Galway’s Chloe Gardiner wins business award from Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis

19-year-old is the creator and owner of two businesses - The Wonky Woolins and Baa Baa Bandits

Chloe Gardiner, the 19-year-old entrepreneur from Galway, has received two consecutive young entrepreneurial awards from former Dragons Den UK star, Theo Paphitis.

Chloe, who completed her Leaving Cert last year is the owner of two businesses - The Wonky Woolins, a soft toy making company, and Baa Baa Bandits, an online giant wool shop. While she has won previous awards for her businesses, Paphitis' recognition may be the most significant yet.

Wonky Woolins and Baa Baa Bandits were chosen as one of Theo Pahitis’ Small Business Sunday winners in 2020 and Chloe was invited to attend the annual awards ceremony in Birmingham by Theo Paphitis, and fellow dragon Touker Suleyman, on her 19th birthday this year.

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“It was completely unexpected,” she says. “I was thrilled to win initially with Baa Baa Bandits, but when the Wonky Woolins were announced as another winner a few weeks later, I was over the moon. Having my businesses recognised by Theo Paphitis, a Dragon and entrepreneur who I have always looked up to is just incredible, he was so giving of his time and advice and that really meant the world to me.”

The Wonky Woolins began in 2018 as a transition year school project when Chloe was 15. She was inspired to begin creating Wonky Woolins when she found a collection of knitted toys which had been passed through her family for generations.

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“These unique toys, unlike the mass produced generic ones I had grown up around, had survived years of play and adventures from the time my granny was a child,” says Chloe. “Each toy had been handmade and made to last for generations of love. This inspired me to create our colourful group of Wonky Woolins for others with the hope they too could be cherished for a lifetime.”

Chloe added another to her portfolio Baa Baa Bandits in 2020, an online arm knitting shop which supplies giant yarns for arm knitting. Arm knitting is the same as regular knitting except every step is supersized and the arms are used to create giant knits.

For more information see www.thewonkywoolins.com Giant Knits www.baabaabandits.com

 

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