15-year-old Anthony Gorman makes the € 20 decoration in his father’s shed at home in Killeigh near Tullamore.
His mother’s post about his endeavors was viewed nearly 100,000 times on the fast-growing Shop in Ireland Facebook group.
The group, which was founded last month and already has more than 140,000 members, aims to encourage people to “buy Irish” and “shop locally”.
“I started making the reindeer last Christmas when I was saving up to buy a phone. I brought one to school to show my economics teacher. She thought it was brilliant and took it to the staff room. I think I came home that day with about 20 orders from teachers! Every day after that, I went to school with about eight reindeer. It was brilliant, “explained Anthony.
After selling 150 reindeer last Christmas, the winner of the Offaly Student Enterprise Award wanted to increase their sales this year.
“I started making them in December last year. But this year I started much earlier in early October. I want to sell 1,000 reindeer, but I realized I had to start moving them. So I asked my mom to put them up thinking I might get ten orders from Facebook which would be great to get me started. ”
“That morning, my father and I went to cut legs for the reindeer. I came back an hour later and checked my phone. And I had over 200 orders on my phone! I thought that was crazy, but it just got better. “”
Anthony says he now intends to distribute all 1,000 reindeer made from ashes from the area once the level 5 restrictions are lifted.
“Orders have come in from all over Ireland, from Donegal to Cork. There were a large number of orders from Dublin and Meath. I think people like her because I’m so young. You’re just so surprised that a 15 year old … old can produce all of this. ”
Anthony’s mother Martina said, “It was phenomenal. As parents, we are just amazed at all of the kind comments that have been received. We’re trying to get back to them all because it means so much. Anthony worked so I’m still in school. It’s just awesome. ”
Teresa Venables from the Facebook group ‘Shop in Ireland’ commented on his success: “Anthony with the reindeer is our top post with over 8,000 likes and almost 800 comments or inquiries.
“The group has many active members and is growing very quickly. I started the site, then two of my sisters came on board to help, followed by two other friends. It’s all voluntary and it’s hard work, but we love it. ”
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