GAVIN Duffy from RTE’s Dragons’s Den has taken a giant leap and is investing €30,000 in First Steps Forever, a beautiful and affordable way of framing a baby’s first shoes, created by Roscrea couple Graham and Cassandra Kenny.
First Steps Forever, which was featured on Sunday’s Dragons’ Den, is guaranteed Irish, designed and handmade with solid wood & glass in Tipperary.
Graham Kenny is a farmer from Co Tipperary who successfully breeds thoroughbred horses, and stocks sheep. Cassandra is from Lucan, Co Dublin and is a qualified Royal Academy of Dance Teacher who runs a ballet school in Birr and Portumna. The couple married in 2001 and have three children Scott (5), Abigail (3) and Brooke (15 months).
Graham and Cassandra went into RTE’s Dragons’ Den to ask the Dragons to invest €30,000 in return for 20% share of their company. Gavin Duffy invested the full amount for the percentage offered by Graham and Cassandra, while Nora Casey who loved the product offered the couple assistance through her publishing company, Harmonia. Niall O’Farrell said it was the hardest business he had to turn down.
Cassandra Kenny said “We created ‘First Steps Forever’, the first in our unique keepsake range, as a beautiful and inexpensive way of treasuring a baby’s first shoes creating a lifelong memory. Having three young children ourselves, we hope that parents get as much enjoyment from this product as we have from seeing our own children’s shoes framed.”
Gavin Duffy, Dragons Den said: “Graham and Cassandra’s idea is brilliant. In times of austerity, it is great to create a product that turns something old and used, like a child’s outgrown shoes into a treasured memento for life.”
First Steps Forever can be ordered online from www.firststepsforever.ie. The frames are also available from 48 stores nationwide. Gifts can be personalised by replacing the text “My First Shoes” with a child’s name, for example, “Mary’s First Shoes”. First Steps Forever costs €49 plus €7 p&p within the whole of Ireland and €15 p&p to the UK.