Local firm wins Walmart deal
AWARD winning Children’s Toy and Gift inventors Gavin and Aoife Lawler, founders of Innov8 Creative Academy Ltd were thrilled when all their hard work over the last few months paid off and the long-awaited Walmart Purchase Orders finally landed in their inbox.
Innov8 Creative Academy, which was founded in 2018 is what is termed ‘a High Potential Start-Up’.
With a turnover of €1.2 million in its first three years trading, the Walmart deal is a welcome boost for the company.
After an introduction was made by one of Gavin’s commercial connections to Walmart’s lead buyer, the couple knew they had one shot to win the contract.
“Walmart roared back to life after the pandemic. Grocery had grown of course but all toy, gift and impulse sectors had slowed,” Gavin recalls.
“So when my contact told me he felt I should talk to Walmart about a couple of our lines I didn’t sleep until the introduction was made.”
After striking up a relationship with the buyer Gavin explains what happened next.
He said: “It was clear she was interested in what we had but for 2023 instead of 2022.
“We needed to get this relationship bedded down now.
“Past experience has taught me that you are as relevant as your last email, so I asked her what she wanted on shelves this Christmas.”
Within days the small team pulled all their ideas together and under Innov8’s Commercial Director David Thomas’s watch they put together a presentation with review samples in record time based around the feedback.
As hard work and determination would have it they won a contract for three lines, totalling over 100,000 pieces.
After the couple finally received the contracts from Walmart, Aoife said: “Gavin made this happen, I could hardly believe it when he sent it to me.”
Aoife and Gavin from Clondalkin Village and David Thomas from Tallaght are no strangers to success.
Their past endeavours included the hugely successful The Irish Fairy Door Company which Gavin and Aoife co-founded in 2013.
“Our past has taught us a lot, we had the foresight to maintain important relationships,” Aoife is keen to acknowledge.
Few Irish ‘non-food’ product companies have been able to secure Walmart Purchase Orders, and for this team it would seem they were up to the challenge.
“We are absolutely delighted and the hard work has already started,” Gavin said.
Christmas 2022 has already started well for this duo, with their products available for purchase this season in Walmart stores.
“Interest in the company has definitely grown and some of the leads we are now receiving make all the sacrifices seem worth it,” added Gavin.
Innov8 Creative Academy are on the brink of something special. The company is in advanced stages of preparing a ‘Raise’ funding to scale on UK crowdfunding site Crowdcube.
“The company had a turnover of over €1.2 million in their first three years which we are quite proud of given the pandemic,” David Thomas concluded.