Putting in an application into the Kerry County Council Local Enterprise Office was a long shot, or so I thought. It brought enormous delight to me when an email recently arrived announcing that my small greeting card enterprise had been selected as one of the businesses that would be going to showcase 2022. This is an event with several hundred exhibitors and several thousand buyers who attend. As an event, it generates large-scale orders and sales.

Showcase Ireland will take place in January 2022 at the RDS in Dublin. A section of the event is reserved for the Local Enterprise Office and Enterprise Ireland’s emerging talent, unique designs and designers. Essentially it is a tradeshow and it is open to a national and global audience.

It’s true what they say that life is a learning curve and for me, right now, I’m on a steep learning curve! I do of course intend to put my best foot forward and with this in mind, I have a mentor who will work with me as I prepare. I know that setting realistic goals is very important. This is one chance I have to make a good first impression and so my display is a key factor. I am a member of the Design & Craft Council of Ireland and by qualifying and being part of this group, there is a lot of support and marketing assistance to be gained, for which I am grateful.

My stand, entitled Mary’s Wild Joys Greeting Cards, will be located at booth number J33, alongside the other three Kerry representatives at the Serpentine Hall, in the RDS.

So, now that I have taken the plunge, it’s definitely time to get to work. I am a new entrant to the market and I am offering a new product range. There is a lot of brand building to be done and opportunities to be found.  Hopefully, wholesale orders may be taken by impressed buyers attending Showcase 2022 or subsequent to the show in follow-up communication. Am I excited? You bet!