In conversation with … Jamie McLoughlin

Jamie McLoughlin – Snug Carpets, Mitchelstown

A family business, Snug Carpets in Mitchelstown continue to supply quality products to their customers at competitive prices since opening their business in 2018. Here, Louise Devaney is in conversation with the man in charge at the front of house, Jamie McLoughlin.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your job?

Meeting the customers, advising them on products and seeing the finished result. I really enjoy being able to help my customers’ vision come to life.

What is the most rewarding part of being your own boss?

Starting up my own business, knowing that it is my own achievement and in some little way, being able to contribute to the community. 

In what way do you and your business give back to your local community?

Snug Carpets is very much a family orientated business, from my father and brother both being master carpet fitters, to myself being the face of the shop. One of our favourite past-times when we were younger was being part of our local rugby club, so when we had the opportunity to sponsor the Mitchelstown Rugby Club minis, we were thrilled to be in a position to do so. We have also sponsored local fundraisers.

Looking back, what is one thing that you would do differently?

I would have liked to have spoken with and got some guidance from other small business owners in the locality. 

What is your educational background?

I studied Computer Science at Limerick College. This has come in handy as I am in the middle of building my own website. Everything else has just come with experience and knowledge passed down from my father. 

What three words would best describe your work ethic/yourself?

Loyal, trustworthy and obliging.

What was the turning point for your business?

Being able to offer more than just flooring. Expanding into blinds has been really rewarding also. 

In what way has Covid-19 impacted your business?

Complying with restrictions, we had to close our doors as many other businesses had to do; this has been hard financially because even though we were closed, the bills still flowed in. We are still optimistic that with the support of the community, we will be able to keep our doors open.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

In my spare time, I really enjoy being outdoors. The mountain range around Gougane Barra is where you can find me!

Where do you see yourself and your business in the next 2-5 years?

I really hope to relocate to the Main Street in Mitchelstown. I would love to be able to expand my business even more and provide more services for our customers.

What was the most challenging obstacle you have encountered?

This business was a big risk for me. It was something I wanted to do but did not know how to start out or if I could even do it. I had no previous experience working in retail and no experience of running my own business, but the dream of being my own boss motivated me in going for it.

If you could change anything, what would that be?

I would have liked to have had the confidence to open Snug Carpets sooner. I have really enjoyed my last year in the shop working with my customers, but I do look forward to seeing what the future has in store for me.

Louise Devaney is a local student from Mitchelstown who recently graduated from Presentation Secondary School. Fascinated by how the economy works, she hopes to further her education next year studying Business, Economics and Politics.