Archive for Our business

Word of Mouse Marketing Seminar in Limerick on October 7th

I travelled up to Limerick yesterday to attend the Word of Mouse Marketing seminar organised by the IIA and the Limerick County Enterprise Board. It was a very interesting and informative event. The morning session was given by Krishna De – the well known Internet marketing and Social Media expert. The whole social media space is one I have an interest in and in the last few months have dipped the PuddleDucks toes in the water of the social media sea. We have this blog, we have a Facebook page, we have started advertising on Facebook and I am soon to start a PuddleDucks presence on Twitter. The reason for all this is to find new ways to reach and keep in touch with our customers about our PuddleDucks products, news, offers, etc. The great thing about marketing on social media platforms is that it is free of charge but does need a sizeable time investment. This is the great difference between the old way of doing things in the established media and the new way on the new social media. As Krishna said – everyone can now be a marketer for their business as the new platforms are free or inexpensive.

Krishna’s presentation was very interesting and here’s a few “to-do’s” I have taken away from it:

  • set PuddleDucks up on Twitter
  • create a PuddleDucks photo page on – maybe show photos of our our lovely gift wrapping
  • register on key social networks
  • check and maybe update my personal profile on social networking sites
  • check on RSS reader on our blog and allow email subscriptions to the blog
  • put link to our Xtreme PuddleDucking video on our next email newsletter!

The afternoon sessions were also very enjoyable especially Fred Karsson of who shared his experiences of building a successful online business. Fred’s presentation was both informative and humerous and it’s amazing how DoneDeal has built their business to be so successful in a relatively short time. One tip I have taken from Fred’s talk is to check our spend on Google Adwords and reduce the Cost per Click for the top performing ads.

Of course the networking opportunities are very important too. I met Liz from StyleBible– who had very kindly written a review of PuddleDucks on her site. I had a long chat too with Roseanne of IIA blog fame about Twitter (she live-twittered the event), blogging and how her kids love wearing their PuddleDucks “fireman’s trousers”.

Overall a very enjoyable day. Thanks to all the organisers and presenters.

— Aedan

Comments (7)

Jack and Jill Foundation

The Jack and Jill Foundation is our designated charity and we are delighted to donate one percent of our sales to supporting their good work. The Foundation provides home respite for young children who suffer from severe developmental delay and associated problems. It provides direct funding to parents enabling them to purchase essential care for their kids. 

As you may know, the Jack and Jill foundation organise a recycling scheme for your old mobile phones, digital cameras and printer cartridges. All proceeds go to the work of the charity. To help all you need to do is to send your old phone and any other redundant digital paraphernalia free of charge to :

The Jack & Jill Appeal, Freepost, Ratoath Road, Finglas, Dublin 11.

Working phones are refurbished and exported to developing countries. Broken phones are recycled using the correct environmental methods. The funds are used to provide respite care to families with children with developmental needs.

Leave a Comment

The Ploughing

We’re on the road again this week – attending the National Ploughing Championships in Cuffesgrange, Kilkenny from Tuesday to Thursday. This is our fourth year attending “the Ploughing” and we’ve always loved it. It’s hard work but great craic – meeting and chatting to people especially as we’re mostly stuck behind a computer screen for the remainder of the year. And the PuddleDucks gear is very well suited to country and farming folk. I’m always amazed by the event … If you’ve never seen it – it’s really something to behold – setting up a small city for a few days in a large field in a different location each year.

If you’re planning on attending please call and say “hello”. We’re have a stand in the marquee called “Strawhall” which is in row M.

Leave a Comment

The PuddleDucks Facebook Fan Page

We’ve set up a Facebook fan page for PuddleDucks here. I’m not a big Facebook user but having a fan page looks looks like an interesting way of keeping in touch with customers. If a few people add themselves as fans then we can keep them up to date with new products, special offers and other news. Maybe people can join in a discussion, add photos or videos or maybe add reviews. Let’s see how it goes anyway – if you think it’s worthwhile and use Facebook, we’d really appreciate it if you would join as a fan.

Leave a Comment

EYE Show – City Hall Cork – 19th/20th September

We will have a stand at the the Early Years Eduction show in the City Hall Cork on Sepetmber 19th and 20th. We’re really looking forward to it. We also had a stand at the EYE Show in the RDS back in April – which was good for us. It had a good atmosphere and was very well organised. We got some great leads from it.

Our waterproofs are very well suited to kids in creches, pre-schools and primary schools. Our Everyday Dungarees and Waterproof Suits allow the children to get out and play no matter what the weather. We sell high visibility vests, bibs and have recently added a new range of great waterproof aprons for pre-school kids.

If you’re going along to the Cork show, we look forward to meeting you there.

Leave a Comment

We’re a Lifestyle Business

Lifestyle Business (wikipedia definition): Lifestyle Businesses are businesses that are set up and run by their founders primarily with the aim of sustaining a particular level of income and no more; or to provide a foundation from which to enjoy a particular lifestyle.

