Positivity produces energy.
Energy produces the determination.
Determination produces results.”
– Shane, Back2New Programme Participant
Back2New upcycles used and unwanted furniture within the Limerick community – re-designing and re-imagining each piece whilst creating a brand new bespoke item and reducing waste destined for landfill.
While providing training on a pilot furniture upcycling programme in 2012 in Askeaton, Co. Limerick, Michaela Donegan immediately saw the potential and possibilities to develop the project.
She felt that the value both to the participants and the environment was not being properly recognised, as Back2New Upcycling was always viewed as a “project” and not a “commercial business”.
We didn’t get a place in the first incubator programme in 2016, so I attended some of BNest’s open events in the following months.
I saw BNest, as an opportunity for us to get an external support to develop the project, so I made sure to reapply in the following year.”
“We needed to get more exposure to get sales, so we could invest the money back into the project”, says Michaela.
It was also a great motivational boost for the Back2New participants – people walking into the shop are amazed by the quality and craftsmanship of the pieces displayed.
Running the retail shop also expanded the range of skills the training programme can teach – there is a lot of new tasks and duties to be done – from sales to marketing to administration.
Michaela also admits BNest programme had an impact on her personal journey:
BNest motivated me again to continue to explore what I love – changing things through creativity!”
“Too many, that’s my problem. I’d love to add clothing to our upcycling offerings. But I understand I can’t do everything straight away. You can juggle everything, but you can only do it for so long. Expanding our offerings means another, bigger premises and extra staff to fill different roles, so we need to plan this carefully.”
“Marketing was one of the biggest learnings on BNest programme. There is still loads to do, as we are not in the full swing yet, but we know how hugely important it is to our project. There is a huge potential in it, and we are exploring what it could possibly be.”