A new company has launched to offer support to Irish craftspeople at a critical time for the industry. Here, we talk to founder Bernadette Clancy about her work connecting creatives at a time of isolation.

What is Crafters of Ireland?

In a nutshell it is a support system for crafters, artists and designers in Ireland or anywhere in the world with a connection to Ireland who are producing handcrafted goods. They are a group of skilled people who operate micro ventures. Crafters of Ireland’s mission is to create visibility for all who join us not only in Ireland but the UK, Europe the US and beyond. We aim to create connections for them and partnerships too.

The founder of COI, Bernadette Clancy has first-hand experience of the challenges facing crafters through her work as a management consultant, delivering courses, workshops and bootcamps through state supports such as Local Enterprise Offices and Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers for start-ups and entrepreneurs. This is where she worked with many of them and gained an understanding of how and where this sector needs ongoing support.

“I built COI around the needs of our clients it is a new and innovative service designed to provide individual care, attention and professional support on an ongoing basis that covers all aspects of their business” she said. 

Bernadette Clancy, founder of Crafters of Ireland

From the outset Bernadette ensured her service would be unique to what was already available.

She said: “Because of the nature of their work they can become isolated I often spoke to them about this well before Covid struck. Our crafters are not just a number with products on an online shop. We know each of them to talk to, we respect them and we are proud to have them on board. Crafters of Ireland’s focus is on promoting people, they make a difference to the lives they touch through the positive intangible impact they have on the people who buy their products created by their hands. We are promoting their skills, resilience, dedication, and passion for what they do.”

Donegal-based brand A Touch of Venus Jewellery is a member of Crafters of Ireland

“We want everyone to know they exist, and that they love what they do. Each sale they make is spent back into the economy which in turn helps to keep other businesses afloat.

“We chose six of the crafters to represent the group at the prestigious event Irish Books, Arts and Music (IBAM) held each year in the Irish Heritage Centre Chicago, this created great exposure for all on board” she said.

Crafters of Ireland gift box

Bernadette is a member of Donegal Women in Business.

“A diverse and dynamic group of women with expertise in many fields, I would strongly recommend any woman who is in business to connect with them, attend their very engaging coffee morning meetings where you have an opportunity to network, get guidance and advice for all your business concerns. Currently we have amongst our many members Touch of Venus Jewellery, based on Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Way https://www.touchofvenusjewellery.com/ an online jewellery boutique, a finalist in Jeweller of the Year 2021 and not surprisingly so as you will see from their exquisite range of high quality yet affordable pieces and, their customer care is second to none. We are reaching out for more Donegal crafters to join us.” 

Donegal-based brand A Touch of Venus Jewellery is a member of Crafters of Ireland

COI is growing, Bernadette said “We welcome anyone from this sector to join us if they are producers of handcrafted products and have a connection to Ireland”. 

To see our full range of ever growing products check out https://www.craftersofireland.com join us on Facebook so that you don’t miss out on our competitions https://www.facebook.com/craftersofireland  and join our Facebook group with over 800 members and advertise your products https://www.facebook.com/groups/craftersofireland and on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/craftersofireland/ 

Contact us https://www.craftersofireland.com Mobile: 087 4210829