A Buyer’s Perspective: Julie Nolan, Irish Pottery and Crafts Buyer, Meadows & Byrne.

The team here always look forward to Showcase as it really kicks off our buying season.  Showcase 2018 far exceeded my expectation this year, I was really excited at the range of products on offer and, to be honest, it made my job a little difficult - trying to narrow down my choices was tough.  Supporting Irish is something that the team here at Meadows & Byrne always try to do, but the product must be the right fit. Across the board this year there was so much to offer. Jando and Martina Scott were added to the brands stocked in Meadows & Byrne and it is wonderful to be able to support these designers.  Existing brands such as Brooke & Shoals and Caulfield Country Boards are always a pleasure to see and it is fantastic to see these Irish-made and designed brands going from strength-to-strength.

 

Showcase is a real working show for the Meadows & Byrne team. Order books come out, notebooks get filled up and we all leave absolutely full of inspiration and excited for the season ahead.  It is a great show at which I can catch up with existing suppliers such as Nicholas Mosse, Diem Pottery and the Cork-based Charlie Mahon Pottery, in order to add to our collections. Irish pottery in particular was an area that I wanted to hone in on this year and really grow. What really excited me was the range of new exhibitors that were showing. It was a feast of creativity and the standard was exceptional this year.  Potters such as Living Ginger Designs and KaroArt caught my eye straight away and it was refreshing to see something so different on offer. I knew these were a perfect fit for the Meadows & Byrne stores and I was genuinely excited to be bringing something new into stores.

It is one thing for me, as a buyer, to be excited about a product having met the supplier, heard the story and held the product, but it needs to translate to the shop floor. For me, there’s always a nervy few days when the product delivers and hits the shop floor while you wait for the customer reaction.  So it is great to be able to say that the customer reaction to the new Irish brands that were sourced at Showcase 2018 has been really positive. Deliveries have been coming in thick and fast from the new and existing brands alike and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. When out and about in the stores I see customers stopping and commenting on the products and I get a real thrill from knowing that it is products made and designed here in Ireland that are causing people to stop in their tracks.

Showcase is such an important date in the Irish retail calendar and Showcase 2018 was a fantastic success for us at Meadows & Byrne.  Meadows & Byrne is one of Ireland’s leading lifestyle stores. With 12 locations across Ireland, the brand is renowned for its modern homewares and interiors collections. 

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