With the Irish economy still reeling from the global financial crisis, there is a glimmer of hope that online sales can help spark a recovery of sorts.
The website, Siopa.com (Siopa pronounced shupa, is the gaelic term for shop) according to Silicon Republic, has become a leading exporter of Irish products and is could make over €10 million this year. To further the good news, over 100 new jobs are expected to be created as a result.
Started by Lulu O'Sullivan, the website specializes in "unique, authentic products from Irish designers and produces targeted at the 40 million Irish Diaspora in the U.S."Even Taoiseach Enda Kenny saw the potential the website had in helping the Irish economy as he officially launched the site alongside O'Sullivan.
Currently Siopa.com is involved with the employment of over 12,000 Irish people, and deals with over 100 Irish suppliers. Kenny regards the company as epitomizing the future possibilities of Irish companies in the wake of the current economic state of the nation. Kenny added "it is companies like these: export-led, online focused, that have the potential to return to Ireland and its people a sense of pride, financial stability and hope for the future."
O'Sullivan, who has an extensive background in Internet marketing, explained that she sees the company as a way to reinstall the national pride and heritage of the Irish in America as well as the Irish in Ireland: “with jewellery and traditional craftspeople still at the heart of Irish creative talent, we are proud to support this talent and are delighted to be in a position to provide those living overseas with a convenient way to stay connected to their heritage.”