How a busy mum of four set up new business from kids' playroom during pandemic

EMMA CONNOLLY catches up with fashion design graduate and mum of four Lisa Ruttledge, who launched her new business from her kids’ toy room, during the pandemic
How a busy mum of four set up new business from kids' playroom during pandemic

 Lisa Ruttledge of Fabulisa.

MUM of four Lisa Ruttledge launched her business during the pandemic – in fact, it was prompted by it.

Lisa runs Fabulisa, where she sells luxury mulberry silk face and eye masks, hair bands and turbans, and is expanding the range all the time.

Living in Crosshaven, she studied fashion design in college after which she had a varied career which saw her work in the area of window display. She was also a sales manager for Abbey business for over a decade.

Some of Lisa's silk masks.
Some of Lisa's silk masks.

Married to Billy, his work on oil rigs meant she was needed at home with her kids (now aged 11, 8 and seven-year-old twins) for seven years.

She was always keen to get back to doing something outside the home, but it had to fit in around her family, so she started working for Mint Velvet in Brown Thomas on Sundays.

“I remember the Sunday after St Stephen’s Day, I was working, and we were all wearing glitzy, sequinned masks and the customers were asking where we got them but they had all sold out instore. People were nearly offering me money for mine!

“So I came home that evening, did some Googling and bought 20 black sparkly face masks that I sold to friends and neighbours.”

They were snapped up in a matter of days, so Lisa went back and bought 40 more.

Some more of the sequin masks sold by Lisa.
Some more of the sequin masks sold by Lisa.

“I have four kids which means I’m on four WhatsApp groups, where I got a great response, and I shared a few pictures on Facebook,” she said.

Bit by bit, she expanded her enterprise, with her eldest daughter Sadie coming up with the catchy business name.

Lisa felt so passionate about her idea, and saw such great potential, she handed in her notice, set up as a sole trader and set up ‘shop’ out of her kids’ playroom.

She’s now diversifying into a range of silk pillow cases, has added face mask chains to the range, and has even kitted out brides and bridal parties.

“When I started, I never thought it would develop like this, and what’s great is that it works around my busy home life.”

She has gotten great feedback on the masks - with many people raving about how easy they are to wear all day long, due to their comfort. They are also super stylish and Lisa is happy to advise people on what colour will match their outfit - especially for any special occasions.

You can follow her on Instagram at fabulisacork, to order. She is also selling at Fountainstown market on Saturday mornings 9.30am to 12.

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