Tuesday 19 September 2017

'There is a distinctly unsexy side to running a start-up' - Irish fashion site Opsh bows out with the kind of grace you'd expect

Jennie and Sarah McGinn
Jennie and Sarah McGinn
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

When three Irish sisters launched their fashion website with an aim to cut through the hassle of online shopping, their offering was an immediate hit.

Dubliners Jennie Grace and Sarah McGinn started out as popular fashion bloggers and spearheaded Prowlster before creating Opsh which became the epitome of an Irish start-up success story.

At their peak, their tech-savvy personalised site secured almost €1m in funding from UK investors and Enterprise Ireland. But the dream has come to end - which will no doubt be quite a surprise to many of the site's fans.

"It is with great sadness that we have decided to step down as directors of Opsh.com," a release from the entrepreneurs read.

"Ultimately we fell victim to the notoriously difficult investment chasm - the chasm that exists when a sparky start-up needs to move into a global-looking machine. And so, for some of you this won’t come as a surprise.

"There is a distinctly unsexy side to running a start-up that made every effort to push-through almost impossible.

https://twitter.com/McGinnSisters/status/818509309986439168

"Perhaps what will come as a surprise is just how long we battled, fought and pivoted our way through adversity - a testament to our sheer determination, but ultimately unsustainable. We have built an incredible brand with Opsh - but it’s now time for us to step away."

Despite having no background in technology or business, the trio positioned themselves firmly inside the emerging tech space and grew a large and talented team, building up a significant client base. 

Thanking everyone who has helped them along in their journey - from their first staff member to the media who "gave three unknown sisters" a chance - the McGinns hope that others can learn from their experience.

"We hope we have left some blueprint for aspiring entrepreneurs or people who just want to #getahead. That alone makes it worthwhile," they said.

"On a personal level, we have amassed a vast amount of knowledge and skills that we hope to share, but also apply to the next chapter in our lives, whatever that may be."

"We always stood for collaboration, not competition and our motto was to stay sassy, creative, smart, kind and kickass...This isn’t the end of the road for the Mc Ginn Sisters, and we’re sure there are plenty more exciting times to come."

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