My parents opened this craft shop 25 years ago on the island as we are from here and wanted to stay here. My father began cutting the limestone from the island landscape and crafting candleholders, lamps and clocks to sell. My brother simultaneously created characters from Celtic society which we made into silk screens so we could print T-shirts from our home to sell in our shop. Without this business, we may not have been able to live on the island and would have had to stay on the mainland. Life would be very different!
To me, my business is life itself! I’m currently in the process of taking over the business from my parents. Living on an island has many challenges and being able to run your own business here ensures that you can stay in your island home. I couldn’t imagine moving back to the mainland.
I only started using Google Business Profile very recently but it has already allowed me to show people that there is a craft shop open on the Aran Islands during Covid. This has helped us to reopen between lockdowns and have customers come to us. It has made people aware of our existence and our opening hours are easy for potential customers to see when they search for Aran Islands. In the last month alone, we’ve had over 3000 views on Google maps by potential customers which is pretty amazing given our location - it’s literally put us on the map! On top of that we’ve had 1900 profile views and 3.55k photo views on Google Business Profile this month too. Since launching on Google Business Profile, we’ve instantly become visible to so many more people.
It has also sent traffic to our newly created website. We’ve had many emails from delighted customers who remember visiting us years ago. Visibility of our shop not only increases sales, but instills a pride in our business.
I hope to expand the business by creating more locally produced items, encouraging other local artists to provide items for sale in my shop and to ultimately create a business which respects the three pillars of sustainability: Environmental, Social and Economic.