A Donegal jewellery maker is enjoying a surge in business after an appearance on The Late Late Show.

Lorraine McHugh from Glenties was featured in a ‘trash to treasure’ segment of the chat show on Friday, where she introduced her handmade wonders made from beach litter.

Her interview with Ryan Tubridy was short and sweet, but it certainly put her business on the map. Moments later, her website crashed due to the high volume of visitors. A quick fix brought it back, and now Lorraine is almost sold out of stock.

It’s been a whirlwind week for the creative local woman.

Lorraine McHugh

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many people found new ways to use their skills and creativity to start their own businesses. One such person is Lorraine, a former hairdresser who started her own company called ‘Trashie Treasures’.

Lorraine combs her local beaches in Bundoran and Narin to collect beach trash and ocean plastic waste, as well as natural finds like seaweed, shells, and sea glass. She turns unique materials into jewellery using eco-friendly bio-resin. Each piece of jewellery is one-of-a-kind, and allows the wearer to carry a little piece of home.

Lorraine’s display for last Friday’s Late Late Show

The business was growing organically up to last Friday, Lorraine said: “It was ticking along nicely and it was starting to get known through my different stockists. Donegal people are great and so supportive.”

When Lorraine got a call from a Late Late Show researcher to join Friday’s programme, she decided to take the leap and put herself forward.

The opportunity has brought new customers from across Ireland and further afield to trashietreasures.ie.

“I have orders from Germany and Spain off the back of this. I have just a few pieces left in stock but I have plenty of materials to make more jewellery,” Lorraine assures us.

Lorraine’s next business goal is to have a stockist in each of the 32 counties of Ireland. She currently has seven, and one more in Philadelphia, but there has been growing interest from other stores in recent days.

“I have a few stockists contacting me from other counties which is great. My goal is to make Trashie Treasures a recognised brand in Ireland, and to move off my kitchen table! I would love to be able to employ somebody someday. Everyone starts somewhere, and you start small and build it up.”