Orders set to top €20m in showcase of creativity
SALE orders in excess of €20m are expected at this year's Showcase expo, which will put Irish creativity on display for the coming three days.
More than 430 leading designers, manufacturers and craft makers will be presenting thousands of high-end products to almost 6,000 buyers at Ireland's International Creative Expo.
This year's Showcase is predicting a 10pc increase in international buyers on last year. It is a great time for Irish design, according to Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Crafts Council of Ireland.
"The sector itself is worth €500m. . . the potential to grow exports is huge.
"Craft makers and designers have come through difficult times, but they are a very resilient industry and a lot of them in the last year have seen significant increases in sales," she said.
One designer doing well is Chupi Sweetman-Pell. The 29-year-old from Hollywood in Co Wicklow makes delicate gold jewellery inspired by the beauty of nature.
Meanwhile, the creator of Scatterpillar Jacinta Leigh explained how she turns children's drawings into stuffed creations called 'softies'.
Speaking at the opening, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said Showcase represented Irish creativity, innovation and craftsmanship at its very best.