Creative Beginnings for local craftspeople with a vision

Coming together in an effort to further their own crafts and beat the recession, Creative Beginnings is a unique and innovative business recently opened by a group of local crafts people in Clonmel.

Coming together in an effort to further their own crafts and beat the recession, Creative Beginnings is a unique and innovative business recently opened by a group of local crafts people in Clonmel.

Located in the Marystone Centre, Creative Beginnings first opened their doors last September and is run by Hilary O’Connor, Peter Tynan, Violeta Pseracktaite and Lynda Cantwell. Creative Beginnings is paving the way forward as the first cooperatively run craft shop in the country.

The idea first came about when Hilary, from Fethard, whose business is craft supply, including fabrics, buttons and ribbon, wanted to open her own shop in town but due to exorbitant overheads, decided that the only way to make her dream a reality was to find other like-minded business people to join together and share a premises and costs. She then approached her local enterprise board and it was there the search began for other craft and design based business. Before long other local business people expressed interest and so with the help of South Tipperary Enterprise Board, Creative Beginnings was founded by Hilary and three others: Violeta Pseracktaite from Wild Women Art which specialises in hand felted clothing and accessories; Peter Tynan from PT Design, which makes handmade timber clocks, lamps and mirrors; and Lynda Cantwell from Itsy Bitsy Baby, specialising in nappy cakes and hand-made baby wear and gifts. Together they operate under the Creative Beginnings umbrella. To add more interest and variety for customers the team at Creative Beginnings decided to invite other local crafters to display and sell their products for a small fee, with no markup or commission. With this unique business model Creative Beginnings has not only helped four small business get off the ground but it has also offered over 20 local home based crafts people a viable retail space to sell their products at a low cost and offers a destination shopping experience to the consumer.

At present Creative Beginnings stocks products from all around Tipperary and surrounding counties including Waterford, Kilkenny, and Cork. All products are locally designed and handmade, and the majority of items are one-off pieces that wont be recreated. The product range at Creative Beginnings includes: woodwork pieces such as clocks, bowls, lamps, mirrors; slatework pieces including mirrors, frames, clocks; baby wear; hand-knits; dresses; shoes; feltwork pieces like dresses, shawls, scarves; ceramic mugs, bowls, jugs, plates, and ornamental pieces. There are hats for all occasions; beaded, ceramic, button, glass and silver jewellery pieces; silk scarves; hand painted glass; artwork; up-cycled furniture; handmade toys including dolls’ houses, trucks, toy boxes. hand made cards; skincare products and soaps; essential oils and creams; candles, cushions; rugs and more! Creative Beginnings also have an amazing range of buttons - every shape size and colour you could imagine alongside an ever-growing selection of fabric, ribbons, and trimmings.

The quality of the hand made local products at Creative Beginnings is remarkable and in these tough times there has never been a more important time to shop local and support local. By purchasing a product at Creative Beginnings you can be assured you are doing just that. Recession drives innovation and Creative Beginnings is proof of that.