This is something we get asked a lot, why bags? Why not something else like, teddies or lollipops?
The story of how we arrived at DUC is one of serendipity. Lots of circumstances and events collided together which built the energy for the lightbulb in our heads that eventually became DUC.
- Anne- Marie and I were doing our usual brainstorm for fundraising for the Christina Noble Foundation ahead of our trip to Vietnam in 2015 and happened across their school kits initiative- the sparks of a great idea began to glow.
- While we were there I visited a manufacturing plant sporting my leather man-bag which was greatly admired by the factory owner, Mr Tung, who happened to mention that he was acquiring a bag manufacturing company. Mr Tung obviously assumed that due to my trendy man bag that I was up to date on the fashion industry which, at the time was not the case so I wished him all the best with his new venture and thought that would be the end of it.
- Something about that conversation with Mr Tung stuck with me; him admiring my bag, him beginning to produce bags and the school kits we were eager to donate to the foundation. Just because I didn’t know anything about the fashion industry now, didn’t mean I couldn’t learn. That spark, became a small fire.
- As Anne-Marie and I thrashed out the ideas, all the fragments started to come together. By the end of our meal, our table was covered with napkins with doodles and notes, all of which led us to the same question: could it be possible to implement a one-for-one model selling school bags in Ireland to continuously support a programme we felt so passionately about? That small fire was now a blazing idea that we just couldn’t shake, so the only possible answer was: Yes!
- The next year of our lives became completely absorbed by patterns, designs, focus groups, negotiations and fabrics. We didn’t end up working with Mr Tung in the end but his passing comment of “can you sell these in Europe” has been a bit of a life changer. Yes, I learnt a lot more about the fashion industry. And yes, my man bag has been relegated in favour of my fashion-forward DUC bag.