Talented local artist Brónach McGuinness turned her love of drawing into a full time business with the help of The Ortus Group.


In early 2016 Brónach McGuinness wanted to do a special card to send to a friend. An idea sprung to life of a hand-drawn, unique occasion card and Mantelpiece was born.


Brónach commented:

“I decided to make something unique. I started with bright colours and patterns which, layered with a hand drawn image, I collaged to make a distinctive, vibrant and thought-filled present: a special card to carry a special message. From the success of this card I decided to start up my business, Mantelpiece.”

Mantelpiece now provides a wide range of card designs to choose from, for any occasion: from weddings to moving house; new babies to birthdays. The company also provides a variety of greeting cards based on beautiful tourist spots around Belfast and throughout Ireland ideal as gifts and for tourists wanting a memento of their trip


Mantelpiece also has a strong environmental ethos. All cards are made from 100% recycled materials and envelopes are made of paper from a sustainable source.


Upon starting her business Brónach saw the need for assistance in copyrighting her images and also help to structure the business model for Mantelpiece.

She continued by saying:

“I approached Invest NI looking for advice copyrighting my images. They then told me about a free service where I would get advice on writing a business plan. They put me in touch with Ortus who helped me through the process. Margaret from Ortus was very thorough in helping me with my business plan. She persisted in getting as accurate information as possible in order to provide me with a comprehensive business plan. Most useful to me was the financial forecast which was presented in a way I can both use and edit as required.”

“At Ortus we enjoy working with new and innovative businesses at the start of their journey. Mantelpiece were an exciting and creative project to work with and we were delighted to help Brónach structure her business plan to help in the ongoing success of the business. The uniqueness in each card design makes them an ideal gift and we are looking forward to seeing the business continue from strength to strength.”

Margaret McCabe

Senior Business Advisor, The Ortus Group

Mantelpiece are available to purchase online at mantelpiececards.com and Brónach is working with a variety of stockists to make them available throughout Northern Ireland.

Mantelpiece are bespoke greetings cards made by Belfast artist Brónach McGuinness for special occasions. Beginning with a love of bright colours and patterns, hand drawn images are transformed into vibrant and thought-filled cards: A special card to carry a special message. All cards are made from 100% recycled materials and envelope are made from paper from a sustainable source.

Find out more on our business start-up programmes here!