Wednesday 26 June 2019

Tweed founder Dobson opens Avoca outlet with focus on heritage

Anna Dobson founder of Love Mo Chuisle. Photo: Orla Murray/ SON Photographic Ltd
Anna Dobson founder of Love Mo Chuisle. Photo: Orla Murray/ SON Photographic Ltd

Gabrielle Monaghan

Anna Dobson, founder of tweed fashion range Love Mo Chuisle, has opened a shop for the brand and other Irish heritage products in her native Avoca, the birthplace of the Avoca Handweavers chain.

Tweed in the Valley, Dobson's new outlet, is located across from the Avoca store, café and handweaving mill that Camilla Parker-Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall, visited last month during a trip to Co Wicklow with Prince Charles.

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Dobson started focusing on Love Mo Chuisle full-time in 2017, managing to tap into revived demand for Irish tweed clothing.

The young designer has created a full tweed range that includes clothes and matching accessories for children, women and men.

The designer moved production of her clothing line from her Avoca home to a new, larger facility in the village in March.

Tweed in the Valley is situated in front of the production area, so customers can view the cutting and making of the clothing.

As well as the Love Mo Chuisle range, Tweed in the Valley also sells products from other Irish craftspeople and designers.

Products include hand-painted silk scarves made by Louise Loughman, Neantóg skincare products made from Wicklow nettles, Carraig Rua wall art, and perfume that is hand-blended by Jo Browne.

"I wanted to move into direct sales and to bring other Irish brands and designers with me," said Dobson.

"The Avoca area gets a lot of tourists from March to September, with six or seven busloads coming every day.

They are not just going to the Avoca mill - Fitzgerald's pub from the Ballykissangel series is just across the road from our shop and it's a big attraction."

Love Mo Chuisle is stocked in about 30 outlets in Ireland, and has recently expanded to a handful of retail stores in Germany, France, the US and Canada.

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