This week Claddagh Design made the papers! We were contacted by Leanne Moore of The Irish Sun who was interested in doing a piece on the company and how it all began. We chatted about my background, the success of Claddagh Design and where it will expand to in the future. Here is just a snippet of the feature for those of you who may have missed it. Last Friday photographer Clare Keogh visited the workshop to take some photos for the piece. Clare has kindly allowed me to feature these on the website.
"Silversmith Eileen Moylan may have struck gold with her new venture creating quality Irish handmade jewellery. With her workshop based at her home in Macroom, Co. Cork Eileen began her crafty business - Claddagh Design - just over two years ago and has since seen it go from strength to strength especially in the US and Canadian markets. She said "We have some stockists but most of our sales are through our website. At the moment we have about 35 products ladies and gents jewellery in silver and gold.
The site went live in April 2011 and I've built the range as I went along. I started purely online because it was easy to reach my target market. Then I got into more and more shops and I also take custom orders for wedding rings and things like that" Eileen, who is originally from Listowel Co. Kerry studied ceramics and design in Crawford College of Art and Design Cork and also in Wales. Since then she has learnt her trade spending ten years with Cork based silversmiths Sean Carroll and Sons.
Having no experience in running a business Eileen sought help from Macroom E Business and Enterprise centre and the South Cork Enterprise Board. She explained " They have been so good...the practical help and advice they give is amazing. they really understand and it is such an amazing support" Despite all the positives Eileen who is expecting her first baby in December with husband Anthony Galvin, also admitted that getting to grips with the process of running a business has been something she had to adapt to. She said " It's been a steep learning curve, I had no web training at all but my husband is in IT so that was a help too.
And the budding business woman seems to have found a way of adding a more personal touch to her product. I want people to realise it's not just another big corporate name but also I work mostly by myself and so it's nice to have an outlet to reach out to others and encourages feedback.
Despite gearing up for a new arrival in four months time Eileen has no intentions of slowing down and insists expansion is always on her mind. She says " My ideal plan would be to grow stockists outside of Ireland and hope the brand becomes a really established brand. I'd love to take on employees too - I would still design and make products though.
And it seems a busy work load suits Eileen, who has a very positive outlook on her new found career. She adds " I love my job, sure not having the structure of working for someone else is a massive change but it never gets boring and there is always something to be done. It's so satisfying, it's a lovely feeling of achievement"