While living in Australia, Finn Hynes struggled to find gifts to send her family and friends in Ireland that reflected her values and that would be truly appreciated. Following a move back home, Finn launched The Kind Twine Co. a gift box company based on quality natural products sourced from independent Irish and European businesses.
PurposeHub spoke with Finn about the inspiration behind her company, the reaction so far and her love of nostalgic packaging!
PH: Firstly, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Finn: I’m Finn Hynes – mum-of-two, wifey, gift creator and stationery addict. In December 2010, my (then) boyfriend and I boarded a flight to China with one backpack each. After a little travel in Asia and 6 years living and working in Sydney, Australia we returned to Ireland mid-2016 married, with two gorgeous toddler boys, dual citizenship and many wonderful memories of Australia.
Having spent a decade as a tax lawyer in a busy, corporate role, I decided the move back to Ireland was a natural break in my career and time to put all the business skills I’d learned to work for my own positive, feel-good enterprise: The Kind Twine Co was born in March 2017!
PH: What is The Kind Twine Co. and what inspired you to start your business?
Finn: Based in Wicklow, at The Kind Twine Co we’ve created a collection of men’s and women’s gift boxes and care packages for delivery to Ireland & the UK. An alternative to fussy hampers and designed to promote wellness in body and soul, our beautifully-wrapped keepsake gift boxes are filled with quality natural products sourced from independent Irish and European businesses.
- Care packages for hospital stays or recovery at home;
- Gift boxes for baby showers, for new mums, or just for baba;
- Send-a-Smile gift boxes to send your thoughts;
- Men’s gift boxes; and
- Bespoke gift boxes.
I’ve always loved nostalgic packaging and the promise of a brown parcel wrapped in twine and ribbon. I get so excited when I feel I’ve chosen the perfect gift for someone and I get a buzzy feeling when they open it up – it’s like I’m getting the gift myself!
While I was in Australia I found it difficult to source thoughtful, practical gifts for friends and family at home in Ireland. Sometimes flowers, chocolates or fruit baskets just aren’t the right thing to send. Each of these gifts will usually be gone within 48 hours.
I like the idea of sending something that the recipient can use again and again and that they’ll think of the gifter each time. For example, in our Send-a-Smile: Be Bright box, we include a lovely natural Irish-made candle from Brooke & Shoals. Each time the recipient lights the candle, they’ll think of the person that sent it to them. How lovely!!
PH: How do you select products to include in your collections?
Finn: I knew immediately that I wanted to create a positive business with a focus on sustainability and supporting other small businesses. These are the filters I use when researching suppliers. I look at the story and ethos behind the business, the raw materials used, and the packaging.
It hasn’t always been possible to meet these requirements but I am constantly researching alternatives. Supporting local, small business can be more expensive than sourcing from the multinationals. However, I’ve found the quality of the products we source is amazing and I believe our customers will appreciate this as there is a definite shift in consumer behavior back to small and local.
My gift boxes are made from largely recycled materials with the remaining material from managed sources. They’re sturdy enough to be reused as a keepsake or for home storage the filling is shredded paper and both can be recycled.
PH: You are passionate about supporting local and independent suppliers as much as possible – why is this important?
Finn: As a small business owner myself, it was important to me from the start to include products from local and/or small businesses where possible. Once I started researching self-care and wellbeing products on the market, I was blown away by the innovation and selection of products being produced by small business in Ireland and Europe: businesses that didn’t exist before we left Ireland in 2010.
Many of these businesses use sustainable materials and methods of production, creating jobs for themselves and others, and have room to innovate and adapt in the way that larger corporations cannot. They’re also so passionate about their product and, importantly, pleasant to deal with.
When I choose a small business as a supplier, it not only supports the local economy and encourages this type of business, it adds to the “feel good” factor for my customers – they know they’re supporting small business by choosing to gift with us.
PH: What has been the reaction to The Kind Twine Co so far?
Finn: Amazing! The general reaction is- what a great idea! People also love the packaging in particular. We’ve had nothing but positive feedback from both our customers and recipients since our launch in late March. Our customers have been impressed with our efficient service (I’m very customer focused as I believe it’s the foundation for good business) and have all reported back the joy our gift boxes bring to their recipient’s day.
They say you never forget your first customer. Our very first customer sent our Send-a-Smile Original gift box to a friend who needed a boost. The feedback we got was so positive and just confirmed to me that we’re on the right track- there may have been some happy tears in the gifting studio that day!
PH: What excites you most about where your business is going?
Finn: I’m most excited about all the future gift boxes and care packages to be opened by recipients. I’m really driven by the fact that my business can cheers people up, if only for a few hours.
I’m also very excited about some gift boxes we’re planning for the next few months – gifts to help support people through some difficult and challenging times in their lives.
PH: Finally, how can we keep up to date with The Kind Twine Co?
Finn: We’re everywhere!