Do you feel like this is a good way to grow your brand?

Yes, it builds brand awareness and allows for collaboration with other like-minded brands. We are collaborating with The Minipost and YoungHearts at our pop-up on 2nd and 3rd of Decemeber. It's a really good opportunity for us all to build our brands.

For small businesses, the option of having a shop is just not always possible due to high rents and rates. So, doing a pop-up gives you the benefit of getting your brand out there. People can see your wares, you get all the benefits of a shop without the unaffordable overheads. Plus, the locations of pop-ups, in particular, our pop-up at The Library Project in Temple Bar, is amazing.


Here is the Popertee space in Temple Bar that bag&bones will be part of this Christmas. There are still places available for the festive period this year. 
Would you recommend them to other entrepreneurs?

Yes, 100%!

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

I think the speed at which we have grown the brand is pretty remarkable. The fact that big brands are coming to us, it’s just amazing. We never dreamed we would be this successful this quickly. We are super grateful for all we have achieved so far, it’s a dream come true!

What are your plans for the future?

Well, we would like everyone in the UK and Ireland to have a bag&bones neon in their home...oh to hell with like...we would love everyone in the world to have a bag&bones neon in their home. You never know!

This article is brought to you by Popertee.

Have you got a budding business? Ever thought of using a pop-up? Research has shown that 68% of consumers prefer to shop in-store and 61% of these shoppers go to pop-up shops to find seasonal products. Popertee offers businesses prime pop-up locations. This Christmas they have locations at Pearse Street train station, 53 South William Street, 1 Dame Lane, Merchants Quay Cork and Scotch House, Burgh Quay. 



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