WE'RE SO HAPPY YOU'RE HERE
Hi, I'm Úna Méabh and if you’re on this page you’re most likely wanting to learn more about Connect The Dots Design so let me fill you in…
Before it was Connect The Dots, this little venture started off back in late 2017 as a passion project called Doodles By UM - sharing my doodles and illustrations on social media. As a full time teacher I had no intention of ever building a business, I was just enjoying the process of sharing my work. But this eventually led to a Belfast landmarks doodle that someone asked me to put on card to buy. I honestly couldn’t believe that someone bought something I designed.
While looking for an Irish language wedding card a few months later all I could find were traditional olde celtic style cards that my granny would have loved. The cards were lovely but I wanted something fun, colourful and modern. I ended up designing a card myself; a theme that has followed me through this business journey. Can’t find it? make it yourself.
Since those very early days the business has grown from a single card to a full range of greeting cards, multiple art print collections and some gorgeous stationery items.
The end of 2020 was a big milestone for me - after 12 and a half years in the classroom I resigned from my permanent teaching job to give Connect The Dots Design my everything.
This is my actual real-life big girl job and I do sometimes have to stop and smile at where I am and what I have achieved. I'm proud of it and I'm excited for what's yet to come.
NÁ TÁIRGÍ IS FEARR LIOM
WHAT DO WE DO?
At Connect The Dots we are constantly trying to innovate and develop new ways of spreading joy and the Irish language. I say we a lot but there’s only me...at the minute. I have lovely helpers in my family & friends for fairs and events but building a team and creating jobs in the near future is something I hope to be able to do.
We proudly champion other local businesses and can hand on heart say we are a 100% Irish business. Every single product is designed and made on the island of Ireland. We’re keeping money in the local economy and supporting other people’s dreams through the pursuit of our own.
Our packaging is 95% plastic free and is moving rapidly towards 100%. We removed cello bags from our greeting cards for postal orders back in 2019, we introduced a card clasp sticker alternative for wholesale in 2021 and, as of April 2023, our greeting cards are 100% packaging free - no cello bags, no stickers just gorgeous cards and envelopes. We're moving towards an eco-friendly option to package our prints now too.
All boxes and packaging materials that come in are reused, we never ever buy bubble wrap and we send out our wholesale orders in pre-loved boxes.
WHAT HAVE WE DONE?
The aim of Connect The Dots Design is to spread grá, sonas agus an Ghaeilge through a simple piece of paper.
Anything after that is a bonus and over the past few years Connect The Dots Design has done some pretty awesome things:
Back in 2020 we introduced gifs/ social media stickers as Gaeilge that have been used over two hundred million times (August 2023). If each time a sticker was used that person lined up, the line would stretch around the world more than twice!! Search 'doodlesbyum' on Instagram, Tiktok and Snapchat to find and use them.
We designed the Dáithí Mac Gabhann character, one of the most recognisable characters in recent times, featuring on national campaigns, sports jerseys, billboards, clothes, stationery, the Lord Mayor of Belfast’s Christmas card and more. The design has even been tattooed on people. Dáithi's law came in to effect on 1st June 2023!
We have designed products that are being used in hundreds of primary and secondary schools across the country. These include bilingual affirmation cards, seanfhocail Ghaeilge prints and mindfulness notepads.
We have designed GIF stickers for nationwide social media campaigns for Foras na Gaeilge (#LeChéile), An Dream Dearg, An Lá Dearg 2022 (#AchtAnois) and for The Marino Institue of Education.
We designed stunning Irish language stationery, releasing Irish language weekly planners and notepads in 2020 followed by an undated Irish language diary, an dialann bhliantúil Ghaeilge, the first of its kind. Since then over 10,000 people have now got their hands on our beautiful Irish language stationery and are bringing a little more Irish into their everyday lives.
We have given back to the local community and donated hundreds of stationery items and gratitude pads to local groups and schools including Ionad Uíbh Eachach, Glór na Móna, Scoil na Fuiseoige and Bunscoil Bheann Mhadagáin.