“A crazy journey” – the reindeer of the students fly off the shelves

The holiday season is paying off for teenager Anthony Gorman, whose handmade reindeer decorations for Santa have become a business sensation.

he started as a school project in 2019 when Anthony made 80 wooden reindeer and sold them to family, friends and teachers at Tullamore College, has now expanded beyond his wildest dreams with a production line to rival the busiest of Santa’s Elves would.

In the first year Anthony made the decorative reindeer at his workshop in Killeigh, Co. Offaly, he hoped to make enough money to buy an iPhone.

His holiday-themed business, Anthony’s Wooden Crafts, has grown phenomenally in record time.

Last month, Leaving Cert student Dunnes Stores delivered an exclusive order for 10,000 wooden reindeer – up from 5,000 last year.

The Irish retailer sells the reindeer, made from local ash, for €20 each in more than 30 of its stores across the country. Anthony and his crew of four also produced a second order for Dunnes Stores of wooden reindeer decoration kits to hang on Christmas trees.

Anthony, who turned 18 last Saturday, admits making the reindeer from ashes was “a crazy journey”.

As he settled down to study for his Christmas science test last night, he said he would like to study business in college.

“I always had a passion for business administration in school, even before I started it, and now I want to grow my business and expand my workforce,” he said.

That year he invested in new equipment including band saws, chop saws, drill bits and drill bits for his festive assembly line.

There are more than a dozen ash wood components in the reindeer, including the body, legs, neck, tail, head, eyes, ears, antlers, nose, and lights with batteries.

“Every year I get faster at making them,” said Anthony. “Everything was planned in stages and I did all the hard work over the summer. We did all the heads first, and then at the end of the summer we started assembling the actual reindeer with the legs and body, and in November we started the controls.”

Anthony says he was inspired by his father Philip, who has a steel fabrication business.

When his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer during the pandemic, Anthony wanted to expand the business to make enough money to buy him a tractor front loader for Christmas.

He praises his mother, accountant Martina, as “the backbone of the company”.

After the reindeer are delivered, Anthony is looking forward to some time off and after his exams he plans to go to Rome with his girlfriend Kayla.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/a-crazy-journey-students-reindeers-are-flying-off-the-shelves-42197599.html “A crazy journey” – the reindeer of the students fly off the shelves

Fry Electronics Team

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