I (Jenny) started The Dribbly Yak Company back in 2015, with no real intention or expectation that it would become what it has today. This has been an unreal journey, that's been so exciting, and has given us a life that I couldn't have imagined. It's been hard work; we work long days, and even longer weeks. I forget what annual leave looks like. But I wouldn't change it. We can only do this job because we love it so much.
How We Started
Back in 2015, both myself and Anthony (we're now married) were working in offices, and just on the side were doing creative things; he was a Graphic Designer, and I was meandering around picking up ideas and trying them out. Both of us had a desire to do more, to have more freedom and be creative. So we just did it! We both left our jobs in the same week as eachother and just went for it. A bold decision that I wouldn't recommend, but thankfully and mercifully it worked out beautifully for us. But it was a huge leap that some days left us unsure if we could pay the rent that month.
Anthony's self employment path was easy, he had been a Graphic Designer for a big company for years; so he became a Freelance Graphic Designer.
My path was a bit wonkier. I knew I liked building things; I had always said when I was young that I wanted to be a Builder when I grew up. But other than that, I didn't have much direction. I came from a family of Wood Burners (that's people who practice the art of pyrography, not the stoves found in your living room), so I thought I might try that. So I made a coffee table, burned a design on it, and really quickly it sold. So I took the idea and ran with it. I did only hand-burning; it was a slow process that involved concentration, time and a lot of effort. We didn't have any power tools so for a long time it was just me, a handsaw and my burning pen.
We Came Together...
Thankfully both our wee businesses did well and after a few years we decided to combine our skills and invest in a laser engraver. Both Anto and I started working as The Dribbly Yak Company. We're in a wee bit of a unique position; not many tiny laser engraving businesses like ours have such an accomplished Graphic Designer on the payroll. Anto takes care of all the design work, and I look after the customers. We share the work of making orders; taking turns in the workshop while the other does the admin and occasionally washes the dishes.
We've built the business around an ethos of sustainability and consideration for the Earth; no point building a business if there's no planet to run it from! We keep our batch production small, so low waste. We buy sustainably sourced wood. We use natural oils to finish the wood, so fewer nasty chemicals and the oil production process has a lower carbon footprint. We use the most
environmentally friendly shipping services. We use recycled and recyclable packaging, minimising plastic involvement in every way we can. Every decision we make we involve the planet; if there's a way to make it better for the environment we want to do it.
What's next for The Dribbly Yak Company?
There's so many paths that this could take; we enjoyed the first couple of years where we let the wind take us and drift along in a happy meander. But now we have big dreams; we want to bring the message of eco-conscious gifts and homewares. We celebrate Ireland a lot and want to inspire others to explore their homeland (Ireland or otherwise).
We're continually working on our online presence; it's sometimes hard to pull yourself away from the quiet comfort of a lovely workshop and dive into social media. But we want to share what we do, because we love it. We're excited about what the future holds and are so thrilled to get others excited too.