A ST Brogan’s College student in Bandon has raised over €1,500 for two charities with his creative craft business ‘Pom Pom Pals’.
Noah O’Shea from Ballineen set up his mini company as part of the Student Enterprise Programme which is run by the Local Enterprise Office Cork North and West and will represent the region in the junior category at the upcoming national finals in May.
Noah (13) began creating Pom Pom Pals as a way to connect with, and entertain, his sister when she was a patient in Crumlin Children’s Hospital in Dublin, travelling regularly from West Cork, four years ago. Since then he has made his pastime a business to give back to the place that helped his sister get better again.
The Pom Pom Pals are the perfect gift to give to a loved one who needs cheering up or to be reminded to be happy and to smile at the small simple things. Since setting up the business Noah has packaged his pals off to all corners of the country and also gifted them to well-known faces including Rob Heffernan and Phil Healy.
‘I started to make these little guys when my sister Louisa was up and down to Crumlin and I would make them with her to cheer her up,’ Noah said. ‘When we were making them we started to give them their own personalities and play with them for hours so when the opportunity came up, my mum suggested that I should turn my hobby into a business and I did! At Christmas time I made robins and at other times of the year I make a variety of characters like chicks for Easter. They can be bought finished or you can stick your own expressions on them yourself. They’ve been really popular.’
Noah pivoted his business last month and made little pals in Ukrainian colours to raise money for the Irish Red Cross by selling them in O’Donavon’s Centra in Enniskeane. To date, he has raised over €1,400 for the Red Cross Ukraine appeal.