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National craft campaign puts spotlight on Ennis designer

DESIGNER Laura Vaughan is the latest talented craftsperson to join the high profile ‘Made Local’ campaign.

This is the second year of the prestigious initiative from the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland and Laura, who has a degree in interior architecture, was selected for her creative curation of the work of other Irish designers and makers, as well as her own range of products

Laura’s Design Studio and Gift Shop is a working studio located on Upper O’Connell Street in Ennis. As well as showcasing the work of other designers, Laura offers her own range of digitally printed lampshade, matching cushions, napkins, tea towels and aprons. Combining her background in interiors and textiles, Laura launched her own distinctive homeware range at Showcase 2016, and her patterns and products are constantly evolving and growing. Laura’s collection is designed and made and printed in Ireland and as well ask making her own shades, Laura offers a lampshade restoration and making service for other interior designers and her customers. She also offers a range of popular short evening workshops, including lampshade making, ceramics and wreath making at Christmas.

Head of Enterprise at Clare Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Padraic McElwee, who is also chair of the network of LEOs, welcomed the launch of the 2021 campaign. “In collaboration with Design and Craft Council Ireland, the Local Enterprise Offices play a key role in supporting and growing businesses in the design and craft sector across the country,” he said. “Like many small independent businesses they have been massively impacted over the last 18 months and this campaign will highlight to consumers the fantastic crafts and innovative designs available on their doorsteps.”

Announcing the launch of the campaign, An Tánaiste and Minister for Trade, Enterprise and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, said it was more important than ever to support local business. “As we reopen and things are looking more hopeful, it is more important than ever to support Irish designers,” he said. “Irish designers and makers are world renowned for their unique talent and skill. The craft and design sector contributes €500m to the Irish economy every year. I encourage everyone to discover what their local designer has to offer and support this #MadeLocal campaign.”

Leading jockey Rachael Blackmore who fronts the campaign said she has discovered Irish designers through the campaign and will support them wherever she can. “It’s incredible to see so many talented Irish makers who have spent decades honing their crafts, creating everything from timeless pieces and heirlooms to treasured gifts and home comforts,” she said. “The time for supporting local makers has never been more critical with so many struggling to persevere in their craft. DCCI has undoubtedly supported many through these challenging times and so this second annual campaign is full of perseverance and hope.”

Commenting on the importance of Irish craft and design, Andrew Bradley, Chair, DCCI, said, Irish craft and design are central to the Irish identity. “Over the past year, our studies have shown an increased desire from Irish consumers to choose quality products created by designers and craftspeople in their local communities,” he said. “This year, #MADELOCAL seeks to tell the stories of these makers, building an even greater affinity between them and their customers and, in turn, support in the rejuvenation of this beloved industry.”

More information on Irish craft and design is available on Dcci.ie or by following the hashtag #MADELOCAL.


About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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