1. Describe your business in two paragraphs.
Crafters of Ireland in an online marketplace with a difference for designers, crafters and artists based in Ireland. Founded by Bernadette Clancy, who worked for many years, designing, and delivering workshops for entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs. It was through her mentoring sessions and business advisory clinics that she met a multitude of crafters, who made one-of-a-kind, bespoke items. However, these Irish based micro businesses sometimes struggled with visibility, sales, and growth.
Unique to what was available to them, Crafters of Ireland is designed around the needs of the crafter. Our service allows them to focus on what they should be doing, creating, meeting customers/retailers via Zoom (face to face) preparing for fares, markets and exhibitions while we provide them with business advice, mentoring, SEO, digital marketing and promotional videos on a pro bono basis.
2. What achievement/success story(ies) are you most proud of?
We differentiated ourselves from the off by limiting categories. Unlike Etsy, Craftsy and Market Place, our crafters will not be drowned out by thousands in the same category. We know our crafters by name, we provide a genuine personal service which we could not do if we focused on numbers.
3. What do you think makes Portugal and/or Ireland an attractive destination to conduct your business?
I am passionate about micro-businesses increasing trade through partnerships. I see potential for opportunities in this sector to grow between Portugal and Ireland. I would like micro-businesses in Portugal to reach out to me with their ideas for partnership.
4. What is the best business advice you have ever received?
The best business advice I received was through feedback from clients who said, “Please keep doing what you do” when I asked them why they simply said, “It works”. I credit that to the fact that I am not afraid to try something new, whether it works or not, I follow Eric Reis Lean Start-Up methodology, never wait until your product or service is perfect before offering it to your customer. Learn from them and tweak to suit their needs which I am currently doing as I learn and iterate.
5. How do you think the IPBN can help you achieve your objectives and what do you expect from your IPBN membership?
Through our membership with IPBN, Crafters of Ireland would like to connect with retailers who love Ireland and handcrafted luxury products made in Ireland with a view to stocking our beautiful products. We would also like the Portuguese people to enjoy the browsing these handcrafted goods for Christmas gifts and all other occasions, to find something really special, unique and a little piece of Ireland delivered to their door.
6. Favourite destinations in Portugal and why?
I have never visited Portugal but had planned to, thanks to Covid 19 these plans are temporarily shelved but I am optimistic that 2021 will see this pandemic under control.
7. Favourite destinations in Ireland and why?
Ireland has a lot to offer for the visitor and I would recommend taking a trip to the beautiful Copper Coast in Waterford, its beauty is hard to put into words it has to be seen to be believed. I would also say that searching out artisan restaurants and cafes on the east coast, in places like Dún Laoghaire, Howth and Clontarf are worth a visit.