When Stitches Clothing, Alterations and Repairs was taken over by Galway mother Chris Roche this summer, her first port of call was to help the homeless.
Along with her daughter Danielle, Chris worked with Galway Simon Community to donate and distribute 120 reusable face masks from Stitches to homeless people across Galway to help prevent them from contracting Covid-19.
Chris said that since taking over Stitches, which is located on Eyre Street, she has become very aware of how much help the Galway homeless needed.
“Being in the city a lot more since Stitches came about, I have become very conscious of the many people sleeping in doorways,” said Chris.
“We felt given the Covid numbers were rising that we could do good by helping support these people against the virus by donating masks.”
Chris added that her daughter’s own charity work inspired her to use her new business to help those in need.
“My daughter Danielle fits a charity event into her very busy schedule each year which is something I admire about her.
“Feeling the cold evenings in recent weeks it didn’t take long for Danielle to convince me that The Simon Community should be our charity of choice this year.”
Danielle feels we should express more compassion and less judgement towards homeless people, and explained why we should help them.
“I think people’s life can spiral out of control so quickly through no fault of their own. Seeing people losing jobs recently due to Covid-19 has really put it into perspective that you don’t know what is around the corner,” she said.
Along with taking time to benefit a Galway charity, the mother-daughter duo have been flat out adjusting to running a successful Galway company since Chris bought Stitches.
Asked what attracted her to buying the business in July, Chris said that she is fully aware of what a risk it is to buy a company this year with all the businesses closing due to Covid-19, but she has faith that Stitches will continue to thrive.
“Alterations are always going to be needed, and the fact the business is 40 years old this year and in its present location at 4 Eyre Street, the past 20 years told me it could survive the Covid storm.
“I took over the business on the 20th of July, keeping all existing staff in employment and so far, it has been doing really well,” said Chris.
Contrary to fearing how Covid-19 will affect Stitches, Chris feels Stitches can help combat the pandemic.
“I would like to see myself growing the business more, introducing new products and services which in turn will create further employment.
“Given the difficulties that Covid-19 has brought I feel Stitches can continue to be a local manufacturer of masks to help protect against this deadly virus.”
Asked how she felt about working alongside her mother, Danielle said she supports Chris fully in her new business.
“Being able to support her on this new venture and see her excitement about it has been really rewarding,” Danielle added.
“I think we make a great team and I’m looking forward to seeing what she does with the company.”
Stitches had planned to launch on the 40th birthday of the company but due to the current government guidelines surrounding the pandemic, the company has decided to launch online events instead.
“In an effort not to let the year end with nothing happening we decided, for now, we would run some social media competitions as a thank you to our customers,” explained Chris.