Gillian (16) and Allison (14) Dempsey from Sallins who started online business AGMasksIreland making face masks and other products
Two schoolgirl sisters from Sallins are going from strength to strength with a new business they started during the pandemic.
Gillian and Allison Dempsey started making and selling face masks but then diversified into a range of other products such as scrunchies, make-up bags, aprons and tooth fairy bags.
To date, the enterprising duo have sold over 2,800 of their products.
The pupils of St Mary's College in Naas started off by making disposable facemasks with a group of people called The Free Masketeers set up at the Imagination Station in Sallins.
Gillian said: “We made over 500 of them and they were donated to people who needed them when PPE supplies were low.
“Then during summer 2020 as more and more people were wearing face coverings, we had a lot of spare time.
“So we learned how to sew reusable facemasks and set up a website: AGMasksIreland.
“First we sold a few to our family and friends. Next we decided to set up an Etsy shop — the online marketplace for craft products.
“Our Etsy shop quickly grew, one day we got 84 orders and within two months we had sold over 1,000 face masks!”
In August, the girls teamed up with Focus Ireland and made and sold facemasks from recycled shirts.
All profits made from those masks went to Focus Ireland.
The sisters ended up raising over €500 for Focus Ireland.
Focus Ireland said: “The two girls have been working so hard over the summer making masks for their business AG Masks Ireland and now they are using their skills to help those experiencing homelessness in Ireland.”
Soon after this, the girls started making and selling scrunchies, make-up bags, aprons and the most recent product — the tooth fairy bags.
To date, the siblings have sold over 2,800 of our products.
Gillian said: “We sell our products mainly on Etsy.
“We have also recently set up a Shopinireland page and sell our products there too.
“We also take orders directly from our social media pages @agmasksireland (Instagram and Facebook).
“Having our business has really helped us during lockdown, as it keeps us occupied and gives us something to do.
“We have had so much fun setting up and running our small business.
“We can’t believe how far it has come and we hope we can keep growing because we love running our small business.”
The sisters have been receiving lots of positive feedback from customers online.
One buyer said of the face masks: "They fit great and people smile when they see the patterns.
“Lovingly packaged and neatly presented. Thanks for the masks, Ireland!”
Another said: “Seller was really helpful, order quick to arrive and products are lovely! Couldn’t recommend enough.”
A customer added: “These masks are fantastic — a really great fit for me (I have a normal sized man face), they withstand a 40 degree wash just fine (I don't tumble dry though) - absolutely amazing for the price - well done to the makers!”
For more information, see AGMasksIreland on Facebook.
Facemasks by Gillian and Allison Dempsey