Shannon pic

Going to Shannon Airport – and NOT flying!


Every now and again, something happens which is unexpected and exciting. Such a thing happened to myself and four other craft traders from Chapel Lane Market in Ennis when we met Cheryl Acheson from GlenAran, which sells Irish crafts at stores in Killarney, Kenmare , Inishmore and Shannon Airport. They have two stores in Shannon Airport, one just before you go through Security, and one within the Duty Free Shop itself.

Shannon pic
Crafters visiting Shannon Airport

We have been given the opportunity to promote our craft directly to the public at their Shannon Airport store in Duty Free. Each Friday and Saturday one of the five of us will be at the GlenAran shop to promote our crafts, as well as demonstrating to visitors in the Duty Free area how we make our particular crafts.

The five of us taking part in this innovative and exciting event are:

Geraldine Guilfoyle – Lucilu Jewellery 
Clare Nihill – Crafty Nugz paper craft
Clare Beck – Orinoco Creative Glass
Tatjana Merzvinska – Golden Fleece felt clothing & accessories
Sallyann Marron – Sallyann’s Handmade Bags

It’s a massive vote of confidence by GlenAran in the quality of our crafts, and a hugely generous move by the company. It is a good example of a local business helping small start up businesses to gain experience in a larger market for their products.

Goldilocks bags in blue paisley and funky red fabrics

GlenAran has a reputation for sourcing skilled craftspeople to supply authentic, handmade products for their stores. Their staff in stores are highly trained and many have visited the workshops of the craftspeople so that they can talk knowledgeably about the items they are selling. In preparation for our time in Shannon, GlenAran have been mentoring us through advice about display, packaging and sales techniques, which has been invaluable to all of us as recent start up businesses.

The craft promotions will start on Friday 3rd July at 7am in Shannon Airport Duty Free, and continue every Friday and Saturday throughout July and August. I’m first up (literally!) on Friday 3rd July, and will be hopefully bright eyed and bushy tailed as I set up my stall in Duty Free.  I’ve been working on a range of bags in bright, Summery colours, and I’m hoping that these will catch the air passengers’ eyes as they walk through the shopping area on the way to the departure gates. If you’re flying through Shannon Airport over the Summer on Fridays or Saturdays, be sure to call to our stalls to say hello!

This is a busy week all round, with markets on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  As well as Shannon Airport on Friday, my bags will be making their regular monthly appearance at Miltown Malbay Farmers Market, hosted by SuperValu. My husband Mike will be manning the stall on Friday, so here’s hoping he gets a generous welcome from all the customers and stallholders! It is the start of the world famous Willie Clancy Summer School in Miltown Malbay on Saturday 4th July, and the Farmers Market will be running most days next week in SuperValu – my bags and I will be there on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 8-10 July, from about 11am.

Summery bags
Bright Cross The Body Bags

Also this weekend it is the Ennis Street Festival, so there is a HUGE amount going on all over Ennis.  Chapel Lane Market is very much part of this and will be running both Saturday and Sunday.  I will be there on the Saturday, from 10am – 5pm as normal.  I really hope the weather is kind because there is so much going on around town – it is not to be missed.

Finally, on Sunday, I shall be at the very lovely Vandeleur Walled Gardens in Kilrush from 12 – 5pm.  It is their July Summer Craft Fair and Plant Sale.  The gardens are quite magical, set within high stone walls and surrounded by the wonderful Kilrush Woods.  The gardens happen to possess a coffee shop which does amazing cakes, scones, and snacks.  If you’re in West Clare and looking for a place to go, the Vandeleur Walled Gardens are the best spot. Even better, children love the space and freedom to explore the gardens, maze and super-sized chess set, follow the butterfly trail and generally tear around, and you can bring your dog in, where water bowls are provided! Who could ask for more??

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