Waterford Craft Businesses Showcase Irish Enterprise

6 small Irish craft businesses from Waterford will exhibit their products to international buyers within the 'Enterprise Zone' at this year's Showcase event, which takes place in the RDS Dublin from 19th to 22nd January 2014.

Since 2010, the number of micro-enterprises exhibiting in the zone has almost tripled from 35 to a record breaking 93 businesses in 2014.

Supported by the Waterford Local Enterprise office, exhibitors in the Enterprise Zone aim to break into new Irish and export markets during 2014. The Waterford companies exhibiting are: Sharon Fleming from Sharon Fleming Ceramics in Waterford, Ann McDonnell from Anne McDonnell Fine Art Prints in Waterford, Lucia Domorodova from Lutsia Fashion in Kite Design Studios Waterford, Paul Kirby from Paul Kirby Art in Waterford, Ken Coleman, Stradbally Jewellery and Wioletta Wawak from Moni Moni Dolls.

Organised by the Crafts Council of Ireland, the annual creative expo is valued by industry experts as one of the most important trade events for Ireland's craft sector and runs from Sunday, 19th January to Wednesday, 22nd January.

In 2010, the County and City Enterprise Offices supported 35 small businesses at Showcase through subsidised stands, rising to 50 in 2011 and 57 in 2012, before reaching 75 craft businesses last year.

Ciaran Cullen CEO from the Waterford Local Enterprise office, said: "There is a high calibre of craft businesses from throughout the region, showcasing high quality produce at this year's Enterprise Zone at Showcase. With the support of Waterford City Enterprise Board, the businesses have a valuable opportunity to exhibit their products in the RDS Dublin. The record number of craft and design companies, from throughout the country, can potentially break into new markets both at home and abroad, securing valuable orders and create new jobs locally."

The County and City Enterprise Offices are committed to the craft sector nationally, providing supports such as mentoring, training, financial intervention, networking initiatives, business advice and export initiatives, where applicable.

Brian McGee, Head of Market Development for the Crafts Council of Ireland said: "As the global market wakes up to the importance of provenance and searches for the authentic, where something was made and who made it, all combine to add value, desirability and exclusivity Ireland's long history and reputation for craft and design now moves to the fore. Different to the mass marketed luxury brands, Ireland's linens, knits, jewellery, ceramics and glass are made luxurious through their uniqueness, their genuine heritage and their youthful and contemporary design."

He continued: "Our new and exciting offering at Showcase presents a unique opportunity for savvy retailers to discover nascent talent as well as established designers all of whom display fresh thinking, contemporary design ideas and new approaches to craftsmanship and quality."

Showcase is promoted internationally by Enterprise Ireland and further details are available by visiting www.loaclenterprise.ie and www.showcaseireland.com.