Founded in 2015, Jando is a multi-award-winning printmaking studio in Dublin founded and run by husband and wife team Owen and Julie McLoughlin. This dynamic duo creates striking prints which are inspired by their love of architecture and colour and which encourage the viewer to look at the familiar in a new way. They have many stockists both in Ireland and abroad and are currently stocked in the renowned Wolf & Badger stores in New York as well as in their flagship store in Coal Drops Yard in London. Their prints, which combine modern graphic design with traditional screen-printing techniques are distinctive and instantly recognisable. Here we speak to Jando founders Julie and Owen and ask them why Showcase is a crucial event in their calendar.
How did Showcase 2018 compare to previous events?
We found Showcase to be a much busier show for us in 2018 than the previous year. The calibre of buyer was very high, with many high profile buyers from Ireland and abroad coming to the show and visiting the Jando stand. We were worried that UK buyers would tend to source from UK brands due to Brexit, but they were out in force at Showcase and, more importantly, were placing orders.
How important is the event in your schedule and how does it compare to other events that you've attended?
Showcase is an extremely important event in the Jando calendar. This year marked our second appearance at the show. The Design Ireland section can compete with any other trade show we’ve visited or exhibited at both in Ireland and abroad. The standard of makers and quality of products exhibited under the Design Ireland banner is extremely high and we feel very privileged to be included under this umbrella of Irish designers and makers.
How did this year's event go for you - did you pick up many new stockists or see more orders from existing retailers?
We were very fortunate to have secured orders from several high profile stockists in both Ireland and the UK - many of these were new stockists that we have never worked with before. We’ve built very strong relationships with our existing stockists and it was great to see these buyers in attendance at Showcase and placing orders also.
How helpful is it to you being part of the Design Ireland stable of brands and being able to exhibit within their curated area at the show?
Design Ireland showcases the very best in Irish design across a wide variety of disciplines. From talking to buyers, the calibre of work included in Design Ireland is definitely one of the defining factors in their decision to attend Showcase each year. The standard of authentic makers in Design Ireland has clearly raised the buyer profile over the last few years. Having the recognition and support of The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland has been invaluable to our business and being part of Design Ireland is definitely a badge of honour for Jando. Design Ireland has had a huge impact on our brand and on our product development over the last number of years and the Design Ireland banner gives buyers confidence that they are buying from a genuine Irish brand.
In your opinion, how important are the other initiatives at Showcase such as Made|Slow?
Initiatives like Made|Slow are incredibly important because they provide buyers with an insight into the design process and craftsmanship involved in bringing a piece to fruition. They also highlight the true value and authenticity of makers’ work and, in many cases, can mean the difference between a buyer placing an order or not.
What were your show highlights this year?
For us, some definite highlights would have been meeting the buyers from the Kilkenny Group who offered us the opportunity to run a pop-up shop in their flagship store in Nassau Street in Dublin for the entire month of April. Recognition of our work by a brand that has promoted the very best in Irish design for decades was, without a doubt, a huge highlight for us. We’ve some really exciting collaborations happening this year with some big brands in both Ireland and the UK which probably would not have happened had it not been for Showcase and Design Ireland. Showcase is always a great opportunity to meet our existing stockists and to receive feedback on our products, our packaging and our in-store displays. It’s useful for showing new pieces and getting the chance to talk to our stockists in person - an opportunity we don’t always get when we are busy designing, making and running our business.