Westmeath Crafters break into the UK market with the support of LEADER
From jewellery to jigsaws, soaps and scarves, the midlands are fast becoming the crafty capital of the country. A great success story is the ‘Made in Westmeath’ Craft Group, supported by Westmeath Community Development, under the Rural Development Programme/ LEADER, Facilitated by Aileen Duffy who provides support and advice as Craft Development Specialist, the group meets to share valuable knowledge and support. Through a series of training sessions with world-class trainers they have grown in confidence, motivation and have set themselves ambitious targets.
Spreading their Wings
In April 2012, five members of the group got the opportunity to display their creations at the Harrogate British Craft Fair. Wendy Clinton of Grain of Wood; Helen Conneely, Celtic Roots; Anne Marie Griffin, Anne Marie Griffin Knitwear; Deirdre Brady, Abbey Soaps and Jane Walsh of Button Studio all made their way across the water and to their great satisfaction secured sales in the UK market during the trade show and made important contacts in the industry. Locally, the group were directly involved in a very popular retail project called ‘The Craft Pop-up Shop’ which was originally piloted in Mullingar town in November 2011. Such was its success, some of the members have continued with this project.