Describe your business + mission...
Ogham Art, LLC is a specialty gift business located in central Connecticut. It was founded in
October 2009 by me (Colleen Berry Conway) & my husband (Christopher Conway) as a
retail online store, wholesaler and artisan vendor. We feature Ogham – the first written form
of the Irish language – in original prints, jewelry, home decor and personalized, custom gifts.
Our mission is to celebrate the beautiful writing system of Ogham in artistic and creative
fashions. We pride ourselves on bringing a relatively obscure piece of Celtic history to those
who honor their Irish ancestry.
Business History: How did you get into the industry / business you are working in now?
In 2009, I left my 17-year retail management career with Barnes & Noble Booksellers to start
a home-based business after the birth of our son Desmond. Irish is the only ancestry that
Chris and I have in common and we were both raised honoring the Emerald Isle. Chris has
traveled to Ireland numerous times and studied at Trinity College in Dublin. It was our shared
love of Ireland combined with a sales and customer service background that led to the
founding of Ogham Art. We spent 8 months researching the history of the Ogham alphabet
and finding local small businesses and wholesale partners to develop our product line. We
launched OghamArt.com in October of 2009 and have continued to grow as an online and
mobile retailer as well as a wholesale distributor.
Who is your ideal client?
Regardless of one’s heritage, there is something fascinating about an extinct alphabet carved into stones centuries ago! That being said, our ideal client is primarily a person who proudly celebrates ancestry of Irish, Scottish or Welsh descent. But just as hieroglyphs appeal to those born outside of Egypt, Ogham attracts enthusiasts of ancient history, linguistics and calligraphy.
What is your favorite part of running your business?
I am most satisfied when I am creating, whether it’s designing new products or painting personalized, commissioned pieces. A close second is interacting with customers at festivals and fairs. Live engagement with patrons allows us to develop relationships and grow repeat business in ways that online transactions cannot achieve. The look of amazement on their faces as we speedily write out names in Ogham is a thrill!
Share something you’ve learned through your business, how has it helped you grow…
In the past 7 years, I have learned how vital it is to maintain a passion for what I do. As the
owner of a niche business, mastering the history behind my products is imperative to my
success. My expertise often leads to trust from my customers.
If you could share one piece of advice with a new business owner what would it be and why?
Be persistent and give it time to grow as it can be discouraging to not see immediate results.
Starting a new business is a solid investment of time, money…and mental stamina! Also, be
sure your personal thumbprint is part of your branding; stand apart from everyone else in
your industry in a unique and memorable way that only you can deliver.
What is your favorite part about working with PayHub Payments?
Being Connecticut based, it was important to us to partner with as many local businesses as possible in our entrepreneurial journey. Using PayHub Payments of Avon perfectly fit this bill. Using them as our payment gateway has been seamless, both on our website and at our mobile shows. As an added bonus, our account manager Andy is always responsive and accommodating.