County Wicklow Businesses go International at Enterprise Showcase

Client companies from Local Enterprise Office Wicklow are taking part in the Local Enterprise Showcase as part of Showcase 2019 at the RDS in Dublin last week as they get the opportunity to meet buyers from all over the world.

Anna Dobson of Love Mo Chuisle, Una Lambert of Neantog Beauty products and the King Family of Ria Organics as well as Aoife Mullaune of A.Mullane Design, Eoin Shanley of Copperfish Studios and Linda Legzdina of Kaiko Studios were all attending the Local Enterprise Showcase which took place from Sunday 20th to Wednesday 23rd January.

Love Mo Chuisle, established by Anna Dobson, is a clothing brand designed and handmade in Ireland by Anna Dobson using Donegal Irish tweed and manufactured in Avoca, Co. Wicklow.

Neantog: the Irish Nettle Company was set up by Una Lambert in 2014 and is a natural nettle based skincare range handmade in Co. Wicklow using fantastic properties of Irish grown nettles as unique selling point.

Ría Organics is a new, boutique certified COSMOS-Organic skincare range founded by Nicola Shevlin and her brothers from County Wicklow. Nicola said: ‘I’m delighted to be here as we have secured overseas sales and generated great local interest in our product also’.

Eoin Shanley of Copperfish Studios creates beautiful lighting solutions from his studio in Greystones. While Aoife Mullane design and prints beautiful textiles for interior design and clothing.

Kaiko Studios make beautiful concrete creations, ornaments and lighting solutions that caught the eye of many Irish and overseas buyers. Other County Wicklow displaying at Showcase include Alanna Plekkenpol with unique Delft tiles, Helen Magee of Hairy Fruit Art, Kingfisher Studios from Ashford, delicious chocolates from The Chocolate Garden of Ireland, Holly Sommerville with stunning botanical art, Shuttleknit woolen design, Mookie and Boo scented candles and diffusers, Booke and Shoals of Greystones, and Tara Hammond with Slated.

The Local Enterprise Showcase was opened by Heather Humphreys T.D., Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation who met many of the businesses involved at the event. Minster Humphreys T.D., said; “The quality of the work on display at Showcase is a testament to the vibrancy and diversity of the design and craft sector which makes an immense contribution to Ireland’s economy and culture and provides vital sustainable jobs in every region of the country. Export diversification is essential for the design and crafts sectors to build resilience. This annual fair offers ambitious Irish designers and makers eager to break into the export market or expand their existing international presence an unparalleled opportunity to connect with buyers from around the world and secure orders for the coming year, maximising the potential for future growth and job creation. I wish both exhibitors and buyers a very productive show and every success throughout 2019.

The County Wicklow based businesses were selected by the Local Enterprise Office and have the chance to meet over 2,500 buyer companies from 26 countries across the world. The businesses worked closely with their Local Enterprise Office ahead of the event on selling techniques, stand preparation and marketing themselves at the event.

Vibeke Delahunt, Head of Enterprise said; “The Local Enterprise Showcase is a unique opportunity for our clients to expand their businesses. An event like this can help set a company up for a year with the right sales and can also help them expand into new markets. We work very closely with our businesses to ensure there are well prepared for Local Enterprise Showcase to ensure they make the most of this opportunity. The design and crafts sector is something that is inherently Irish and we work very hard to ensure we provide the support that is needed to all our clients in that area, whether it’s mentoring, business planning, financial assistance or export planning, we have the expertise to help them grow.”

Frank Curran, Chief Executive with Wicklow County Council said: ‘I’m very impressed and proud of the standard of the crafts and products on display from County Wicklow. The craft industry is very important contributor to the local economy and we are delighted that our crafts people and designers avail of the supports available through the Local Enterprise Office’.

Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, said: “Showcase is central to the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s strategy of supporting client companies in the domestic market and building the international reputation and commercial potential of the Irish design and craft sector. Each year the show provides a unique platform for hundreds of designers and makers from across Ireland to meet and do business with domestic and international buyers, enabling them to potentially grow and scale up to extend their market reach. We are delighted to work in partnership with the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices in supporting and guiding client companies in their commercial development. Working together, our aim is to ensure our clients continue to grow, innovate and successfully compete at home and abroad and to support them in addressing the challenges and opportunities arising from Brexit while uncertainty continues in the marketplace.”

As part of the Showcase Best Products Awards several Local Enterprise Office client companies received recognition with the awards presented by Kieran Comerford, Chair of the Enterprise Exhibitions Committee and LEO Carlow and Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland.

Coolree Design, supported by Local Enterprise Office Kildare, were awarded the top prize in the Best Product Awards for the Local Enterprise Showcase section. Berina Kelly Jewellery, supported by Local Enterprise Office Galway, and Circle Vivendi, supported by Local Enterprise Office South Dublin, were also highly commended for their products by the judges. Lou Brennan from Local Enterprise Office Mayo was highly commended in the overall Fashion Category for the Best Product Awards at Showcase 2019.

For more information on Local Enterprise Showcase 2019 and supports available to those operating in the design and crafts sector, log on to www.LocalEnterprise.ie/wicklow and for more information on Showcase 2019, log on to www.ShowcaseIreland.com

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