Korea comes to Roscommon!

Local entrepreneur Rhiannon Cole brought K-pop fans from all over Ireland to a popular event in Athlone recently, blazing a trail with her unusual business, Reepop.ie.

K-pop is the South Korean pop music business, which boasts fans of every age and gender from all over the world, and after only a year in business, Rhiannon has now put K-pop firmly on the Irish map.

“My business is mostly online, but I decided to host an in-person event in the Radisson Blu in Athlone as a meet-up for K-pop fans, and to introduce my business to a wider audience. Reepop Expo 24 was the result, and I’m delighted it gave so many Irish K-pop fans a rare opportunity to get together,” said Rhiannon.

Hundreds of fans turned up for the day to buy K-pop merchandise, watch videos, dance, make friends, play games and drink bubble tea.

“I had visitors from all over the island of Ireland, from as far afield as Cork, Tipperary, Dublin and Belfast,” said Rhiannon, who is based in Fairymount, County Roscommon.

A long-time K-pop fan, Rhiannon has been delighted to make a successful business from her interest, although her initial career choices were quite different: “After school, I did an Anthropology degree at Maynooth University and then did my Masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice in Wales. After that, I went into data management and analytics,” explained Rhiannon.

Then, a rare opportunity to start importing difficult-to-find K-pop goods directly from South Korea presented itself, and she hasn’t looked back.

“As a fan myself, I have tapped into a niche market and found a wonderful network of K-pop fans who appreciate how I can source genuine, branded merchandise direct from South Korea,” said Rhiannon. “So many people love Korean culture and I’m thrilled to be able to bring that to the west of Ireland”.

Such was the success of Reepop Expo 24, Rhiannon hopes to make it an annual event. Meanwhile she continues to grow her online enterprise.