Donegal Pens

Donegal Pens

Two young brothers running a small wooden pen business have gone from strength to strength in recent times. It all happens in their parents garden shed which was converted into a workshop where the boys turn wood such as bog oak, ash, yew, elm, and beech into pens that they sell all over the world on their website.

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Ronan and Conor McGarvey from Loughanure in West Donegal use their evenings and weekends after they’ve done their school homework to make wooden pens through the woodturning process.

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As well as selling one to singer Daniel O’Donnell, they’ve also presented pens to Brian Cowen, Eamon Gilmore and Gerry Adams.

The pair could be the country’s youngest entrepreneurs having already sold over six hundred pens at around €15.95 each, making them between €3,000 – €4,000 which has been reinvested in new equipment for their workshop.

Their father Eoin McGarvey, a postman in Donegal, related how the boys had become hooked after a visit to a woodturning fair at Junction 1.

“After they’d been, they were pestering me ‘Can we get a lathe! Can we get a lathe!’ We thought it was a fad but they were persistent so eventually we got a small lathe and touched up the garden shed a bit with more lighting and they started making pens.”

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The two boys managed to sell enough pens over one summer in local shops that they were able to upgrade their equipment and since then the business has grown. Their father continued:

“They keep whatever profit themselves and at the moment they want to buy a quad bike although I’m not sure about the safety of that! They’re really passionate about it and it seems to be something they want to continue doing when they’re older. They’d take a hammer and a nail any day over a Playstation or an Xbox.”

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