It is with great sadness that we have decided to step down as directors of Opsh.com
For some of you, this will come as a surprise. Opsh was a great Irish start-up success story. From the humble beginnings of the What Will I Wear Today blog, we created a vision that would see us at our peak securing almost 1m in funding from UK investors and Enterprise Ireland. With that hard-won funding, we grew a large and talented team, we worked with both fledgling and established businesses across Ireland and the UK and built up a significant client base – all with our vision to disrupt the notoriously close-minded world of fashion.
Despite having no background in technology or business, we positioned ourselves firmly inside the emerging tech space – ultimately a risk that paid off. From securing a competitive place on the NDRC Launchpad programme to winning a spot in the Top 50 Retail Innovations in the UK to working with the likes of Karren Brady and Carmen Busquets.
Along that journey, we hope that we supported other young entrepreneurs, that we contributed somewhat to raising the profile of women in business, that we conducted ourselves in the most professional and respectable manner possible, that we demonstrated there was a new way to do business.
We always stood for collaboration, not competition and our motto was to stay sassy, creative, smart, kind and kickass.
However, ultimately we fell victim to the notoriously difficult investment chasm – the chasm that exists when a sparky start-up needs to move into a global-looking machine. And so, for some of you this won’t come as a surprise. There is a distinctly unsexy side to running a start-up that made every effort to push-through almost impossible.
Perhaps what will come as a surprise is just how long we battled, fought and pivoted our way through adversity – a testament to our sheer determination, but ultimately unsustainable. We have built an incredible brand with Opsh – but it’s now time for us to step away.
We hope we have left some blueprint for aspiring entrepreneurs or people who just want to #getahead. That alone makes it worthwhile. On a personal level, we have amassed a vast amount of knowledge and skills that we hope to share, but also apply to the next chapter in our lives, whatever that may be.
We have so many people to thank for helping us along this journey, so many we cannot mention them all. Firstly to our parents, our family and our very patient partners. Without their never-ending support we would never have made it this far. They were the backbone of Opsh and helped us through some of our toughest and most challenging times.
To Gary Leydan for taking that initial chance on us, to the Fashion Breakfast Club for warmly welcoming us, to our first intern Lisa Milmoe, and our first staff member Niamh O’Doherty for taking a chance, to Eamon Fitzpatrick who has tirelessly championed us, to Brendan O’Connor who gave three unknown sisters a Life Magazine cover and a Saturday Night Show interview.
We have always maintained that the Irish press industry has been hugely supportive of us and our story and they played a large part in our growth, so we thank you for that endlessly.
And for all the people who signed up, used, viewed, shopped, engaged with and just generally supported us throughout this journey we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
There are so many people to mention – characters in our story who so generously encouraged and motivated us. We hope you know who you are.
This isn’t the end of the road for the Mc Ginn Sisters, and we’re sure there are plenty more exciting times to come.
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