Stars go Gaga for Irish web design company

A three-year-old Irish web design company, which now counts stars such as One Direction, Lady Gaga, and Miley Cyrus among its famous clients, has made one family’s dream come true by giving them the chance to meet One Direction.

Avalanche Designs, set up in 2012 by a college graduate disheartened with the jobs market, even got Harry Styles to ring the family and deliver the good news personally.

Mother-of-three Laura O’Halloran said she was “delighted” with the gig tickets and the chance for her and her daughters to meet the band backstage, thanking Avalanche CEO Aidan O’Carroll.

Apart from One Direction, Lady Gaga, and Miley Cyrus, Kerry native Aidan also creates websites for stars such as Bruno Mars, Chris Brown, and 5SOS.

He first decided to strike out on his own when he was just 22, fresh out of college and unable to get a job.

While the Ballyduff man admits it took a while for his business to get off the ground, he never regretted his decision to go it alone.

“At the beginning, we obviously struggled for clients as established businesses found it hard to look past the ‘kid with a laptop’ image,” Aidan says.

“But over time our work began to speak for itself.

“It is really satisfying to see people from all over the world get in touch as they have seen our work and had to have an Avalanche design.”

The company got its big break when they were chosen from more than 50 firms worldwide to design a website for Irish-American rapper Macklemore.

“The Macklemore project was a massive shot in the arm for us and really felt like the pinnacle of what we were trying to achieve when I set out,” says Aidan. “Of course, once it was secured all I wanted was to get bigger and better and we are happy to say we are continually growing.”

After the project, he began to get requests from more high-profile clients and even managed to sell social media software to Microsoft.

“People from Warner Group and some smaller labels got in touch and enquired if we could have a look at some client promotional work,” Aidan says.

“We are seen as a young, dynamic company so it was a good fit for both parties. We have since consulted with people such as Chris Brown, Miley Cyrus, 5SOS, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, and One Direction.”

Though Aidan admits it is “fantastic” to work with big names, he says working with SMEs is the most rewarding aspect of his work.

“Helping a SME grow and seeing these real businesses grow to support families and realise their goals is the most satisfying thing about what we do,” he says.

But there’s no escaping the limelight, as Aidan was named one of Apple’s ‘Crazy Ones’ who will change the world, and also became the youngest person ever nominated for the Digital Rising Star at the Eircom Spiders.

After a whirlwind 2014, during which Avalanche Designs grew to a team of six people, Aidan says he has big plans for the coming months.

“I’m going to be spending a lot of time back and forth to the US in the New Year,” he says. “It’s a hectic journey but I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

“I’m currently working on a few different software projects as well so I am hoping that in five years I will be a lot closer to changing the world.”

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