Cork Craftmakers seek to increase exports

Craftspeople and designers from Cork are hoping to make a big impression on international buyers at this month’s Showcase event in the RDS.

Nine craft companies from Cork are being supported by their local Enterprise Board in the “Enterprise Zone” of the RDS, to help them secure sales and export orders for 2012 and 2013.

Situated along the balcony area of the RDS Main Hall, the West Cork Enterprise Board and South Cork Enterprise Board supported companies in the Enterprise Zone are hoping to attract up to 5,500 retail buyers, who are expected to attend Showcase from over seventeen countries.

Situated along the balcony area of the RDS Main Hall, the West Cork Enterprise Board and South Cork Enterprise Board supported companies in the Enterprise Zone are hoping to attract up to 5,500 retail buyers, who are expected to attend Showcase from over seventeen countries.

At this year’s Showcase Creative Expo, the West Cork Enterprise Board is supporting Brian Cronin from Cronin’s Forge in Dunmanus Bay (wrought iron products), Les and Audrey Elliott from Rynhart Fine Art Bronze in Bantry (bronze artwork), Harriet Roach from Cattapilla Designs in Bere Island (textiles), Mary Gosling from Gosling Games in Clonakilty (games manufacturer) and Sally Miller Collection in Lisavaird, Clonakilty (natural skincare products and candles).

The South Cork Enterprise Board is supporting Belinda Northcote Design in Ballycotton (prints, textiles and greeting cards), Orla O’Rourke from Stable Door Pottery in Shanagarry (ceramics), Eileen Moylan from Claddagh Design in Macroom (jewellery design) and Simone O’Shaughnessy from Ba-Goose Fleece Clothing in Glenbrook, Passage West (children’s clothing).

Showcase is organised by the Crafts Council of Ireland every year and is seen by industry experts as one of the most important trade events for Ireland’s craft sector, running from Sunday, January 22nd to Wednesday, January 25th. Buyers are expected to travel to Ireland from over seventeen countries, including the USA, Scandinavia, the UK, Germany and Japan.

The County and City Enterprise Boards are providing specialist supports to the small businesses exhibiting at the ‘Enterprise Zone’ this year, to enable more of them to break into the export market.

Speaking on behalf of all the County and City Enterprise Boards involved in Showcase, spokesperson Michael Hanley said: “To help local craftspeople make the most of the selling and export opportunities at Showcase, the County and City Enterprise Boards are subsidising the costs of trade stands, to make them more affordable for first-time exhibitors. Many craftspeople will also receive one-to-one coaching and advice from experienced mentors and in addition, the Enterprise Boards are publishing a dedicated brochure for Showcase buyers, to enable the craftspeople and designers to make the best possible first impression.”

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