Inspiring Irish Craft Businesses To Showcase Design Talent To International Buyers

A record 105 inspiring Irish craft businesses will be wooing international buyers with their unique design talent in the Enterprise Zone (#enterprisezone) at the Showcase – Ireland’s Creative Expo in the RDS, Dublin, from January 18th to 21st 2015.  

The designers and makers will be hoping to secure lucrative orders for their work at Showcase, which promotes and celebrates Irish design to buyers from Ireland and all over the world.  

Supported by Local Enterprise Offices, exhibitors in the Enterprise Zone will be exposed to Irish and international buyers and hoping for new home and export markets during 2015.  

Organised by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, the annual four-day Showcase creative expo is valued by industry experts as one of the most important trade events for Ireland’s craft sector.  

In 2010, the Local Enterprise Offices (formerly known as the County and City Enterprise Boards) supported 35 small businesses at Showcase through subsidised stands. But this figure has tripled to a record-breaking 105 businesses this year which is an extra special one for local designers and makers as they celebrate ‘Irish Design 2015’, which has President Michael D. Higgins as its patron.

According to Vincent Reynolds, Chair of the National LEO Network: “As we celebrate Irish Design 2015, we are delighted that there is such a high calibre of craft businesses from all over Ireland showcasing Irish craft and design at this year’s Enterprise Zone at Showcase. With the support of the Local Enterprise Offices, the businesses have the ideal platform to exhibit their work and meet international buyers. The record number of craft and design companies attending all have the potential to break into new markets both at home and abroad, securing valuable orders and create new jobs locally.”  

The network of Local Enterprise Offices are committed to the craft sector nationally, providing supports such as mentoring, training, financial grants, networking initiatives, business advice and export initiatives, where applicable.  

Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland said: “Showcase 2015 is the first international trade event as part of the year long programme of events and activities for Irish Design 2015.  We look forward to promoting Ireland’s well recognised strengths for design and creativity to buyers from around the world over the four days of the show.  We are delighted to be working with the Local Enterprise Offices in introducing visiting buyers to the latest exciting products from emerging Irish businesses in the largest Enterprise Zone at Showcase to date.”  

According to Brian McGee, Head of Market Development for the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, the record number of inspiring design businesses featuring in the Enterprise Zone this year is a reflection on the rich design talent that exists in Ireland.  "Small craft businesses who are making authentic and beautiful pieces need to be encouraged and nurtured, and the Local Enterprise Offices deserve credit for supporting craft makers and helping them get their unique product to the home and international market. Enterprise Zone at Showcase provides craft businesses with a valuable route to market, and plays a huge role in helping them expand and develop."

Sample exhibitors:

Judy Davis WicklowCreation by Judy Davis of “Shuttleknit Limited” from Wicklow. Supported by the Local Enterprise Offices, ShuttleKnit is a not-for-profit enterprise in Wicklow, bringing members of the Travelling and Settled Communities together to make contemporary knitwear and can be seen at the Enterprise Zone at Showcase.

Cian Murphy

Creation by Cian Murphy of 'Chart Datum' in West Cork (above). Supported by the Local Enterprise Offices, this will be Cian’s first exhibition at the Enterprise Zone at Showcase.


Creation by Jamie Monagan of “Loominations” from Cork City. Supported by the Local Enterprise Offices, Loominations custom throw blankets inspired by the Wild Atlantic Way can be seen at the Enterprise Zone at Showcase.

Showcase, Ireland’s Creative Expo in the RDS, Dublin, from January 18th to 21st 2015, is promoted internationally by Enterprise Ireland and further details are available by visiting and or by searching #enterprisezone on social media.