SERIES TWO – EDITION TWENTY THREE
In the latest edition of our ‘Faces behind the Business’ series, we caught up with Mary Colgan, aged 42, founder of Scouse Irish; a family run business selling Irish and Liverpool themed merchandise raising money for charity.
When did you first get into the industry?
We applied for the trademark in January 2021 and launched our website “ScouseIrish.com” and social media pages in April 2021. It has been my dream for a long time. I have been teaching here in Liverpool for 16 years. I was faculty leader of Design and Technology which is where my love of all things creative has been shared with my secondary school students. I was a teacher of Hospitality and Catering & Textiles.
Since I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Brain Cancer in Sept 2020, I realised it is so important to follow my dreams and not wait until it is too late. I needed something positive to focus on during my treatment which I could only do with the support of Julie, John and our children/families. We have all had input in product designs and worked together to get things started up. We wanted to help charities along the way and give something back to the amazing people who are doing wonderful things every day for myself, my 8 year old son and those families living with and affected by Cancer.
How long have you worked at Scouse Irish and what is your job role?
I am the founder of Scouse Irish with my best friends Julie Hoey and John Parry and my main job role in “Scouse Irish” is to give my input into design ideas for our products and work with my best friends to create a legacy for our children. I manage the orders and package all products to be shipped. We have chosen Clatterbridge Cancer Charity to receive 10% of the profits from our business this year and myself, my son Ruairi and another friend Paddy McShane in Ireland have already raised over £6,000 for the charity this year.
What is Scouse Irish’s ethos?
Our Ethos is “Family” with that meaning “Culture and Identity”. I am so proud to be Irish but even more proud to be “Scouse Irish” as this is my identity now and that of my son Ruairi, whose name means “Red King” in the Irish language. I have lived here since I was 17 and fell in love with the city, the people and the sense of loyalty, strength and courage that is the backbone of this beautiful city. Ireland and Liverpool have a very strong bond throughout history and we want this bond to be shared with our future generations. Behind every scouser, there is an Irish relative somewhere. I believe that is why people in this city and back in Ireland love the “Craic agus Ceoil” which means “laughter and music” and the Irish community is so strong in Liverpool and across Merseyside. FAMILY is our main reason for setting this business up as we will not take any income or profits now as this will be for our children, Eleanor, Sarah and Jonathan Hoey, my son Ruairi and Elsie Parry to have a bright future and to learn to give something back to others.
What’s the best bit of advice you could give to anyone looking at working in your line of work?
Remember to listen to others, share ideas and support other local businesses. Costs might be a little bit more than outsourcing abroad but we are helping other families like ours to survive after lockdown. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or support. John has been great at contacting people on social media and we have some links to some amazing footballers past and present and local influencers/celebs who have been more than happy to give us a shout out on their pages.
What do you love most about Liverpool?
I love the pride that the people have in the city of Liverpool. The passion to never give up when faced with difficult times. Whether a Red or a Blue people come together to laugh and joke and support each other in times of need. Fans for Foodbanks is an example of how even when times are tough Scousers show compassion and empathy for others and find a way of helping each other and people far and wide. The culture, the history and the fabulous buzz around the city has made me fall in love with the place and choose to call it my home. I intend to fight this illness with all I have got and enjoy running Scouse Irish for as long as I am well enough to do so and when I am not my Scouse Irish Team will continue on without me. I have chosen Liverpool to be my place of rest so I can always remain “In my Liverpool Home”
If you could describe your business in 3 words what would they be?
Scouse Irish Forever.
You can follow
@scouseirish1 or visit www.scouseirish.com
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