first_imgOver the coming weeks Donegal Daily will partner up with Údarás na Gaeltachta to showcase some of Donegal’s most successful Gaeltacht based businesses.Údarás na Gaeltachta’s enterprise development scheme assists entrepreneurs by encouraging new investment in Gaeltacht areas, nurturing already established businesses, and enhancing the skill base of those living in Gaeltacht communities. They also offer financial and non-financial support, as well as supplying business facilities at a competitive price to businesses in various different sectors.Over 7,000 people are employed thanks to the Údarás na Gaeltachta scheme! One such company involved in the scheme is Kilcar based Studio Donegal, who produce artisan hand-woven goods.Studio Donegal has expended into new and niche markets and now supplies authentic Irish Handwoven Bed Covers, Blankets and Cushions to UK and European Boutique Hotels and Apartments.Studio Donegal was founded by the Donaghy family in Cill Charthaigh nearly 40 years ago with the aim of maintaining and preserving the long running tradition of hand-weaving in south-west Donegal. The company was set up by Kevin Donaghy, an innovative designer weaver/spinner and his wife Wendy Donaghy, who both moved to Cill Charthaigh from Tullamore in Co. Offaly.Studio Donegal has developed into an international supplier of authentic, Irish handwoven clothing and upholstery fabric for markets in Ireland, the UK, Japan, Demark, France, Germany, Italy and the USA.Tristan Donaghy, son of Kevin and Wendy, continues to follow in the footsteps of his parents and is responsible for the company’s growth.Studio Donegal has established itself in a niche market of supplying boutique hotels and apartment chains in the UK, Europe and Japan with handwoven bed covers, blankets and cushions.Tristan DonaghyTristan said; “In recent times we have expanded on our product offerings. We now have ongoing contracts for hotel groups in the UK, The Hague and throughout the rest of Europe.”“Our bed covers, blankets and cushions are now the preferred choice for many boutique and apartment hotel chains in the UK and Europe, a niche which now accounts for 30% of our exports.” “We have also seen an increase in demand from a younger generation of Japanese entrepreneurs who have a preference for authentic Irish handwoven, clothing and accessories.”“We are getting more orders for our handwoven clothing and accessory label from mainstream boutique shops and mail ordering catalogues in Japan.”The company employs 15 people and until recently focused mainly on supplying craft shops and tourist outlets with handwoven and hand-knitted products under its own Studio Donegal clothing label.“I think the fact that our studio, mill and workshop are open to visitors and tourists who are invited to tour our facilities and observe our hand-weavers at work Monday to Friday is an added attraction.” “There they see firsthand how and where everything is made. Our shop sells a full range of our tweed throws, men’s and women’s clothing, hats and accessories as well as Donegal Yarns knitting wool and a selection of contemporary and traditional knitwear.”“Our genuine handwoven tweed sells all over the world in exclusive top end craft shops. Everything with the Studio Donegal label is handwoven and made in Kilcar.”“We have maintained our brand ethos of being the only genuine hand- weaving mill in Ireland and that will always be our hallmark. We still use some homespun yarn, which we produce on an early Victorian spinning mule.”“We also use other yarns, produced in Kilcar by Donegal Yarns, who continue to produce a superb range of quality wool and yarns”.“With support over the years from Údarás na Gaeltachta for areas such as equipment, marketing and training, we have been able to access new markets to promote our label and expand our product portfolio.”“We hope to expand our workshop in the future to accommodate additional equipment that will lead to an increase in production and employment”.“We are currently working on increasing our brand awareness globally by upgrading our website, and we expect that an increase in online purchases will increase our turnover and lead to additional employment and secure the existing jobs into the future”, concluded Tristan.To find out more about Studio Donegal you can visit;Website: www.studiodonegal.ieFacebook: Studio DonegalTwitter: @StudioDonegalTo learn more about Údarás na Gaeltachta’s enterprise development scheme you can visit their website!All photography by Paul Doherty.Údarás na Gaeltachta assist Studio Donegal’s expansion into niche markets worldwide! was last modified: September 18th, 2016 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:hand wovenstudio donegalÚdarás na Gaeltachtaweavinglast_img read more