A bit of craic between four Tandragee brothers on their WhatsApp group was the inspiration for a greetings card venture which has taken off in a matter of days.
Matthew McKeown (28) has launched the site weecards.co.uk with a range of Christmas cards, whose focus is very much on the Northern Ireland vernacular and colloquialisms.
What’s more, it took him just 10 days to turn his idea into reality.
“I had been looking at Christmas cards in shops 10 days ago and I thought there was room to do something different, to have a wee bit more craic,” he said.
“That evening I went home, started designing the cards, contacted a supplier the next day, got them printed and then built a website over three nights.”
The selection ranges from a snowman with the greeting ‘Melter’ to a deer with a man’s head and the message ‘Boys a Deer’.
Matthew got 350 cards printed and to date has received 128 orders and sold 276 cards.
Such is the demand that he has also just ordered another 500.
“I’m just trying to catch my breath a wee bit,” he said. “I hadn’t expected it to do as well as it has. It was just a kind of experiment for myself, to get back into digital marketing, and because I had a bit of spare time in the evenings.
“I have three brothers, Joe, Carl and Stuart, and the sayings on the cards are the way we would usually speak to each other.”
Matthew originally did a Higher Level Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing at Southern Regional College after which he worked in Panama for a year for a company.
When Covid struck, he returned home and has been working as a digital inclusion officer for Supporting Communities, which he loves, training people how to use government services online.
Matthew hopes to continue with his card business and is already working on ideas for Valentine’s Day. He is also planning to release a birthday card collection in the New Year.
His ultimate aim would be to go wholesale, and see his cards available in local stores.
The cards, which cost £3.50, are made of top quality, thick card and are environmentally friendly, with compostable bags, recycled envelopes and recyclable card.
Delivery is within three days and the cost for one card is 49p, and for more than one, it’s free.
For orders over £10, there is 20 per cent off and free delivery.
Matthew is also running a Twelve Days of Christmas competition. From December 1-12, there is a free card to win every day, with all entrants included in a draw to win a card and £100 on the final day.
“It’s a way of giving back,” he said. “I can’t believe the way it has taken off. It has been all word of mouth and people have been good to me.
“It’s been really nice in the midst of Covid and everything else to have something positive to work towards and have a bit of craic with. The cards are smile-provoking. It’s all a bit of craic.”