New women’s workwear collection to be unveiled at championships

A Co. Galway woman is ready to strike a pose with her women’s workwear collection at the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore next week.

Grace Roche lives on a 110ac dairy farm in Kylemore, Abbey, Loughrea, Co. Galway, with her husband, Ray, and in-laws, Pat and Margaret. The couple both work full-time, but help out on the home farm in the evenings and at weekends. They also have a 50ac rented farm for dry stock.

A farmer’s only daughter, she devised a range of workwear for women called ‘Pretty Bird’ to address what she saw as a gap in the market at previous ploughing championships. “Our website and online shop www.prettybird.ie went live three weeks ago and the response has been phenomenal,” she said.

“Since our first Agriland article we have been inundated with messages from women across Ireland, including: farmers; food producers; gardeners; and vets. They are all ecstatic about what we are offering,” Roche said.

“It’s not just the excitement that is building though, sales are too. That is very encouraging and validates our vision – definite need for our business, not only in Ireland but further afield also,” she said.

“Sales kicked off the very first morning we launched the online shop. I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly but within an hour my phone beeped, and the notification of our very first sale had come through. It was a lovely moment and a proud one for me and all the team behind Pretty Bird.

Product-wise, there has been quite an even spread of interest in everything we have but our work pants are tipping the post to becoming a best-seller.

“Wellies, ponchos and rain jackets are also selling well. Electric Picnic gave us a good boost in sales there. Last month we also attended our first garden festival in Ballymaloe, so it has been a busy few weeks. It has been great to see sales growing across our three areas of farm wear, garden wear and festival wear,” she said.

“We have had messages from women in the UK and even as far as Australia and the US, who are all interested in our range of products,” said Roche.

“The support to date has given us great confidence. We received loan approval and are officially backed by AIB. We have also applied for a priming grant from our Local Enterprise Office and are hopeful that this too will be successful. The priming grant is key to us to progressing our growth plan over the next six months,” she said.

The Galway woman is looking forward to getting to the championships and other events.

We want to meet the farming women of Ireland and talk to them about their workwear needs. We will shortly have a calendar of events, detailing where we will be and when, on our website. We hope to take in a good mix of events across the country.

Pretty Bird’s stand at the Ploughing is Block 4, Row 39, Stand 769. “There will be some exclusive products only available for the ‘Ploughing’ so we urge everyone to come and have a look. We will also have some farm-themed gifts. For example, we have just become a stockist of Lorna Sixsmith’s book collection.”

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