We love watching the Dragons Den on BBC2. I could never appear on it myself though – I’d be so nervous that I’d never even make it up those stairs! Anyway, the dragons often refer to businesses as a Lifestyle Business – and as Peter Jones would say – Lifestyle Business – can’t see an investment in it – So I’m out’. PuddleDucks is surely one of those businesses so it got me thinking about what a lifestyle business means to me (at this moment in time anyway..).

Sometimes doing the first few orders in my pyjamas (and occasionally getting dressed in a panic when I see an unexpected customer turn up who doesn’t realise we don’t have a shop
Working three times as many hours and earning a fraction of the pay that I used to
Learning how to do everything in a business from buying the stamps to forecasting the future
Answering the phone and taking an order while cooking the dinner
Not being able to take a holiday at the moment despite imaging a life of carefree summers
Being too busy to even think about our Wedding Anniversary tomorrow let alone celebrate it
Worrying when the sun shines too many days in a row (too quiet)
Worrying when it rains too many days in a row (too busy)
Watching Greys Anatomy at the same time as filing away the days orders (back in my pyjamas again!)

And it also means
Being there to pick up J. from school every day
Both of us being there for J. at Sports Days and for Christmas plays
Sharing the parenting as well as taking it in turns to cook the dinner (hurrah!)
And on a rare sunny afternoon being able to seize the moment and just head off to the beach


Leave a Comment

Online sales increasing as retail sales decrease?

These are interesting times to be an online retailer. We are all familiar with the overall retail sales figures over the last few months showing an overall drop in activity. In Ireland, the latest statistics came from the CSO showing that the volume of Irish retail sales fell by 5.2% in the year to June.

In the UK online spending is increasing while at the same time high street sales are going down. High Street sales decreased by 0.9% from June to July which in the same period, online sales increased by 11.3% in July from June – (reported on Vnunet).

Your shopping cart ...

I wonder if this is the same situation in Ireland. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was, although I have been unable to find the statistics to back this up.

Comments (2)

Business Nightmares …

Now, I don’t mean the kind of nightmare where you find out your last order of stock is enroute to Hong Kong instead of Cork,  I mean the night-time fast asleep kind of nightmare.  We’ve been pretty busy recently and I’ve been spending a lot of time packaging up our orders into all shapes and sizes of envelopes.  Well, it’s obviously been getting a bit too much because last night I woke in a cold sweat dreaming about Killer Envelopes attacking me!!  Seriously, no kidding, these envelopes were very scary and I had to completly wake up myself again in case I fell back into the dream and back into the hands of the killer envelopes!  Hmmm, I think maybe it’s time to delegate some of the packaging duties…. 


Killer Envelopes!

Killer Envelopes!

Leave a Comment

Festival Waterproofs

With the Electric Picnic fast approaching, we have been asked by a few people this week whether we carry a special range of waterproof gear for music festivals. The answer is not really – we don’t have a specific festival range – although the  waterproof hoodie, the dover jacket and the cleveland trousers would be sure to keep the adults dry in Stradbally this weekend. And any of the everyday dungarees, jackets or the all-in-one suit would be great for the young budding festival goer.

But this made us think …. maybe we should source a special festival range for next year. They might include jackets, trousers and capes (get cape, wear cape, stay dry!) in bold, bright colours and designs. If the wellies comes in lovely bright designs why not the rest of the waterproof gear? We’ll let you know how we get on.

If you’re lucky enough to be going the Electric Picnic – hope you have a great time and I hope it stays dry for you.


Comments (1)

Press releases can work!

When we first launched PuddleDucks we had good press coverage, but once you’re up and running it’s much trickier to get.  So I didn’t think that a small business like ours could get coverage in the national papers just by sending out an unrequested press release to lots of newsdesks and journalists. But … I was wrong. 

At DM’s suggestion we sent out a Press Release yesterday and low and behold – we have coverage in the Irish Times and the Examiner today. We also have interest from a number of weekly and monthly magazines. We had a number of new sales today due to this publicity.

I am a novice on this but here’s what I have learned about sending out Press Releases over the last 48 hours:

  • you need an angle or newsworthy story. For us, this was the increase in sales due to the bad weather. “Bad weather means good business for Cork firm” was our headline.
  • write it and draft it a few times – and get opinions
  • email it to as many news and media organisations as possible
  • be ready to field phone calls and emails
  • have all your info at the ready. If you’re basing the story on financial information make sure you have hard facts at the ready (we didn’t!)

We attached some of our stock images with the release. However, the Times wanted a more animated photo with kids splashing in puddles. So panicking in mid-afternoon we asked our friend and photographer Rob to see if he could take a few photos of his kids in the rain. Obliging as ever, Rob took this photo of young Ruairi that ended up on the front page of the Business section in the Irish Times.

Ruairi in the Rain

Ruairi in the Rain

I think the natural Cork rainfall may be been helped by water from the garden hose but anything for a good picture … !

We also uploaded the Press Release to and it can be viewed here.

Suzanne asked me to add that contrary to one of the reports today she is not a complete killjoy and does indeed like an occasional sunny summer’s day!


Comments (3)

« Newer Posts · Older Posts »