Large Messenger Bag - Grey Dandelion fabric

Stepping into a Whirlwind, on Crutches

Bank of Ireland Start Up Awards 2015 Silver Award Winner
I’m a Bank of Ireland Start Up Awards 2015 Silver Award Winner!

Wow! It has been a while since I wrote a blog post, and a lot has happened in the interim.  At the time of writing my last blog, I had just found out I had been successfully shortlisted for the Bank of Ireland Start Up Awards 2015, in the Craft based industry category.  As a result of this I was invited to Dublin to have an interview with three of the judging panel, including Gavin Duffy, he of Dragon’s Den! It was a little intimidating talking to three men about my bags, but they must have been won over by my enthusiasm because I won a silver award on 12th November at the awards ceremony in Croke Park. However, I didn’t make it to the awards ceremony.  My posh frock remained in the wardrobe.  I broke my ankle and spent the day in the Fracture Clinic at Limerick Regional Hospital instead.

Thank you to all of you who have supported my fledgling business over the past year and a bit – this award is real boost, and encouragement to me to keep growing the business and getting Sallyann Bags into shops and markets across Ireland and even beyond.

So I’m now on crutches at least until the beginning of December.  This means that if you are coming to any craft fairs in the coming few days I’m easy to spot as I hobble and lurch around unsteadily. I’ve had to learn to sew with my left foot on the pedal, which has been interesting.  I can safely say that the message “Stop” does not travel to my left foot as quickly as it does to my right foot, so sewing is taking longer and at a more sedate pace.  The cats have moved out of the sewing room as I keep knocking over my crutches and the clattering noise disturbs their slumber.

Grey Dandelion bag family
Grey Dandelion bag family

I’m delighted that I’ve been able to make a few bags in spite of my best efforts.  I cut some of my favourite subtle fabrics recently, grey dandelion and grey star, and have created a few bags with each fabric. The grey dandelion fabric is so elegant, and goes with everything.  Each bag is different because it depends where in the fabric it is cut from.  They are unique pieces – you get to own a one off!

 Grey Star fabric with red straps
Grey Star fabric family with red straps

I love the chance to play with little bursts of colour, so the grey star bags have bright scarlet straps which just lifts the bag from ordinary to extraordinary.

And the whirlwind? Well, it shows no sign of abating.  I’m straight into the Christmas market season now, starting tonight at the Shannon Christmas Market at St Senan’s National School, on Corrib Drive in Shannon from 4.30pm.  If you’re looking for me over the coming weeks, here’s a list of the events I’ll be attending…

Thursday 26 November: Shannon Christmas Market, St Senan’s National School, Corrib Drive, Shannon from 4.30-9.30pm

Friday 27, Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 November: Chapel Lane Christmas Market, Ennis. Friday 5-9pm, Saturday 10-5, Sunday 11-4

Friday 4, Saturday 5 & Sunday 6 December: Chapel Lane Christmas Market, Ennis. Friday 5-9pm, Saturday 10-5, Sunday 11-4

Friday 11 December: Mullagh Christmas Market, Mullagh Community Centre, Co Clare 5-9pm

Saturday 12 December: Chapel Lane Market, Ennis, 10am – 5pm

Sunday 13 December: Clare Crafts Association Christmas Market, Old Ground Hotel, Ennis 11am – 5pm

Saturday 19 December: Chapel Lane Market, Ennis, 10am – 5pm

If you’re not able to get to a market, my bags are available at Kilbaha Gallery & Crafts who will be attending Doonbeg Christmas Market this coming weekend and are open every weekend at their gallery until Christmas.  They are available in Limerick Craft Hub which is in Lower Cecil Street and is open 7 days a week until Christmas, in Dublin from the Artists Gift Gallery in Dawson Street, in Charleville at the Design & Craft Studio, Irish Craft Outlet in Doolin and Poppies Gift Shop, The Hand, Miltown Malbay. And the Flower Shop in Kilrush! If you’re flying anywhere over the coming weeks, the bags are also available from GlenAran in Shannon Airport Duty Free.

You can also order using the online shop which is working if not perfect.  If you would like a specific bag that you have seen on my Facebook page or on this site and it doesn’t appear in the shop, let me know and I can let you know if it is available.

Enjoy the Christmas season whirlwind!

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