With the worldwide popularity of Irish jewellery especially the Claddagh ring, Eileen Moylan saw the opportunity to meet this demand with a handmade range of contemporary Irish jewellery. Established in 2010, Claddagh Design produces high quality Irish inspired jewellery which is sold through their website and also to shops around the world.
Since the range was launched in 2011 it has won a number of awards for design and craftsmanship. In 2012 their ‘Torc’ cufflinks were listed in the ’50 Top Products’ at Showcase Ireland. And in 2013 their Claddagh ring was name ‘Best Overall Product’ and ‘Best Jewellery Product’ at Showcase Ireland.
Having worked as a silversmith and jeweller for 12 years, Eileen saw the need for unique handmade jewellery which was available to Irish diaspora around the world. Her range of silver and gold jewellery offers a good quality alternative to the mass produced, machine made products available. These unique designs draw inspiration from traditional Irish craft, giving them a contemporary twist.
From her workshop in Macroom, Co. Cork, Eileen produces the Claddagh Design jewellery collection, as well as offering a custom jewellery service. The collection has been influenced by iconic Irish artworks like the Bronze Age Torcs and the traditional Claddagh ring. As one of only a small community of female silversmiths, Eileen uses traditional making techniques which have remained unchanged for centuries.
Like many businesses these days, Claddagh Design saw an opportunity to reach their customers through an online store “As many of my customers are overseas they are unable to access Irish jewellery which is handmade in Ireland. We ship worldwide and give a guarantee to our customers that all our jewellery has been designed, made and hallmarked in Ireland.” Eileen also interacts with her customers through the Claddagh Design blog, which posts photos and stories from the workshop, giving readers an insight into how handmade jewellery is produced.
Her 3 top tips for other entrepreneurs
- Know your brand. Very early in my business I was given the advice to write down my brand values, personality, product, voice and vision. It was a great exercise to clarify exactly what my business was about and shaped how I have carried out marketing, social media and advertising. With business decisions, I make sure they are in keeping with the brand identity.
- Become comfortable summing up your business in a few short sentences. It doesn’t have to be a sales pitch, just make sure you can communicate you message clearly and concisely. If people understand what you do then they are more willing to help you or put you in touch with valuable contacts
- Know your limitations and don’t be afraid to outsource. One of the best decisions I made was to bring in a marketing company to help me with my website. While I update and manage the website I now have a well researched plan to drive traffic and increase sales.