The Design and Crafts Council of Ireland was founded over 40 years ago by the Royal Dublin Society, a long-running philanthropic society. In the beginning, its board was made up of members of different guilds, and subsequently the government took four out of 12 places on the board, including the chair. Today, it is funded mainly by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland, as well as income from private activities.
Design Ireland is a global initiative of the Council, to be a web-based center for Irish design, putting into words and images what the Irish designers and makers have to offer to the world.
I stopped by the DCCoI booth at NY Now and spoke with Brian McGee, Market Development Director, and Nicola Doran, Retail Programme Manager. Here is Nicola, giving us a tour of the exhibitors*:
“You can’t take the place out of the product.”
Tom Peters has an expression in his book In Search of Excellence, called “stick to your knitting”. It means, play to your strengths. As Brian explains,
“Our strengths are in areas where we have long traditions and where we are competitive. The products here are made in a real place by real people, and the prices are reasonable. On designireland.ie, we lead with images and stories because this is what we do. But the key for us is to get people to come visit Ireland, because that’s what makes it real. You can’t take the place out of the product. It is part of the same story. So we invite trade buyers to visit our boutique trade show, “ShowCase” in Dublin in January.”
At the time of writing, the trade show was ongoing and new retailers were being added daily. To find stockists for these featured artists, please check on their individual websites listed below, or on designireland.ie.