When we started commercially marketing our Tipperary Sandstone from the ‘ family quarry ‘ over 20 years ago nationwide we believed that the average middle class family would require some building stone or walling stone for their boundary walls and some matching paving for their patio. The economy was on the upward cycle, people were starting to upgrade their 1970’s bungalows etc as they were starting to look a little dated.
The first thing I learnt was that natural stone is a luxury, not one of life’s essential products hence it needed to be sold similar to Life Assurance etc.
To grab people’s attention,( luckily I had a ‘ Masters in Marketing ‘ under my belt ), we painted on all our advertising boards, trucks, vans, tractors, trailers etc in canary yellow. This grabbed the public’s attention as most stone companies in the 90’s were supplying the headstone market etc and their yards tended to be a dull grey / blue environment surrounded by Celtic Crosses etc.
Our first customers ironically were not our targeted ABC1’s of a happy middle class couple with a 70’s bungalow, 4 kids and a Toyota Corolla but a growing affluent segment of clients living in Dalkey , Dublin or in the ‘ Stud Farm Belt ‘ Of Tipperary.
We are forever grateful to the ‘ Ryan Family ‘ from Kilboy Stud and Mattie Tynan from ‘ Tynan Construction based in Fethard, Co Tipperary for ordering load after load of Tipperary Sandstone Building Stone mixed with Old White Limestone Building Stone for the large ‘ stable yard and outbuildings ‘ of Kilboy Stud, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary . Remember this was 1998 and fortunately 20 years later we are still supplying natural stone to the late ‘ Tony Ryan’s ‘ sons Shane in Kilboy and Declan in Enniskerry.
Another fortunate turn for the business was meeting Stephen Porter from ‘ Stone Brokers ‘ in Dalkey. Stephen like the late Tony Ryan is the ultimate professional and would purchase load after load of our sandstone paving stone which was quite similar to York Stone Paving. Stephens A list of clients kept us busy for a few years.
What did we learn from this period of the late nineties in the natural stone business in Ireland in www.wesellstone.com ?
1. Let’s call it for simplicity’s sake a product necessary for the ‘ Old Money Look ‘. This sounds a bit crazy however have you seen the programme on TV where they have interviewed Irish people that won the lotto ?
One guy spent €70,000 on red tacky concrete paving in front of his SouthFork type house in Galway ,another couple bought 2 Nissan Jeeps for €80k in Kildare ( his n hers same colour of course ). Ok well the opposite to this carry on!
Here’s what ‘ Old Money ‘ buys
Todd’s Leather Shoes.
Old Fieldstone Entrance, Stables, Country Home.
Heavy Wrought Iron Gates .
Golden Cotswold Type Gravel Driveway & Pathways.
Old Salvage Red Brick.
Sash Windows .
Wild Geese Wine ( Lynches, Barton’s etc..... )
Salvage Yorkstone Flagstones etc
Jack B Yeats Paintings
Not to sound, ostentatious, however this stone purchased by savvy buyers in that period in the 90’s from www.wesellstone.com has proved to look better with time and has proved to be a brilliant investment for the buyers.
Why ? If you didn’t like it or fell on hard times you could resell it for more than you paid for it. Unlike the tacky red concrete cobble or Nissan Jeeps which lost their value immediately.
To conclude this blog, we have learnt that quality is key and stay away from tacky trends of glittery quoin stones on mock Georgian type houses that came and went with the Celtic tiger.
Buy quality Fieldstone, Salvage Cobbles & Kerbs and stone that looks better with time and adds to the local environment, adds value to your home and most importantly makes our country look brilliant for generations to come like the Round Tower in our local town in Roscrea, Co Tipperary built in and around the 13th century. Anyone need a lifetime guarantee?
Have a great day from www.wesellstone.com !