How to start an artisan business in Ireland

Expectation is a mindset

Thoughts result in research. Research results in action. Action expects your mindset to get the work done. And so it is. It becomes. And boom! You have already started your very one artisan business.

Good vibrations or bad vibrations and the power of  your thoughts

If you are here because you are thinking about starting a business or build your business - your thoughts have a vibration and you are well on your way. Bear with me for a but of science. If you go into hospital to have your heart checked out they are checking if your heart has a good vibe or a bad vibe. What? Yeah, the machine, Electrocardiogram, measures the electrical signal of your heart. Electricity is a vibration, they are checking if your heart's vibration is moving fast or slow/ good or bad. If you life is not going the way you want it to go it's not because circumstance is not going your way it's because you are not aware of how to change it. If you read this blog you will see the word ACTION a lot. Action changes circumstance. Now lets get into action and find out how to start a business. Here are some tips i've made note of while starting my business. 

How to start a business in Ireland

I must have typed that questions at least a hundred times since 2011. I am still following the businesses that had blog series on their sites showing a behind the scenes and some tips. I really appreciated these artisan/batch organic cosmetic business blogs advice, I still follow and support them and I wanted to give back. I already started this with a blog post - How to start an eCommerce business for Artisan Producers. 

I know that it is still early days in my organic roller-ball perfume...But still, I have all the paperwork done, lots of workshops attended, years of research done and Fleet and Flower is actually allowed to sell things now. (read about hiring a cosmetic chemist here for lols!) So, despite it being really early days, I thought that while I have the time I will share what I know before I get too busy.  Because I will get very busy making and selling organic, vegan, healing perfume

My process felt daunting because a lot of the information out there seemed to be aimed at high potential and internationally focused business not as women starting at the kitchen table. But, ladies, we have the internet, friends, we talk a lot, we shop a lot, so we know about commerce and have the resources to start. Even if you start small you can start selling at local markets or on etsy. I contacted the relevant authorities and asked them for advice, what legislation do you need, get insurance for your craft/cosmetic business and just start. 

  1. Product or service, or both, or both in the future. How will you get the product to market? What market and where? Online or in a shop. What ingredients/material do you need, how to get them wholesale.
  2. How do you set up an online shop? If you are unsure or lack the tech skills then start with Etsy, lots of artisan cosmetics have started there. (Heck, Fleet and Flower probably should have started there but we have some mad sick I.T. skills yooo! So, stick to what you are really good at, or what you can learn and action.
  3. Business Plan (a business starts with goals/hopes/visualisations (long term), objectives/intentions (short term and measurable) and a cohesive theme (brand) Where do you see yourself going? Who are you going to sell to? You will have these answers if you are passionately madly obsessed about your products, as we are here at Fleet and Flower). And usually the people you are selling to are a lot like you, so if you know you then you know your customers.
  4. In Ireland starting a business under your own name is as simple as deciding you are going to start. If, however, you want a business name then you must register your business name with the Companies Registration Office. It's about EUR 15.
  5. Know the legislation of your product. All sectors have separate legislation you need to comply with, handmade toys , medicinal products/herbal, cosmetics. I spent a year researching then another year putting it all to action. So, do the work and then put it into action. You'll be grand!
  6. Will you need insurance?  YES, you will. If you sell products, work with the public, make products? Get insurance. You can get craft insurance for about EUR 90 just do a google search.
  7. Business structure? Decide if you are going to be a sole trader, limited liability company. Read The Companies Registration Office (CRO) has  information about these different structures on its website,
  8. Next you will need to start telling people about your business and that's where networking comes into play. (Give me a double shot coconut milk latte in a pair of Nike Air Max, black jeans, white tee, with a tweed jacket and a room full of others starting a business and you have given me the keys of heaven!)
  9. If you are starting an online eCommerce business then read through our blog for lots of advice on being an artisan producer, small business, and some digital marketing insights.
  10. Do a Start Your Own Business course through your Local Enterprise, suss out The Paul Partnership in Limerick for some industry leaders giving workshops (fantastic resource!) 
  11. Don't worry about the tax, start small. Do a workshop on tax and hope that when the times rolls round you will hire an accountant. Until then keep an excell sheet of all your expenses and earnings - with a date, and description. 


More sites to suss out:

Start-up Support:
Advice for the Self Employed:
Local Enterprise Office (LEO) :

Good luck, if you want to support Fleet and Flower then share links, shop, buy, follow, like. Thanks