Louise Browne

What is your own background/ethnic heritage?
Originally from England, Scottish roots on my mother’s side and Irish on my Stepfathers I had been visiting my parents in Co. Clare, Ireland for many years, in-particular areas such as the Burren, so in the Summer of 2007 me and my newly married husband moved to the all inspiring West of Ireland to pursue our dreams and seek a better quality of life, leaving my un- fulfilling 9 to 5 job in Healthcare Administration behind.

How long have you been with the company, and what is your position there?
Even as a little girl, I was always to be found making a variety of items. I studied Art, Design, and Textiles, and it was at the age of 17 years I discovered Pottery and went on to A’ Levels in the subject and was hooked. Completing an Art Foundation Course, where I specialized in Sculpture, I went on to complete a degree in 3D Design Ceramics in 2000. But it wasn’t until the spring of 2010 that Living Ginger Designs was finally born.

What are the challenges & rewards of the profession?
The challenges are an enormous amount of work seven days a week, to keep designs fresh and new and ahead of the game. The rewards are doing a job I love (seven days a week), study, and to produce pieces other people seem to love too….

What is the company’s core mandate?
To produce ‘Beautiful Contemporary Ceramics’.

What are your key products?
My Smocked and Flora Porcelain ranges sit side by side and are now recognized as my signature pieces.

What is your marketplace?
My customers range from high end Art and Craft buyers, general craft buyers, gift buyers right through to tourists visiting Connemara and Ireland and wishing to take a piece of the West of Ireland home with them. My market place is Galleries, Craft boutiques/ stores and Tourist related shops, along with my workshop in Oughterard.

How do you differ from your competition?
I think my finish is what makes me different; I have a number of secret techniques that give my pieces a high end quality. That they are all hand made by me from raw Porcelain, and each one created using actual flora details which burn away in firing therefore no two will be identical, or created using my hand- made Smocked fabrics.

What are your thoughts on the current state of the Irish economy?
It helped that for me I started my business in the middle of the Recession so I didn’t have the good times to compare things to, it must be hard when your sales are going downwards, but luckily mine always seem to be heading in the other direction! I also think artists are used to struggling -it comes with the job. In terms of the economy I think people have to accept things have changed, many people still have money, just as many don’t.

Are we doing enough to preserve & promote Celtic culture generally?
I think we are doing well to promote Celtic Culture, but we can always do better….

What’s next on the company’s agenda?
Recently I moved into a new cottage and studio which is surrounded by our own meadow, in which we are planning to grow wild meadow flowers which will appear in my work soon. Along with developing our workshop and showroom for the start of the season, we will continue to supply outlets in Ireland, Scotland and the UK.