Broadcaster and rugby star Tommy Bowe says 2021 has been a difficult year for his clothing business due to global supply chain problems.
As well as his Ireland AM TV hosting and punditry work, Tommy also has his own line of clothing and shoes.
He's been involved in the business for over a decade now, initially as "something on the side" while he was a rugby player.
However, he told The Pat Kenny Show this year has possibly been the most difficult he's yet experienced - like it has been for many other businesses.
He said: “The clothes and shoes were due to be in September - they’ve finally landed in the country, and will be in stores at the end of this week.
“It has been a bit of a struggle."
He said a lot of the products are manufactured in Portugal - but, despite being an EU country close to Ireland, there's still plenty of logistical challenges shipping goods from there this year.
Tommy observed: “We’re talking about a third vaccine here in Ireland, and how fortunate we are to be getting it… but around 60% of the world hasn’t got a vaccine.
“When I think about Vietnam, which would be the third-biggest shoe manufacturer in the world… it is completely closed down for a few weeks.
"The big factories - the Timberlands and the Nikes… had to find [other] factories. They’ve moved into the likes of Portugal and Italy… and paid big, big prices."
He said that situation has made life more difficult for smaller and independent operators also trying to get their goods made and shipped.
Meanwhile, shipping costs have also skyrocketed for all businesses - with Tommy saying the cost for a shipping container that once cost $2,500 has now shot up as high as $12,000,
He said: “We have to swallow that cost - we can’t exactly put €10-20 on every t-shirt or jacket we’re selling. It does make stuff difficult.”
Despite that, Tommy says he does still love being involved in business away from TV and the rugby pitch - and said he's delighted the new clothes will make it into shops in time for Christmas, despite the delays.