A Longford designer who decided to make her own capes after a fruitless search to find one she liked, will display her high-end products at this year’s biggest-ever five-day National Crafts and Design Fair from November 30 to December 4.
Siobhan Quinn from Abbeylara swapped her career as a management consultant to found Ballyboy Design just over a year ago and is already making strides into the UK markets.
“I was always interested in craft and design and always wanted to set up my own business,” said Siobhan.
“I went looking for a cape but couldn’t find one I liked. My friend told me to do something about it instead of giving out. So I did.”
“Combining silk and tweed together is not that straightforward for a top-end finish so I was delighted when I came across skilled seamstress Ann O’Reilly who works on my designs.”
Siobhan also has a range of gloves, jewellery and hats to compliment her capes.
To date, her clientele has primarily consisted of American tourists, professional females and those in the outdoor and horse industries.
“I had thought the late 20s and over would be my main market but I’m surprised at how many ladies in their early 20s are loving my creations.”
Record-breaking crowds of over 40,000 are expected to generate more than €1m per day in sales at over 600 stands at the event in the RDS.
“This annual fair is vital to the industry as a whole and it is estimated that it generates enough business to keep most of the exhibitors busy for at least four months of the year,” said organiser Patrick O’Sullivan.
He added, “Many of Ireland’s most established and exciting new craftspeople will be there, showing and selling top quality products. Everything from artisan foods to fashion and jewellery are on display and the goods are handmade.”
With so much diversity under one roof, and prices starting from as little as €5, the Fair offers Ireland’s largest Christmas gift shopping experience.
There will also be a Spectacular Christmas Food Emporium which will feature over 120 artisan food producers, tempting visitors with the best of the season’s fare.
In addition, there will be 10% off everything at the Fair on the opening day, Wednesday, November 30.
The National Crafts and Design Fair 2016 takes place at the RDS Main Hall from Nov 30 – Dec 4 from 10am each day.
Full details and booking can be found at www.nationalcraftsfair.ie