Angela Mahon, Truzees
1st June 2016
Every month we speak to women entrepreneurs who have just launched into the business world.
In the hot seat for June’s Women Who Launch is Angela Mahon, Truzees.
The Elevator Pitch
Truzees is for the true to life parenthood moments. We design a range of fun and functional gift products for new parents.
Keeping it in the Midlands! Our studio is based in Tullamore, Offaly but we warehouse and distribute our products in and from Portarlington, Laois. We are currently building towards a staff of three by the end of this year. 2016 is going to be a big year for us and we look forward to future happenings. An ambitious brand, but our mission is to help parents all over the world feel better through our products.
The New frontiers, phase two helped kickstart our business. I have also invested my own funds. There are numerous capital funding options available – all of which we will be looking into over the coming months.
Our products are for parents deep in the trenches (and nappies) – parents who need some fun and humour brought to the parenthood journey! Many of our products fall into the baby gift category. We had initially defined our target market as the baby gift buyer but have recently had some surprises since our launch. About 70% of our buyers to date are mothers and fathers who have treated themselves!
Brands You Love
Design-led companies with products or surrounding that are a joy to use or be in. Companies such as Apple (For the products I could not live without), Designist, Avoca and the Arboretum in Carlow (for their amazing stores and products – I could literally walk for days in these places). I am also a lover of brands that make me laugh and believe it or not, I tend to frequent Joe.ie and the Lad Bible quite a bit for some lighthearted fun.
Biggest ‘Win’ To Date
Being shortlisted in two categories and winning the Bank of Ireland National Craft Based Startup of the Year Award just three weeks after launching! To get that recognition at such an early stage was very motivating. Still on a high the following afternoon, I was scrolling through my Snapchat updates and spotted Irish fashionista and model Pippa O’Connor pouring her morning coffee into our Sleep Deprived Mummy Mug. That pretty much topped it for me.
Biggest ‘Slap in the Face’
I have heard the phrase “you are too early” when it came to seeking funding. I personally don’t believe ‘too early’ is a thing. However, I do believe in bad pitches, bad communication and bad timing – most of which was a problem of mine at the beginning. It’s important to not take things personally and to use criticism as constructive feedback to develop your messaging and business.
Are You Social When It Comes To Media?
Social media is a fantastic promotional tool to spread the word about your brand. I don’t have what you would call a ‘huge’ following but I do have good engagement, which has directly resulted in sales. Most of my followers have a genuine interest in what I do and I will try to provide products, services and fun content that gives right back.
Technology & Innovation
Truzees is all about bringing fun to the parenthood journey so future technology developments are not off the cards.
Business Model You’d Like To Emulate
A different industry to Truzees but the LUSH Cosmetics Company innovates and rolls out new products on a quarterly basis. Some of their funkiest and off-the-wall ideas were initially rejected by the big boys but are now their biggest hits.
If you had a blank cheque
1. Invest in Truzees growth – roll out a national advertising campaign to educate parents about our brand
2. Extend our product range offering and open doors to new markets
3. Lastly but not least, build a kickass team that will accelerate Truzees into international markets
Your Traits – Best and Worst
Best: Stubbornness – pure determination to make things happen
Reliable – I’m an old reliable when it comes to giving my word or delivering on a promise
Clever – I wouldn’t be what you would call the typical book smart type but I am clever in terms of conjuring alternative solutions to problems.
Worst: Stubbornness – sometimes the good traits can have their bad days too!
Memory – It’s bordering ridiculous. I have to put reminders in my phone for absolutely everything. If it doesn’t go into my diary – I will be sure to forget about it
Stress – Catch 22! I absolutely love the busy days but I can get stressed out when overloaded with work tasks and deadlines.
Best Business Lunch Date
There are so many I would love to sit and chat with. When I first began to have an interest in business, the only prominent female entrepreneur figure I could relate to in the media was Norah Casey. She is what I call the original Woman in Business. For that reason, I would love to sit and chat to her.
Ideal Business Partner
The king of branding – Richard Branson! Undoubtedly, he would take Truzees from a recently launched brand to an internationally recognised brand.
Best business advice
Don’t take it personal. Listen to feedback, develop and keep your eyes peeled for opportunities.