This February, the Mums NI Team have been chatting with Sinéad McMahon from Danann Crafts located in the heart of Lurgan.
Sinéad is a very hard working lady who promotes and sells beautifully handcrafted items from local artists in store and online. She also runs various classes for toddlers and older children to express themselves through the use of art. Classes and workshops are available for adults too. Sinéad is a great advocate for mental health awareness within the local community and often encourages those who feel "not okay" to call in for a cuppa and a chat in the wee cafe.
We were thrilled that Sinéad was able to take some time out of her busy schedule to have a chat with us.
Danann Crafts is an online marketplace and retail store that promote local artists and crafters. We recently started our social enterprise Danann Crafts Creative Hub which allows us to host workshops, community groups for all, we love to inspire creativity and promote good mental health.
So many things inspired me, travelling to Tasmania and visiting Salamanca gave me the main idea for the business. I've always been a stickler for supporting local and buying off people in our local community. The business itself developed through me chatting to people and seeing what they wanted. I always had a passion for arts and crafts so now I can sell it, create it and encourage others to discover their hidden talents.
There is no typical day in Danann Crafts, between boring admin and cleaning they are the not my highlights. My highlights are serving people, chatting to people and seeing peoples faces when they come and create something they made. A lot of people say they "can’t" but I always say "you don’t know until you try". Pick and paint sessions are great for people to chat to kids, friends or have a family outing without it costing the earth.
Danann Crafts isn’t just a business, its about people and every day that’s what I try to promote.
Talking and drinking tea lol or my head in a laptop that pops up to say hello
The one project I’ve been most proud of is our shop, trying to be creative by using old furniture to recreate storage ideas for people. We do a lot of commissions and I'm always proud that I manage to create the piece our customer has asked from me.
That’s a difficult one, as someone who was taught History of Art I have so many!
Ive been lucky enough to meet a few amazing artists that sell worldwide. Every artist has a different meaning to me, but one of my favorites is a Belfast Artist called John Luke. He created pieces that were bold in colour and bold in composition, taking local scenery and made it a magical place.
My husbands father introduced me to another gentleman who is a living artist called George Callaghan. His pieces reminded me so much of John Luke that later he told me he was taught by him.
My favourite piece is The fox by John Luke.
My favorite piece of art in the business at present but would be the large handcarved celtic cross by Pat Tiernan. Though we have another lady who stocks with ourselves called Lise Couture. I love her use of bold colours and how she really brings to life her animal characters or the landscape she creates.
All the pieces I stock are items that I love and tell wonderful stories.
I tell each parent to sit back, enjoy and we clean up the mess lol! There is nothing as great as seeing a little ones face after they have loaded all the paint and glitter to make their piece of art something unique and special. I’ve got used to finding glitter everywhere, I just like to pretend little fairies are sprinkling some magic everywhere I go.
Next question lol … running a business in Lurgan isn’t easy, trying to make sure my boys and family don’t miss out is very important. I don’t always get it right but that’s what comes with being self-employed.
I would love to see people coming in and enjoying our shop in every way possible. Our creative hub page will let them see everything they can do at Danann Crafts.