ORIGINAL Kerry, the brand set up to promote and assist craft makers across The Kingdom, is to expand its promotional efforts with the opening of a dedicated online store for Kerrymade craft products.
The Original Kerry online store will launch in the autumn and will provide internet shoppers with access to a wide range of Kerry made crafts made by around 50 individual crafts people from across the entire county.
"The online shop will provide access for our makers to wider markets and allow much needed choice for online shoppers who want handcrafted well-made gifts and everyday items for home and living," said Original Kerry co-ordinator Deirdre Johnston.
Prior to the launch of the online shop, some 30 members of the Original Kerry project will also be hosting a major three day exhibition of their work and wares in Tralee.
The Original Kerry showcase event will take place at Tralee's Ballyseedy Garden Centre from Saturday August 3 to Monday August 5.
Among the many exhibitors the show will feature new makers such as Karen Pleass from Rathea of SwinkyDoo who makes fabric art, cards and commissioned bunting and Isobel Barrett of Fairy Lawn Alpaca who makes perfect toys and bags from soft alpaca wool.
Charlotte Verbeek's sculptural jewellery will also feature and a whole host of new designs from established names such as well known Kerry goldsmiths Sean Sugrue and Paul Kelly.
Established during the Year of Craft in 2011, Original Kerry is a an umbrella brand set up by the Kerry County Enterprise Board, Udarás no Gaeltachta and Kerry County Council to support the county's craft making industry.
The brand includes such nationally respected craft makers as Louis Mulcahy Pottery , Holden Leathergoods, Kerry Crafted Glass, Goose Island Workshop and Kerry Woollen Mills.
The project also promotes Kerry Craft Trails which offers tours of craft studios and workshops across Kerry. The Trails are dotted across the county and maps and directions can be downloaded from www.originalkerry.com