Irish Woodworks finds success during the pandemic
A Notre Dame company called Irish Woodworks isn’t just surviving the pandemic, it’s thriving. The company gives fans the chance to buy a piece of Fighting Irish history.
“Irish Woodworks is a merger of two different ideas. Let's merge these two concepts together and we’ll call them Irish Woodworks,” said Matt Leevy, co-founder of the company.
They took the leap in September. They offer ornaments, coasters, custom cufflinks and even a section of wooden bench from Notre Dame Stadium.
Leevy explained how they prepare the benches for sale.
“The first step is always to clean it. The boards come to us quite dirty from all those years of storage and chewing gum pasted on the bottom of it. So, we clean them with a wire brush and then brush them down. That’s step one. Step two is to cut it to a certain length with the number in the correct position so we can put all the engraving in the appropriate space in the final step. And in that final step we use our universal 150-watt laser to custom engrave a person’s name and class onto each,” Leevy said. “We keep abreast of modern woodworking techniques. We see what the community is generating and we say ‘Ok can we apply that?’ Sometimes it’s a win and sometimes it’s not. But in most cases, we’ll put things on the site and see if people will gravitate towards them.”
Notre Dame wall art, like the 4-foot tall Shamrock, has been especially popular.
“You see it in our motto, which is ‘Made at ND, for ND to support ND.’ About half of all revenues come back to the university in the form of royalties, distributions and payments for use of equipment and things like that. That’s another motivating factor with this company and we’re so compelled to do it,” Leevy said.
Irish Woodworks has received well over 1200 orders in just 3 months. Their next step is to move to a more permanent space and have a full time employee.