IN the midst of the economic doom and gloom there are chinks of good news pouring through with people setting up new businesses and adapting to the current climate.
Fashion designer and busy Kildare mum of three, Liadain Butler has done just that. Having set up her own designer fashion knitwear business ten years ago, she has now adapted her skills to produce a new affordable children’s knitwear range.
Liadain lives in Coolaghknock Drive in Kildare town with her husband David O’Hanlon and her three children, Skye (eight months), Mia (2) and Finn (5).
“I actually went to fashion college and I did a post grad in knitwear design. I worked at that for a while, then I wound down the business in the last five years when I had my kids.
“I would have worked with natural wools, created one off pieces, and made designer ranges.
“Then I just thought why not do a children’s range. It was something different, something more colourful and something more affordable,” she explains.
Liadain divides her time between working from home and her studio in Rathcoole.
She plans on showing her wares at a number of craft fairs and trade shows in the run up to the festive season including the RDS Christmas craft fair.
She points out that the garments are not hand knitted but produced by her on industrial knitting machines. Liadain says her business wouldn’t be viable if she was to hand knit all the garments.
With three young children herself, she knows the kind of clothes mums may be looking for and she even enrolled her own children for the photo shoot as models for the day.
When asked what advice she would give to people starting up their own business, she remarks; “You have to be adaptable and be willing to take on new things. I teach in the VEC, and I run craft classes as well. The Enterprise board are great for information and I registered with the Craft Council of Ireland. They are really helpful as well. They gave me an idea of what local markets there are. It is definitely worth going to the markets, you get talking to people and exchange ideas.”
You can check out Liadain’s range on www.knitwear.ie
- Niamh O’Donoghue