A FINGAL business will be aiming to impress international buyers when it takes its place at a major exhibition in Dublin later this month.
Fab Cow Design will be vying for the attention of international and Irish buyers at the Enterprise Zone, which forms part of Showcase at the RDS, which runs from Sunday, January 20 to Wednesday, January 23.
Founded in 2012, Fab Cow Design, which is based in Malahide, specialises in the unique and quirky art and illustrations of Francis Leavey and has been supported by the Fingal County Enterprise Board. The range includes open and limited edition prints, greeting cards, stationery, mugs, tshirts and a selection of home-ware gift items.
In its first year, Fab Cow Design was selected as part of Fingal's Finest. In all, 75 small businesses, more than double the number of companies in 2010, are being supported by their local County and City Enterprise Board at the Enterprise Zone at Showcase to help them break into new Irish and export markets during 2013. The craft companies, many of whom are first-time exhibitors, cover sectors such as textiles, cosmetics, fashion, giftware, candles, ceramics, homewares, accessories and jewellery, representing nineteen different counties.
In 2010, the County and City Enterprise Boards supported 35 small businesses at Showcase through subsidised stands, rising to 50 in 2011 before reaching 57 last year. The Creative Expo, which is organised by the Crafts Council of Ireland every year, is seen by industry experts as one of the most important trade events for Ireland's craft sector and runs from Sunday, January 20th to Wednesday, January 23rd. The County and City Enterprise Boards are committed to the craft sector nationally, providing supports such as training, business advice, mentoring, networking initiatives, export initiatives and financial intervention, where applicable. Michael Hanley from the County and City Enterprise Boards said: 'There has been an unprecedented level of demand for places at this year's Enterprise Zone in Showcase, reaching record numbers this year.
With the support of the County and City Enterprise Boards, this new generation of craft and design companies can potentially break into new markets, secure valuable export orders and create additional jobs locally.' According to Brian McGee, who directs the show for the Crafts Council of Ireland, international sales at Showcase are critical.
'At last year's fair, overseas buyers continued to show more optimism with a significant increase in the level of orders compared to domestic buyers versus 2011 levels," said McGee. "The largest markets for export are USA, UK, Italy and Japan. Country of origin is becoming more and more important. In 2012 93% of international buyers said that a product's country of origin is important, an increase of 7% on the previous year.' Showcase is promoted internationally by Enterprise Ireland and further details are available by visiting www.showcaseireland.com.