An inspirational Dublin man with Down Syndrome is giving it socks at this year’s Dun Laoighaire Christmas Market.
Tallaght man Thomas Barry has his own stall at the markets opposite the dlr Lexicon and has just launched his cosy footwear collection at his this year’s festive markets.
The 34-year-old owner of Thomas’s Trendy Socks has Down Syndrome along with a whole host of other serious illnesses including Perthes Disease, Hirschsprung Disease, a heart murmur and an under-active thyroid.
But far from letting that stop him, the entrepreneur expresses his creative flair with his funky sock business along with the help of his father, Finbar, his nephew Shane Barry and family in Tallaght.
Inspirational Thomas has overcome unbelievable obstacles in his life, including being the youngest person in Ireland to ever have hip replacements, at age 28. Finbar says the business has been 20 years in the making, since Thomas first started expressing a wish to work at age 14.
See all the pics of Thomas’s Trendy Socks launch below
Launched in May of this year, Finbar says the company was inspired by Thomas’s love of socks and his wish for his son to have a career to call his own.
“I looked at options over the years in the hope to provide some way for Thomas to feel like he can have a job just like everybody else (bearing in mind his disabilities) and the answer was staring me in the face,” said Finbar.
It wasn’t easy to get the business off the ground, said Finbar to RSVP Live, but with the help of Thomas’s nephew Shane, who handles all the social media and marketing for the company, and Thomas who helps out with packing and distribution, it’s truly a family-run business.
“Thomas has always played with socks, he is quite an expert with it after many years of practice. He never played much with toys in his early childhood but would go nowhere without his socks, some children get comfort from a teddy with Thomas it was always the socks.”
Check out Thomas’s stall at this year’s market, which runs every weekend until the 23rd of December, on the metals and opposite dlr LexIcon, from 11am to 7pm.