By Emily Goss Guildea
As Christmas approaches, the question of what the perfect gift to get someone arises and the festive shopping begins.
Many businesses within the country had to shut down over the past year resulting in a loss of profit and jobs. Ireland has seen a significant loss in labour over the year and the importance of supporting small, local businesses has become vivid.
During the lockdowns many online small businesses started to arise, whether it was to sell pop art printed pictures, personalised jewellery, crystals, Instagram became a hot spot for promotion.
Caitlin Grant, student from Stepaside, Dublin, decided to start up her own business online, called ‘Illukations’ which has been live for over four months. Intrigued by art, Grant decided to start making prints for people, at the end of August 2021. This Dublin based business can be found on Instagram and Tiktok, @illukations and @caitlingrant_eu.
Illukations started off as prints but has now expanded to stickers, Christmas ones produced just in time for the festive season. The prints created are all unique and customised for each buyer.
At the start of Illukations, Grant explained that she would get one or two prints a week and claims that every sale is much appreciated. “I’m definitely learning more and more every day about how to make more sales and how to post them on Instagram and the different things people may want.”
When asked if Grant had any advice for people who wish to start their own business she stated, “if anyone else is thinking of starting off their own business and I guess it kind of depends on business it is but if it’s something you are really passionate about maybe set yourself goals for each week.”
“I feel like it’s really difficult if you set yourself really high goals and don’t reach them, definitely keep on your part-time job or full-time job in case the sales aren’t what you were expecting.”
Not only can you find Grant’s work over on her Instagram and Tiktok pages, she will be bringing her creations to the Blackrock Christmas markets. This is her first ever market event and plans to promote her prints, cards, and stickers on the day.
Grant’s favourite piece she has produced has been her stickers as they are “100% her own design”. From Christmas Guinness stickers to “you’re a ride” heart stickers, her work is very authentic and Irish. Grant is open to new ideas for her business, such as bookmarks, she is open to anything people want designed.
Other businesses like Grant’s can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, to/ name a few. Small businesses have taken the country by storm, and the importance of supporting small, local businesses is highly beneficial for the country.