Gavin Duffy from RTE’s Dragons’s Den has taken a giant leap and is investing €30,000 in First Steps Forever, a beautiful and affordable way of framing a baby’s first shoes, created by Graham and Cassandra Kenny. First Steps Forever, which was featured on last night’s Dragons’ Den, is guaranteed Irish, designed and handmade with solid wood & glass in Tipperary.
Graham Kenny, Gavin Duffy & Cassandra Kenny
Graham and Cassandra went into RTE’s Dragons’ Den to ask the Dragons to invest €30,000 in return for 20% share of their company. Gavin Duffy invested the full amount for the percentage offered by Graham and Cassandra, while Nora Casey who loved the product offered the couple assistance through her publishing company, Harmonia. Niall O’Farrell said it was the hardest business he had to turn down.
Based near Roscrea in North Tipperary, Framed Memories Forever is a family run business. Graham, a farmer all his life, set up their picture framing business in 2001 with Cassandra, an artist and ballet teacher, as a source of off-farm income and researched showed there was a demand for a picture framer in the area. They offer a full range of framing services, with box frames being their speciality.
Cassandra Kenny said We created ‘First Steps Forever’, the first in our unique keepsake range, as a beautiful and inexpensive way of treasuring a baby's first shoes creating a lifelong memory. Having three young children ourselves, we hope that parents get as much enjoyment from this product as we have from seeing our own children's shoes framed.”
Gavin Duffy, Dragons Den said: “Graham and Cassandra’s idea is brilliant. In times of austerity, it is great to create a product that turns something old and used, like a child’s outgrown shoes into a treasured memento for life.”
Graham Kenny was very excited and nervous about being featured on Dragon’s Den. “We are huge fans of Dragons Den however I downloaded and deleted the application form three times before I finally filled it in. We learned so much more about our business in the lead-up to and in preparation for Dragons’ Den and the whole thing has been a fantastic experience.”
The First Steps Forever Frame is very easy to use. The contemporary, stylish frame is designed to hold a child’s first pair of shoes. Parents just open the frame, remove the card and press the little pair of shoes onto the special adhesive. The frame is designed and hand made in Tipperary using solid wood and real glass. Gift givers and/or parents can chose from a range of contemporary border styles and colours.
First Steps Forever is guaranteed Irish and can be ordered online from www.firststepsforever.ie. The frames are also available from 48 stores nationwide. Gifts can be personalised by replacing the text My First Shoes with a child's name, for example, Mary's First Shoes. First Steps Forever costs €49 plus €7 p&p within the whole of Ireland and €15 p&p to the U.K.