Insta ready! Jason Dinneen and Ciaran Hanley in front of their flower wall
WHEN two young men open a boutique in the middle of a global pandemic you have to admire their style.
Bruff’s main street has a splash of colour again instead of an empty shop. Raspberry Red’s doors are reopened thanks to Jason Dinneen, 25, from Meelick and Ciaran Hanley, 24, Bruff.
They have kept a proud south Limerick tradition alive. Actor, comedian and musician Jon Kenny’s mother, Mary, ran a clothes shop in Hospital –Kenny’s Arcade – for the bones of 60 years. In 2011, Jon’s wife, Margy, took over the running of the business. Then, in 2013, Margy Kenny opened Raspberry Red in Bruff.
Jason said when they heard the boutique was closing he and Ciaran were delighted to work with Margy to negotiate and be able to open once again under new ownership.
“Ciaran has worked in the retail business for several years with experience in a number of online retailers and clothing stores and I have experience in designing and developing sales websites and online customer experiences,” explained Jason.
They renovated the shop to include a flower wall for all those Insta photos. A lot of modification work was also done to ensure that customers can return safely.
Masks are mandatory on entering the store; only 30 people are allowed at any one time and there are hand sanitizers wherever you turn.
Jason and Ciaran officially opened on Friday, September 18.
“We are absolutely thrilled and delighted with the launch of our store Raspberry Red. The reception from all of our customers was more than we could ever have imagined. Customers enjoyed all of the new styles that were on offer and we would like to thank everyone who came and supported us, wished us well and sent us cards and gifts to mark the occasion,” said the business partners.
Raspberry Red will be open six days a week but 24/7 on www.raspberryred.ie from their base in Bruff.
Jason agrees the trends in shopping are going more and more online.
“And particularly with the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions that are in place. The website allows our customers to have an enjoyable and most importantly safe shopping experience should they wish to shop online. It also allows our customers to order our new pieces almost immediately as they arrive at our bricks and mortar store,” said Jason.
But how can a small boutique in County Limerick compare with the massive online stores?
“With a boutique like ours, you have the beauty of having all of the same services that these large companies can provide - we get all our clothes professionally photographed on a model before uploading to our online store; we have deliveries leaving our store every week day and we accept all payment types and can dispatch worldwide. However, with our close knit team here at Raspberry Red we can offer smaller touches that would not be possible in a larger store.
“Really stuck for a dress for that weekend party? We can help - we can pick and dispatch for special cases. You can call and talk to us anytime in the shop - you will always be greeted by the exact same people. None of that would be possible with a large scale company.”
It’s a case of small being beautiful in Raspberry Red.