At this year’s Comic-Con Ireland I sat down and chatted with the owner of Dakota Irish Luke McIntosh. We chatted about his beginnings and where his future is.
So, Luke, I’d like to think I met you during your beginnings. Was Dublin Comic Con your first con?
Dublin Comic Con last August I believe. That was my very first con. The business had been run since March last year but August was when I felt truly comfortable. I’m basically a year and a half old now.
You’re a toddler.
A business toddler.
So I’ve bought some of your fine products, your Dragon Heart metal dice as well as a lovely dice tray. How have you expanded in the year and a half?
So it’s been a crazy ride right and I was there in Galway last month for a Shopify Summit which I posted on my social media etc. I was there discussing how you build an audience and a social media presence and the reason I bring this up is because I believe that’s what is the driver of the growth.
The way I’ve been trying and hopefully succeeding in communicating and touching base with my audience, and I call them an audience because it’s a closer connection than customers. That’s the seed of the growth because people are excited about the brand what I am doing. They can come to the shop now and check out all the various products, dice trays, metal dice, and I now have gemstone dice.
You also have the effects where someone may have been poisoned maybe been put to sleep.
Yep, I have the status effect markers which I print.
So I’ve been trying to figure out what we need in the tabletop gaming community and what are we missing and how we can make it better. It’s been really exciting and bringing in the status effect markers have been a really popular addition to the store. All of this is on the audience though as they are what spur me and make Dakota Irish so successful.
Since I last saw you which to be fair wasn’t that long ago a few months I believe. Have you produced any new dice trays anything for people to look out for?
Yes, I have a new one called Lacewood it’s not even up on the website yet. It is absolutely stunning wood and is quite heavy. You can feel it there. The way it finishes up and the patterns look fantastic. I also have some Zebrawood back in which has been out of stock since before the official debut of Dakota Irish last year because I couldn’t find the sources of the wood. The reason being our normal supplier was having difficulty fulfilling the order. Thankfully now I have that back in I can produce Zebrawood again as well a the Wengewood which is an African wood. I am also dealing with Yew wood which there is not a lot of due to the nature of the tree so it’ll be limited.
So where do you see yourself with the expansion? Will it just be D&D, Pathfinder or might you expand into L5R, Mutants & Masterminds?
The next step is getting into paints and getting into products for Warmachine and Warhammer. I think there’s a huge community there to tap into so I want to cater to them as well. I’ve actually already started that process with 22mm D6’s which a lot of the guys use for hitpoint counters and such during Warhammer.
I’ll be looking more into that but net up for D&D is spell cards as well as holders for the cards themselves. I also have a special project I’m currently working on that will hopefully be out just before Christmas which I think a lot of people will be excited about. It’s something of a passion project for me.
Is it themed for Christmas?
No, it’s actually a Dungeons & Dragons item.
Well, Luke, you’ve whet our appetite.
So then eventually boardgames are something we’ll be looking into and I also want to cater to fans of Masquerade (Vampire: The Masquerade) out there because I cut my teeth on Masquerade.
So you must be excited about the game?
Oh yeah, big time.
Well listen Luke thanks so much again and I look forward to the next time we talk.
Absolutely thanks very much.
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