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Ballyporeen’s Valerie Sheehy emerged well covered from the Dragons Den on Sunday night after securing an investment for her unique rainwear brand, MyPoncho.
Dragons Peter Casey and Barry O’Sullivan have invested in MyPoncho and Valerie has been working on developing her business and getting her range ordered and shipped to Ireland.
"I am thrilled to have got investment from the Dragons," Valerie said. "The whole experience was fantastic and it brought us great coverage. I am grateful to Peter and Barry for investing in me as I take the business forward."
The investment has meant that Valerie can get her initial range of products manufactured with more to follow. Speaking to The Avondhu, she said that the product could have universal appeal and so as the business grows, she hopes to strengthen her exports and perhaps in years to come, the MyPoncho will be seen in pitches and venues across the globe.
Dragon Peter Casey said: "Barry and myself were delighted to invest in this project. Valerie was enthusiastic and presented well. We are looking forward to working together."
Valerie added: "The response was so good that our new website crashed for a couple of minutes, which we didn’t expect although we had planned for it."
Speaking to The Avondhu, Valerie said that she has had great support locally since the show, with people stopping her in the street to congratulate her and she would like to thank her parents Tim and Mary Sheehy for all of their support and everyone back home in Ballyporeen for getting behind her.
She added that Jason O'Connor, the manager in Reidy's SuperValu, Mitchelstown, was one of the people who encouraged her to take her product into the den.
Having been looking for a job after returning from a spell working in England, Valerie had the idea for coloured branded ponchos after watching a GAA match on television. As she watched the rain fall on the terraces, she noticed how the supporters’ jerseys disappeared from view as they covered up.
"When it rains, the whole place becomes a sea of navy and black, with the odd scarf or hat," she said, adding that it's such a pity to have to cover up with a coat, when people go to such efforts to wear their team or county colours with pride.
"It was then that I thought some sort of poncho in a team’s colours would be a possibility," she revealed.
So, armed with the idea she developed MyPoncho and has been successful in sourcing a licence from the GAA and Leinster Rugby to produce her coloured branded ponchos. You can view them at www.myponcho.ie.
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