Sisters Ruth and Jane Flanagan have always shared a love of fashion – proven in their much-loved blog Style Ignite. Now the Louth-born siblings are enjoying their first foray into the online fashion world with an exciting new Irish knitwear brand bringing stylish, sustainable and comfortable clothing to the fore.
oving home from London during the early weeks of the first lockdown last year, Ruth joined her sister Jane at their family home in Louth, where the multi-talented pair set-up their new clothing line – Style Ignite Studio.
“Launching our company during the pandemic was definitely a daunting prospect,” says Ruth. “Although it was challenging, we’re delighted we did it.
“Jane and I had always dreamed of working on something of our own together and there was never a right moment to kick things off until the pandemic. I decided to move home from the bustling city of London to Ireland during the first lockdown last March.
“It was great to be reunited with Jane after living abroad the last three years. We had plenty more time on our hands, especially during the evenings and at the weekends – time to think about what we really wanted to do.
“We sensed an opportunity and decided to enter the market creating our own fashion brand Style Ignite Studio,” she continues. “It would be very daunting to launch a business on your own so it definitely felt less scary doing it together.
“We had each other’s reassurance along the way and I suppose it’s a benefit to have two pairs of eyes analysing everything so that it’s perfect. The workload is heavy and it’s great to have the support of one another to get through tasks.”
But it hasn’t been a total walk in the park for the sisters, who at the start of the venture faced difficulties trying to source a supplier with the same values.
“It’s important for us to work with a supplier that has sustainability at the forefront of their business and has ethical standards,” explains Ruth.
“Thankfully, after a couple of weeks of searching we found a supplier that is GOTS certified – meaning that each stage of development, fabric sourcing and labour is sustainable.”
It is this ethos that sets the brand apart from others – a niche knitwear brand that is not only affordable, but sustainable and fashion forward too.
The Flanagans’ online fashion business is already proving a hit for summer layering trends and the savvy sisters shared this sage advice for any budding entrepreneurs.
“If you have an idea and you believe in it, don’t hesitate to start,” encourages Ruth. “Just go for it.
“Plan as much as you can ahead. Try to foresee things that could go wrong down the line. We made a few mistakes along the way, but you live and you learn.”
Ranging in price from €49 to €120, the new all-season knitwear is available now.