Small Business

Tuesday 22 July 2014

How Bebhinn flourished during the downturn

Emma Jane Hade

Published 14/05/2014|02:30

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Bebhinn Flood outside The Design House on Dawson Street, Dublin. The designer decided to take a leap and start her own business last summer. Picture: Arthur Carron

AS male unemployment soared during the recession, Bebhinn Flood is one woman who thrived in the private sector during the economic downturn.

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The 34-year-old fashion designer worked in the Loft Market in the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre in Dublin until last summer, when she decided to take a leap and start her own business.

"I worked in the Loft Market for seven years and I had my own range. I was the floor manager there as well.

"Now I run 'The Design House' on Dawson Street, Dublin. It is a collective in a beautiful Georgian building that houses entrepreneurs and young designers to retail and produce their product there. We are open almost eight months," she said.

The mother-of-one said she made the decision to start her own business after she noticed a "niche" in the market, as a lot of consumers were seeking products made in Ireland.

"There were a lot of people who wanted clothes made in Ireland and a bespoke service.

"A lot of the designers here – myself included – offer a made-to-order service, and there wasn't really anywhere in Ireland doing that," she added.

As well as creating a platform for young designers, the entrepreneur has also helped to create a host of jobs."The whole business and collective being set up has just created jobs for a lot of people. And, because it is a collective of young designers, it is helping them to maintain their label and their job.

"The recession has made everyone a little bit more aware that we have to support our own.

"It helps in some ways, granted now the turnover isn't as amazing as we had hoped it would at this stage.

"But, it is the end of a recession and we are just coming into the proper wedding season, so we are not panicking."

Irish Independent

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