The 8th June sees the beginning of the ten day Eigse Carlow Arts Festival 2012 and what a great day to launch the new pop-up shops initiative from County Carlow Enterprise Board in association with Eigse and the town council. Carlow Retail Experience for Craft Producers also popped up this week at No. 33 Tullow Street with their Creative Carlow shop managed by Bernie McCoy and Thursday saw the official launch of the project where 17 Carlow based craftsmen and women are selling their products.
Like many towns across the Ireland right now, high streets are experiencing the depressing site of empty shops and boarding but this wont be the case in Carlow for the next ten days. Six premises have been transformed with lots of hard work, funding and mentoring from the Enterprise Board.
At the official opening we were encouraged to support our local crafts people.
“Buy something small now and maybe save to buy something bigger later”.
Crafts are important, they make us happy. Knowing that an item we have spent our precious cash on has been imagined and handmade locally not only helps to support the producers and local economy, it makes us feel good too.
So I bought an exquisite tiny bowl for my bedside table made by Martin Marley and will think about saving for something bigger!
One of the great things about Carlow is it’s charity shops that allow us to have a few extra cents for the ‘lovely things’. So after a delicious lunch at the launch I made my way to the Sue Ryder shop, picking up three gardening books for €4 before popping into the Bee Happy Cafe pop-up shop.
What can I say other than the girls had done a spectacular job transforming the old shop. The window display deserves a prize if anyone’s giving them. The cafe has a lovely olde world feel almost taking me back to my childhood with aprons and bags, soap and candles, and of course it wouldn’t be a cafe without cake and coffee.
So if you’re heading into Carlow for Eigse where’s there’s so much to do and see, from music to exhibits, plays, art, comedy and culture, don’t forget to look out for these charming little shops and support local enterprise.