ACORNS alumni Klara O’Leary from Wicklow turned the pandemic into an opportunity to build her Care Box Collection business around meaningful wellness gifts.
We talk to rural women entrepreneurs from across Ireland who recently took part in the ACORNS programme.
Women in rural Ireland with new businesses or at least with well-developed ideas are being invited to join next phase of the programme ACORNS 8. The ACORNS programme is designed to support early-stage female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland through a peer learning approach. Thanks to the support of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and the voluntary contribution of time by Lead Entrepreneurs, there is no charge for those selected to participate.
“I hope these achievements will encourage other young women to develop and pursue their business idea”
The call is now open for applicants for ACORNS 8 and 50 female entrepreneurs from across the country will be selected to participate. Anyone interested in receiving an application form ahead of the midnight 23 September deadline for ACORNS 8 should register their interest here
Care Box Collection
Klara O’Leary started her company, Care Box Collection, at just 23, from her home in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, during 2020.
Care Box Collection is a wellness-focused gift company which creates unique, meaningful and affordable gifts for yourself, a loved one, your company, clients or team and delivers them directly across Ireland, the UK and EU.
Klara was working in the events department of a large corporate firm when she started her company, after struggling to find an appropriate gift for a friend, who was going through a difficult time.
“Essentially, what I wanted to gift my friend either wasn’t on the market or was prohibitively expensive. I also noticed that a trend towards wellness among Irish people was not reflected in the gifts that were available.”
Klara launched Care Box Collection with three gift box options and a website she built herself in October 2020 and within months the company had moved to a premises in Bray and Klara resigned from her corporate role. She now has three employees, over 40 pre-curated boxes, 150 products, and a bespoke corporate gifting range.
She has been recognised in the Sunday Independent’s 30 under 30 list, shortlisted in the Image PwC Businesswoman of the Year awards and recently won the Network Ireland Emerging Wicklow Businesswoman of the Year award.
“ACORNS encouraged participants to focus on the fundamentals of their businesses and it was hugely beneficial to network with other businesswomen.”
Klara intends to build her team to at least five employees and to expand market share across Ireland, the UK and EU.
“I hope these achievements will encourage other young women to develop and pursue their business idea.”