It's International Women’s Day and this year’s theme, #PressforProgress, is all about women moving forward and closing gender gaps. That struck the House and Home team as the perfect opportunity to highlight the amazing strides women are taking within the wider Irish product design, printmaking and craft communities.
The landscape is looking healthy: in 2016, Ireland’s design sector accounted for €38bn in exports, and 48,000 design jobs. This January, Showcase, one of the country’s largest annual international trade shows welcomed over 5,000 buyers from more than 20 territories including the UK, USA, mainland Europe and the Far East. With 450 designers showing their wares, orders generated at the show increased by 9.2%, coming on the back of 17% growth in 2016 and flat sales in 2017. The number of international retailers attending increased in 2018 and the quality of the buyer ramped up, with brands such as John Lewis, Dubai Duty Free and Galleries Lafayette
There was good news for women, too: in the juried area of 2018’s show, Design Ireland, 53 of the 76 brands were either owned by a woman or one of the partners in the business was a woman.
In the March/April issue of House and Home, we met 19 female makers who are elevating Ireland’s craft offering across a wide range of materials and disciplines. We profiled:
Aoife Mullane - A Mullane Design
Deirdre Breen - Deirdre Breen Prints
Jennifer Doyle and Grainne Smith - Beeswax Candle Makers
Jennifer Slattery - Jennifer Slattery Textiles
Alanna Plekkenpol - By Alanna
Aileen Balfe - Ail+El
Gillian Henderson - Jill & Gill
Julie McLoughlin - Jando Design
Amanda Vencatasamy - Hey Bulldog Design
Jo Anne Butler - Superfolk
Rebecca Killen - Rebecca Killen Ceramics
Gosia Sobkowicz - Candella
Siobhán Sacker - Gilded Hound
Bernadette McCullagh - Dúinn Designs
Karolina Grudniewska - KaroArt Ceramics
Izzy Rose Grange - Izzy Rose Grange Art
Tara Hammond - Slated
Nathalie Vos - Bunny and Clyde
Pick up a copy today to read our interviews with these talented women all about their crafts, their journeys and being women in business in the craft industry.