29 June, 2012

*Great News*

I really am well and truely back into the craft-o-sphere once more as I'm delighted, excited and pleased to announce that I'll be one of many artists showing and selling their wares at the new Limerick Craft & Design shop which is scheduled to open in the coming weeks on Sarsfield Street in Limerick City.

Limerick Craft & Design is a new pop up shop and will showcase a wide range of craft and design all of which is made locally by up and coming established artists who live and work in Limerick. The venture is being supported by Limerick City Council in an effort to drive more business and traffic into the city itself. Like many towns and cities accross the country, Limerick has been badly affected by the recession and Limerick also has the worst known case of donut development, meaning that during the celtic tiger years, a huge amount of development took place outside and around the city centre, forcing people to spend their money outside of the city centre. As a result, trade and the overall ambience of Limerick city took a nose dive, reducing the area to a shadow of its former self. It is hoped that creative programs like these will attract more customers back to area and bring the city back to life once more! It's a slow process, but I've no doubt it will happen.

I'm looking forward to volunteering my time once the shop itself opens and have no doubt that I'll enjoy the experience just like I did with the Etsy Ireland pop up shop last summer. There are over 35 artists, crafters and designers showcasing their work and the shop itself is a real opportunity to get your work out there and of course to meet customers too! Opportunities like these are fantastic for a small business to get a small step on the creative and business ladder and allows those participating to get a real and positive insight into the running and 'goings on' behind setting up and operating a real shop. In reality, it's experience that no money or degree can buy! Although my time with the Etsy Ireland pop-up shop was short last summer, I learned and gained valuable information and experience....like security and protecting your products! No one could have prepared any of us for the fact that someone may come in and decide to pinch a few things.

When that happened, "playing shop" just got real and all of us who volunteered our time had to watch all customers (big and small) with dedicated eyes. Afterall, everyone who sent work for sale had spent money, time and effort to create their prodcuts, if something got stolen, it was stolen direct from their pocket.

Other insightful knowledge gained included Health & Safety, customer service and getting that elusive sale for you or another Etsy member and of course marketing....getting people into the shop. (It's amazing the power chalk can have on an outside wall to make a temporary sign!). The above are only a teeny tiny amout of skills / knowledge that can be gained, but if anything its an opportunity to be jumped at!

With Ruth Crean of Nice Day Designs at the helm along with other core committee members, I've no doubt you'll be hearing alot more about the shop in the weeks and months to come! Stay tuned!

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