Eigse ~ Carlow Arts Festival 2012

June 7, 2012
Eigse ~ Carlow Arts Festival 2012

Valerie from Amhain Creations with Denis and Kirstin at the Bee Happy Cafe Pop up Shop Launch

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.

Eigse ~ Carlow Arts Festival 2012

Antique cash register at Bee Happy Cafe

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”.

Eigse ~ Carlow Arts Festival 2012

Art for Sale at the Pop Up Shop Project

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.

Eigse ~ Carlow Arts Festival 2012

Martin Marley Ceramics

So I bought an exquisite tiny bowl for my bedside table made by Martin Marley and will think about saving for something bigger!

Eigse ~ Carlow Arts Festival 2012

Ruth from Nutritious Nibbles and Madeleine from The Little Coffee Shop at the Bee Happy Cafe

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.

Eigse ~ Carlow Arts Festival 2012

Nutritious Nibbles Strawberry Cheesecake

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 café 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 café 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.



  • Reply Móna Wise June 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    What a great idea Dee. Lovely photos and a great sense of community spirit shown here. Best of luck to all the vendors this weekend. I am sure it will be a great weekend x

    • Reply greensideupveg June 7, 2012 at 6:05 pm

      It really is Mona. Ciaran Comerford the CEO at Carlow Enterprise Boards works amazingly hard to support and encourage local business. Wishing everyone involved success with the project too. Wouldn’t it be great if those shops were filled for more than 10 days 🙂


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