The Designerie in Bushmills has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Consumer Facing category of this year’s Social Enterprise Northern Ireland Awards, with a public vote now open to decide the winner.
The awards were established to recognise, commend and promote the individuals and businesses who are creating change and making a positive impact within Northern Ireland and beyond.
The Consumer Facing category acknowledges a social enterprise whose brand is recognisable by consumers, something which The Designerie has been steadily developing and growing since it was established in 2015.
Starting from humble beginnings as a pop-up shop selling Christmas Trees in The Diamond Centre, Coleraine, The Designerie is now much more than a store; it’s a creative hub, workshop and community destination, adored by its customers and visitors for its unique and diverse collection of handmade products from local Irish crafters, which are available both instore and online.
It supports 80 local small businesses operating in the creative sector and in 2018, further expanded its creative ambitions with the introduction of Makers House.
Located upstairs in The Designerie, Makers House is home 8 local makers and artists, where individuals can see, first-hand, creative talent at work. The creative hub and pods are helping to successfully launch new and up and coming talent on their entrepreneurial journeys and grow the appreciation and awareness for local artists and markers across Ireland and further afield.
Celebrating the announcement, The Designerie’s Manager, Zoe Jones said: “This is a fantastic nod to appreciate not only what the store has achieved over the last seven years, but to recognise the efforts of our dedicated team (staff and resident makers), who truly enjoy speaking to everyone who comes through door, we do try our best to bring a friendly service to our customers and visitors.
“It is not so much the space, but the people in it that make it what it has become. They have created a warm and welcoming place, where their support and encouragement of each other is infectious and sets the perfect atmosphere of relaxed hospitality – something which has struck a chord with our customers.
“Naturally, we would be thrilled to win in this category and would love if people could cast their vote for us! From all of us at The Designerie, a sincere thank you to those who do vote and more importantly, to those who continue to support us.”
Also welcoming the shortlisting and encouraging the public to vote was Jayne Taggart, CEO of Enterprise Causeway, who reflected: “The heart of The Designerie has always been to create a space where people from various social and cultural backgrounds, with different interests and ages can come together to be creative, make new connections and feel inspired – whether that’s the feeling they get when they purchase to support local, or the creative vibe they experience when walking through the door or the skills they pick up when they take part in one of the workshops.
“This shortlisting is testament to the hard work of all involved in helping to ensure The Designerie continues to thrive as a retail and community space in the heart of Bushmills.
“If you love what we stand for and how we support our beautiful country and coastal area, then please vote for us!”
Online voting will close at 9am, Monday 5th September. Online voting can be accessed at: www.socialenterpriseni.org/post/consumer-facing-award-vote-now-open
Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Friday 14th October at The Crown Plaza, Belfast.