The Kind, Kinda Smashed It!

5th October 2022

Posted In: Be In The Frame

Sheelin Conlon, founder of eco-aware lifestyle brand, The Kind, has been named this year’s winner of the Champion Green Readymade Retail prize, in partnership with Aviva Life & Pensions.

Almost 100 entries were received from SMEs eager to win the €50,000 retail opportunity, centred on a prime pop-up shop in the prestigious Blackrock Village Centre in south Dublin.

Champion Green, Ireland’s support local initiative, organises the annual competition to encourage local brands and businesses to expand into a retail space.  Founded in 2020, Champion Green is supported by Kilkenny Design and VISA, in association with Retail Excellence, the Small Firms Association and Chambers Ireland.  The initiative is backed by a €1m investment to drive consumer support for local enterprise and help SMEs grow business.

‘I am beyond excited at this absolutely incredible opportunity to showcase and sell our range’, are the words of Sheelin Conlon, on finding out that her business pitch had succeeded.

The small business owner created her independent lifestyle brand in 2019.  Currently operating online only, The Kind curates beautifully crafted, sustainable and ethically-made products.  Eco-friendly ranges include wellness and self-care, living and homewares, books and gifts

“We stock over 100 beautiful brands, from independent businesses and makers who share the same vision for a better, more sustainable future.  And, we put style and substance into sustainable shopping for our many customers who like to make a positive impact on the planet”, Sheelin Conlon says.

The pop-up shop on the upper level of Blackrock Village Centre is worth €21,550 (including rent and rates; excl utilities).  It is provided free of charge by Aviva Life & Pensions on a six-month rental licence, from now until March 2023.   Shopfitting advice and equipment, valued at €5,000, is supplied by fit-out specialists, Roccul.

The business also wins free parcel-sending for a year within Ireland, from An Post Commerce, to support online retailing, as well as a free direct-mail campaign, worth €10,000 combined.

Business consultancy with well-known entrepreneur and SMEs champion, Bobby Kerr, is also offered to the prize winner, while complimentary membership of Retail Excellence, the Small Firms Association and Chambers Ireland, all Champion Green supporters, is included too.

Store marketing and PR, worth €15,000, is also in the mix, along with business planning and professional mentoring from MentorsWork, the Government-backed SMEs productivity scheme.

Pictured: (L – R): Sean Cullinan, Director, Roccul Limited; Evelyn Moynihan, CEO Kilkenny Group; Duncan Graham, Managing Director, Retail Excellence; Carina Galavan, Property Fund Specialist, Aviva Ireland and Sheelin Conlon, Founder, The Kind. (Image: Julien Behal).