Applications sought for €10,000 business development fund and ‘money can’t buy’ mentorship in Brown Thomas Arnotts initiative

Open invitation extended to local Irish start-ups to enter the Pitch ’22 competition, with a deadline of Friday, April 29

Brown Thomas Arnotts expert judging panel includes Head of Sustainability Diana Geraghty, Buying Director for Home & Living Rachel Morgans and Director of Enterprise Audrey Owens

Irish based entrepreneurs in the areas of fashion, beauty, jewellery, lifestyle, circular or technology are being called on to enter Pitch ’22, an Arnotts initiative conceived to spotlight and support local Irish brands. Five finalists will be offered the opportunity to retail at the Arnotts Christmas Market in store and online during the busiest trading period of the year, while the overall winner will receive a €10,000 business development fund.

The judging panel comprises Brown Thomas Arnotts Director of Enterprise Audrey Owens, Brown Thomas Arnotts Buying Director for Home & Lifestyle Rachel Morgans and Brown Thomas Arnotts Head of Sustainability Diana Geraghty, each of whom will provide world class retail insights to the five shortlisted brands through a series of mentoring workshops.

They will be joined by Richard Grimes and Peter Timlin, the co-founders of Ballina sustainable clothing brand Pure Clothing and winners of the Pitch ’21 overall prize.

Applications are welcomed equally from those who have developed a product or product range and from those who have identified a viable service proposition, as Audrey Owens explains.

“As long as products are developed to a level where we see that with our support they can be retail ready in time for launch in November,” Owens says, “our team are on hand to share the knowledge required. For Pitch ’21, we worked very closely with finalists across areas including sourcing, range planning and design, to help them bring their products to a point where we launched them successfully in Arnotts in-store and online. That was a hugely rewarding experience for us, and a “money can’t buy” opportunity for the entrepreneur.”

Brown Thomas Arnotts launched the Pitch campaign in 2021 in an effort to emphasise the company’s commitment to supporting local businesses, designers and makers. The initiative sits within a broader sustainability agenda at the retailer, says Audrey Owens, and one that assumes a sharper focus in this year's judging criteria. “Championing sustainability is at the heart of our business,” Owens says. “Applicants to the Pitch ’22 competition must be able to demonstrate how their product will contribute to a sustainable future for the Arnotts customer.”

Applications are open now at, with a deadline of Friday April 29. The ultimate winner will be announced in January 2023 and their products will continue to be stocked at Arnotts thereafter.