...Making It Happen

Vanessa Ree - Contemporary Fine Jewellery Design

Vanessa Ree - Contemporary Fine Jewellery Design 

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Entrepreneur:  Vanessa Murtagh

Business Name: Vanessa Ree Jewellery

Business Location: Naas


Established in: 2019

Famous for: Contemporary Fine Jewellery Design 


Tell us about your business and what you do….

Vanessa Ree Jewellery is the epitome of contemporary fine jewellery design. Collections are handcrafted in my studio in Co. Kildare using a range of both traditional and contemporary skills. Using a concept first approach to design, I create statement jewellery for those who appreciate that style is a language without words. The product is also sustainable using recycled metals, eco packaging and handmade Irish felt and hallmarked for authenticity by the Assay Office in Dublin Castle.


What can you tell us about the early days and how it all started?

I made the decision to start my own business after the life of commuting to Dublin for an unforgiving corporate job at the expense of my children’s wellbeing became untenable. I had to change the balance and reprioritise my family, I wanted some creative freedom and autonomy over my working life that allowed me flexibility so I turned what was a passion into a career.


What were the high points and low points when you were a start-up?

Without doubt a highpoint was when my work was featured in the Irish Times November 2020 and across other media, being nominated a finalist in the Irish Made Awards 2021 Jewellery Category, being sleeted for Showcase by the Kildare LEO and I believe there are many highs ahead of me.

Lows - launching a luxury fine jewellery brand on the cusp of a pandemic has proven to make my journey starting a business eve more arduous. They used to say it takes two years to start a business. In a Covid reality, it is considerably more. 

What was your big break-throughmoment? The aforementioned Irish Times article that established and validated my brand for consumers.


Local Enterprise Office Kildare has supported your business. Tell us about these supports and what impact they have had?

Knowing that you can pick up the phone to the guys in Kildare LEO and discuss whatever business challenge you face, ask for advice and be offered helpful solutions to work your way through is for me the greatest advantage.

They have a great panel of mentors for business advice.

I have also received financial support for capital equipment and e-commerce which have been invaluable especially in getting started.


Has COVID or Brexit affected how you do business?

Of course. When the country went into lockdown the social occasions for wearing fine jewellery were put off. It meant my market dried up considerably, especially when the despondence and inertia of the second year set in.

As I am dealing with precious materials and high value products, Brexit means the customs duties are prohibitively expensive.


Whats next on the business agenda for your company?

2022 - Firmly establishing the brand in Ireland in 2022 and preparing for export

2023 -  Exporting: The market for luxury goods in small in Ireland. My aim is to export to key markets in Northern Europe.


Whats the best piece of advice youve ever gotten about running a business?

Not just for business but for life - everything is workable-outable.


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