Ballindine, Co. Mayo resident Doreen Higgins, recently launched a new business venture, Purplecow.ie, which are Unique LED night lights that come in all shapes and sizes. Doreen spotted an opening in the market for Unique Night Lights for the Agricultural, Trucking, Machinery and various other interests gift market, and soon things took off.
Raised in an agricultural background, Doreen’s daughters also have had an involvement within the industry, having showed cattle throughout their youth.
“I have been involved in showing cattle at Agricultural shows for years, alongside my daughters and speaking to other parents know difficult it can be to get gifts for young people who are interested in various forms of the agricultural industry" Doreen said to That'sFarming.
By day, Doreen acts as a sales representative for a stone company, though by night (fittingly) she offers a much different service, producing and selling her own LED night lights.
“By day I am a sales rep for a stone company, but this is my own venture for out of hours.” Doreen explained to Kevin of That’sFarming.
Having always been artistic and Doreen attended Athlone I.T. where she studied Graphic design. She admits to having always had a creative side, which ultimately led to the foundation of her LED adventure.
“I am actually a qualified graphic designer…I Went to Athlone where I did Graphic design” Doreen noted.
“I worked in the industry in Dublin after graduating college for about two years, I then moved back to the West where there was not much scope for Graphic Designers in the 90's,
so I went into other industries and raised my children"
Interestingly, the business venture started off as a kind of hobby for Doreen.
“I came up with this (idea) about three years ago, just as a pet project.” Doreen told Kevin of That’sFarming.
“I have grown it year by year. I started off with just a couple of designs and now I am running about 35 at the moment.” She continued.
How it all began -
Fittingly, the maiden design created by Doreen was that of a tractor, one which is now her most popular design.
“It was the tractor that we started off with.” The Mayo native commented.
“The tractor and the cows head and some children’s characters as well. Then I graduated into the trucks,” She said.
This led to Doreen designing four different truck acrylics, a DAF, a Volvo, a MAN and a Scania.
Doreen quickly expanded her enterprise and the type of acrylic designs offered, adding excavators, forklifts, motorbikes and more. Doreen said originally, she had children in mind when designing the night lights, though admits her main clientele is now the older generations.
“I have sold more trucks, tractors and diggers to adults for themselves than I have for children.” Doreen chuckled.
“One lad who bought one last week sent me a picture and he has it stuck up on the dash of his truck.”
Doreen began selling her designs predominantly through DoneDeal and is currently on the verge of having her own website completed.
“I started on DoneDeal.” She said.
As you can see from the above video, the LED Night Light features an Acrylic design, through which the lights shine.
There are seven different colours in total for people to choose from or alternatively you can have all the colours mixed. The engraved acrylic is fitted either to a Standard base lamp or can also be fitted to a Bluetooth speaker.
"The lamp can come with two different bases, a standard light changing base which can sit on any one of seven colours at any one time or rotate through the various colours and
the light changing Bluetooth speaker base, which has the same light functions but has a Bluetooth speaker built into the base” Doreen stated.
“It can be connected to any smartphone or Ipad and you can play music through it, while the light flashes to the beat of whatever music is coming through it"
The acrylic is completely safe for children and will not shatter like glass.
“It won’t cut them (children) or break when it falls,” Doreen advised.
The cutting and engraving of the acrylic is currently one part of the system which is being outsourced by Doreen, though this is set to change in the future as she has already ordered her own system. This will enable Doreen to offer designs of all types and even more personalised projects. She does though, carry out all personal engravings by hand herself.
“I currently outsource the cutting and engraving, because I don’t have the machinery,” said Doreen.
“But I am in the process at the moment of buying my own cutting and engraving equipment, which means I will have the capability now to do one-off designs for people. If someone has a particular tractor or lorry, I have been asked for all sorts, I can do their one-off designs on the lamp.”
Doreen also plans on expanding the already broad list of designs offered over the coming months, meaning there will literally be something for everyone.
“I want to expand the range that I have.” She said.
“I will soon be in a position to do larger designs or one-off pieces. So, if somebody has something in mind, they can just send me a picture of it.”
Doreen has also been carrying out some designs for various Cattle herds and hopes to now offer various breeds to her ever expanding portfolio.
The Offer -
Should you have an interest in purchasing one of Doreen’s unique designs, like the one she created for us here at That’sFarming (see below), there are three different options available.
For those interested in purchasing the Standard base lamp, this comes at a price of €30. For the Bluetooth speaker option, the price is set at €40. For those of you looking for a personalised design, such as having a name engraved, there is an extra cost of €10.
“The price includes your acrylic design, your base, a USB cable and your plug.” Doreen said.
“The Bluetooth speaker also has a rechargeable battery inside, so you can use it standalone or plugged in.” she added.
All designs come in a display box, with a postage fee of €6 to anywhere in Ireland for one lamp and a fee of €9 for two lamps to anywhere in Ireland.
Where to get one -
Wondering where to get the designs or where to see the designs up close? Doreen also attends local craft and agricultural shows where she sells her designs, meaning you may spot her designs over the coming months.
“I have done some of the Agricultural shows. I was in Glenamaddy about a month ago (at the show).” Doreen said.
Doreen’s designs are mainly sold through DoneDeal, via the beef, dairy, sheep, machinery and cars pages. She does have a website of her own also, which is currently being finished, and a Facebook page. You can visit her Facebook here. You can call Doreen directly on 086 6060610.
Doreen dreams of pursuing her new artistic venture on a full-time basis at some stage in the future. If her success over the past three years is anything to go by, that may not be too far down the line.
Have you an Ag-related story to share? Or have you started a new Ag-related business venture like Doreen? If so, contact Kevin with full details of your background/story on firstname.lastname@example.org.