My Poncho

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My Story

Valerie Sheehy MyPoncho

My name is Valerie Sheehy, I am a Tipperary woman and the proud founder of

I left home in Ballyporeen at 17 and moved to Clonmel where I worked and studied for 6 years.

Like many others before me, I moved to London and spent 9 years working in Administration and Sales in the construction industry. I then moved to Bournemouth and worked for Barclays Bank Plc for 3 years. They announced redundancies so I decided to leave and work for myself. I worked as a Free Lance Personal Assistant for 2 years before returning home to Ireland. I have spent the last 4 years in Finance and Sales.

I was looking to set up a business and the idea of county ponchos at matches came to me.

I approached the GAA with a prototype and the concept and they granted me a license in October 2012 and the rest as they say is history….

Thinking of applying for Dragons’ Den 2014?

I spotted this on my Facebook Newsfeed recently bringing back some very fond memories for me which I decided to share. Perhaps after reading this, you, or someone you know, may feel more inclined to enter the Den.

The process began with completing an application form through the Bank of Ireland website in November 2012. This was followed up with a telephone interview with the TV Production company. Shortly after, I was selected to meet with them in their Dublin offices. Prior to Christmas, I received a phone call to announce that I was chosen to be filmed in January for the 2013 Dragons’ Den series. I was ecstatic!

The extensive research began. Christmas and the month of January were spent researching, rehearsing my pitch and practicing it in front of groups of people. I also spoke and met with previous Dragons’ Den entrants, had some voice coaching and visited the filming location to rehearse.

January 29th 2013 was spent in a local Rathfarnham B&B. At 8.30am the following morning, I arrived at the Dragons’ Den filming venue. I was made feel very welcome and comfortable upon arrival. However, my nerves still required some support from Rescue Remedy! The place was buzzing with hopeful entrepreneurs waiting for their slot in the limelight.

Before I entered The Den, I was interviewed by Bank of Ireland, the Sponsors, and the filming of ‘walking up the stairs’ was shot. Lunchtime arrived and it was my turn to walk into The Den. In hindsight, the thought of going in was actually a lot worse than being in there. All the Dragons were very nice to me and I was euphoric when I got my first offer! You can imagine how I felt when I got a second offer?! Once the deal was done, we shook hands and parted ways.

The rest of the day was spent being interviewed again by Bank of Ireland and finally by Richard Curran. The evening ended at 8pm in a local bar where I had a well-deserved glass of bubbly!

So to sum up the whole experience, it was fantastic and I would highly recommend it!

The Panel

The National Ploughing 2013

The response to My Poncho last week was overwhelming! The stock will be for sale online just in time for the Christmas Stockings!

More twists and turns…

I have been notified by the supplier that they were unable to dye the original fabric that I had ordered. The new lighter fabric will be easier to carry and cooler in the summer months. The quality and waterproof level are now actually better than before!

There are two samples currently being made and I should have these next week. They will then need to be reviewed by the GAA. Once approved, the supplier will be in a position to continue manufacturing. Based on all of the above, the stock should arrive early November.

The road has been long…

with many a winding turn! However, the first order is placed and stock is due to arrive late September!

Quality sample arrives…

The wait is almost over! I received a very high quality sample late last week. I am currently testing the market with it. I aim to be in a position to place an order for my first batch of stock in the next week or so.

It looks like we will need My Poncho ponchos close to hand in this summer weather!

New supplier found…

So, it has been over a week since my successful appearance on Dragons’ Den! I would like to thank everyone for their support and interest in ‘My Poncho.’ I was overwhelmed with the response.

As a result of my appearance on the show, I was approached by an Irish clothing brand. They have been in business since 1904 and have a wealth of experience and expertise in this industry. They have offered to help me get my product to market. We have finalised the design and we are currently awaiting a sample. Once this sample is approved, I will be ordering my first batch of stock.

I will be keeping everyone updated as I progress and I am looking forward to seeing “My Ponchos” everywhere!

Coming soon and worth the wait! And we can’t wait!


We are currently working with two manufacturers fine tuning our MyPoncho ponchos. We’ve been out and about getting feedback on our prototypes, sampling different weights of material and looking at sizes.

There is so much technical work in designing garments but we are taking our time to get things just right. We really appreciate all the support and advice we’ve got. It’s so encouraging!

My Poncho – Where it All Began!

cricket-rain-apSo far the My Poncho journey has been a real rollercoaster ride!

I had been living in the UK for 14 years, working for a number of companies. I had always wanted to move back to Ireland and start my own business. Eventually, I came home but the economic situation here at the time was very challenging.

One day I was watching a GAA match on TV and it was pouring rain. I noticed that the supporters had to cover their county jerseys with jackets. Their team identity was just lost in the crowd. So I thought to myself, why not give the fans a waterproof poncho in their team colours?!

Following on from that, I decided to have a prototype made. I was then encouraged to go into The Den and pitch my idea. I walked in there with the hope of getting investment. To my delight, Peter Casey and Barry O’Sullivan saw the potential in my product and we became business partners.

At the moment, we are sorting out the design details with our suppliers to get the best poncho possible. Whilst having the GAA licence is brilliant, it also means we have to make sure every box is ticked.

I have put my heart and soul into this, working day and night. The journey to date has been very rewarding and I am extremely excited about the future of “My Poncho”!

MyPoncho Ltd. acknowledges the support from South Tipperary Development Company, The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and the EU