IT'S A SMALL WORLD FOR ULSTER BUSINESS; Gary Puts Northern Ireland Treasures on New Trade Map

Article excerpt

Byline: BRENDA O'NEILL

AN ULSTER businessman is set to make a fortune - out of candles.

Co Down entrepreneur Gary McBlain has already notched up lucrative private commissions for his work. Now his company National Treasures is set for global success.

His money-making venture was inspired while on a business trip to Eastern Europe just three years ago.

The 45-year-old said: "I saw two hand made candle houses in Estonia and I thought they'd be a nice gift to bring home to my wife. The reaction I got from her and her friends was very very good.

"After that I had to go to London on business and I wanted to get a good quality gift for a friend in Estonia. I couldn't. All I could get was key rings and trinkets.

"That gave me the idea to provide good quality gifts so I opened up a company in Estonia called National Treasures."

Gary said: "It's hard to get in direct contact for a factory out there. You have to go out personally. There's no sense speaking over the phone or on the internet. You have to go out and meet them.

"I've been there and now my supply lines are good."

Gary now has two companies in Estonia employing around 30 people.

National Treasures provides hand made miniature models of landmarks throughout the world - but for now Gary is concentrating on the home market. …