Feena’s foxy idea celebrates first anniversary

A LETTERKENNY school teacher who started a small arts and crafts business while on maternity leave last year has celebrated the first anniversary of her company.
The Arty Fox, which is run by Feena McBride, makes seasonal craft boxes for children, entertaining them with something worthwhile rather than a screen! One of her boxes featured on the Late, Late Toy Show on RTE last Friday night.
A primary school teacher for 15 years, Feena has taken a career break from her job in Illistrin National School to pursue her business dream.
The garage at the family home in Kilmacrennan was being converted into an office this week with supplies being moved there from the spare room when Feena spoke to the Donegal News.
“I always knew I wanted to have my own business, coming from a business family (her Dad, Seamus, owned County Seat on the Main Street, owned now by her brother Brendan) but this has all been a bit hectic,” she laughed.
The idea for the business came after watching her eldest daughter taking great fun and enjoyment from a hamper full of arts and crafts which she won.
“I thought: What if that hamper had a box lid and could be used as a storage box? That’s where the idea came from,” she explained.
The Arty Fox encourages children to use their initiative and imagination to create individual, memorable pieces rather than giving children specific instructions to follow.
Their firm favourite Get Craft Boxes, now available in two themes Colour Blast and Construct, have been joined by the Christmas Card boxes to delight any parents sick of plastic junk.
“The business started in the middle of lockdown and really took off. I managed to sell hundreds of boxes all over the country last Christmas, which came as both a surprise and shock.
“This year I’ve made boxes for Easter, Staycations, Halloween and now Christmas. I buy in all the stuff and put it together. It started off as an idea to help give parents a break – to allow kids to work away themselves – but I’ve found that more and more parents want to do art with their kids. It’s a great thing to do together,” she said.
Together as a family, Feena, her husband Paul (also a teacher) and their three daughters have enjoyed trying out the products and discovering creative and arty characteristics in themselves.
“The business is all online at the moment although I have been contacted by a local man, Ciaran McBride, who wants to stock The Arty Fox products in his gift shop in Drumshaughlin, County Meath. That’s exciting. It’s another new step,” she said.
“I’m still finding my feet but I am also trying to come up with new business ideas. I’ll give it another year and we’ll see where it takes me but over the next few weeks I will be kept busy making sure that all orders are sorted ahead of Christmas,” she said.
The Arty Fox provides high quality arts sets for children ages 3 to 10 which focus on the imagination and creativity of the child.

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