The Shamrock Coin Company of Ireland was founded in 2013. The company was started to allow Irish men and women at home and abroad to own a piece of Irish history in the form of high quality silver commerative coins.
What kind of changes did the company/product go through in early stages?
From conception to design and product sampling, there’s been many changes and iterations over the past two years most notably the changes to the design on both the front and back, we wanted to make sure that we captured Ireland on the coin and we believe we've done that. The sizing of the coin was also changed to the standard bullion size to appeal to purist coin collectors. The air tight coin capsule had to be changed a number of times to give us the look and quality feel that we required for our product. We finally settled on a round capsule with an emerald green velvet ring inset, our coin could then sit in the middle both protecting and displaying the quality design of the product.
Do you have investors? Are you looking for further investment?
We have a private investor who has worked with the two founders to launch this product, they have also invested significantly to bring this product to market. They are two proud Irish men who wanted to create a beautifully irish designed product for the global market.
What kind of growth has your company experienced?
As a brand new company, the day by day growth is led mainly by social media and word of mouth in Ireland. It’s been strong in Dublin with many heritage groups taking the product in bulk however we believe our main audience is with the Irish Diaspora all over the world but especially the USA.
How many customers do you have now?
We have at present 350+ customers which is growing daily through a radio interview on RTE in Ireland
Tell us about your industry: What was it like to break into?
The industry of pure silver coins is non-existent in Ireland and we are most definitely pioneering the way forward in this respect. It’s hard to break into the market given the high capital cost of entry. Once we had our investment and found the right partners to manufacture our product we focused heavily on this process to get it right. Believe it or not the hardest thing to do since then has been to promote this unique product and to find the right people to help us market this product throughout the world. We need people with Irish Heritage in public positions to help us launch our product as brand ambassadors
How many employees do you have now?
We have two directors who founded the company in Dublin working on this full time as well as a sales and marketing manager. We have a team of customer service agents to make sure we deliver great service. In total we have 5 but hope to grow this to ten by March 2015
What's the biggest challenge you've faced so far? The greatest victory?
The biggest challenge was finding a partner who could manufacture the coin to our high quality and matching the design specifications we envisaged. It was a hard task given the goals we set ourselves internally. The greatest victory was when we produced our first sample coins. They were everything that we had hoped for and more. Customers who have bought the coin have been delighted with the purchase. We’ve had great feedback “Beautiful Coin” “Unbelievable coin, so heavy” “Delighted”
What's been the most important lesson?
The most important lesson was listening to each other when we would disagree on design or manufacturing issues. We found that we could compromise on each other's ideas and arrive at the finish line without either of us feeling they had lost a battle, or in compromising in the quality of the product. We believe passionately in these products and want to deliver an exceptional product for what we see as our Irish family at home and abroad
What are your plans for 2014?
Our plans for the rest of 2014 is to deliver the second and third coin in our 1916 collection whilst also building brand awareness for ShamrockCoins in the US
What are your immediate next steps and long-term goals?
Our next step is to continue the promotion of our first coin James Connolly launching Shamrock Coins internationally as well as working on our next coin of Joseph Plunkett. Long term we hope to have the name of Shamrock Coins as widely known as the American Eagle or the Canadian Maple, We will be the Irish Shamrock. We will produce many sets of coins all depicting history and folklore, heritage and characters from Ireland.
What international markets do you foresee the company expanding into?
We see the company further expanding into the USA, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, essentially any country that has a population of Irish heritage or ancestry
What advice do you have for other people/companies starting out in your industry?
Be prepared to spend a huge amount of money, even just to get to the sample stage. There’s a significant upfront cost to minting pure silver bullion, with that we’ve been absolutely meticulous on working with the right partners to deliver a beautifully crafted product. We’ve spent time travelling around the world to review silver content, design elements and product samples. We stand over the quality of our product but it’s taken over two years to get to this stage.
How can you scale?
We believe our scale will come with market awareness and word of mouth particularly in the US especially when buyers start to receive the first coin, we’ve had exceptional feedback which is to be anticipated given the research and development that went into the content of the coin as well as the design element. Given these are limited edition coins we believe that the scale will come from sites such as IrishCentral who are tapped into the irish diaspora and the perfect channel to assist with our scaling plans in the short and long term
Who do you think are your customers?
Our customers are the many millions of Irish throughout the world as well as and numismatists who will also want to collect a piece of Irish history. With the impending celebrations of the centenary of the 1916 rising so close we feel the time is right to enter the market with this beautiful limited edition product. The first pure silver coin in Irish history