My Weekend: A pop up shot celebrating Irish makers and creators takes place in December

Stationary company Leanún will be among the Irish makers and creators at a special pop up on December 1, hosted by Chaos, and Harmony and Babyboo.ie in Cork city. We catch up with one third of Leanún, Ciara Smyth.
My Weekend: A pop up shot celebrating Irish makers and creators takes place in December
Ciara Smyth of Leanún.

Stationary company Leanún will be among the Irish makers and creators at a special pop up on December 1, hosted by Chaos, and Harmony and Babyboo.ie in Cork city. We catch up with one third of Leanún, Ciara Smyth.


Tell us a little bit about yourself:

My name is Ciara Smyth and I am from Cork, born and raised. I moved to San Francisco when I was 26 and lived there for four years. At the time my business partner Éadaoin Ní Chrualaoí was also living in Canada and my other business partner Kate O’Flynn was holding the fort in Cork. This is where we decided to design our own planners and stationery. My love for design and business really strengthened when I was away as I got to see so much.

I am one third of the stationery company Leanún. Myself, Eadaoin and Kate all met in college and always knew we wanted to somehow work together in business. We have always had a passion and borderline obsession with stationery. We found it hard to get what we wanted in Ireland at the time and so decided to design our own products and also have them manufactured here in Ireland. This was really important to us as there was lots of planners available made abroad but at the time nothing that was Irish.

We all have a 9-5 job as well as running our business. Eadaoin is a tax professional, Kate is a HR manager and I work in branding and social media. We all have our roles to help run everything as smoothly as possible.

Ciara Smyth, Carrigaline, Kate O'Flynn, Ballincollig and Éadaoin Ní Chrualaoí of Leanún.
Ciara Smyth, Carrigaline, Kate O'Flynn, Ballincollig and Éadaoin Ní Chrualaoí of Leanún.

My focus is the design/marketing aspect, Kate focuses on anything operational and Eadaoin is the brains behind it all. We love working together and it brings us even closer as friends. It is so much fun getting together with tea and cake to dive in and create your next product. Leanún is our creative outlet, it’s a place we go to have fun and enjoy our work.

As three women who are all going through different things in life but who have also shared similar milestones in life, this helps us understand our customers and how multifaceted life can be. This reflects in our products. We make planners to help you track and achieve your goals, meal planners, baby activity planners and gratitude journals. Women wear so many hats on a daily basis and if we can just help keep everything running that little bit smoother then we are delighted.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

My ideal Friday would have to involve relaxing. After a long week all I usually want to do is light all the candles, pour a glass of wine and eat some nice food.

Lie-ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

Up with the lark. I tend to wake up pretty early at the weekend. I like to get up and put the coffee on as soon as I wake - although I am known to get back into bed with the coffee so maybe a bit of both. I always feel much more at ease and happy after a weekend of productivity, so more often than not I am up and out nice and early.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Yes! This is both a blessing and a curse, because I make my own work schedule. It allows me to be able to get things done midweek that others might have to wait to do at the weekend. Food shop, gym etc. Equally it means I might have to spend some time at the weekend catching up. I do like spending a few hours tying up loose ends at the weekend as it definitely makes facing a new week easier.

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

New Orleans and I would bring all my friends and family. New Orleans is my favourite city I have visited thus far and I would love for all my nearest and dearest to experience the quirkiness that the city has. There is so much to see, do and experience. I think everyone would fall in love with the place!

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

The beach. I am very lucky to live near a beach and whenever I feel like things are getting a bit overwhelming that is the first place I find myself needing to go. West Cork is my happy place - after a few days spent down there I always feel recharged and ready to take anything on.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

Yes - our house always has people coming and going. There is always something cooking and always a knock on the door. The best time is time spent chatting over good food and wine.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

Yes I practice yoga. I am not your typical yogi but ever since being reintroduced to yoga by Jean from Alchemy School of Yoga I have fallen in love with the teachings. I don’t do yoga for its fitness benefits, I use yoga as a workout for my mind. It is such a great tool to incorporate into your daily routine and has really had a positive impact on me.

Leanún stationery.
Leanún stationery.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

Both. But if I was entertaining I nearly always make a big veggie lasagna with garlic bread and salad. Even the biggest carnivores love it.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork - where are your go-to spots for coffee/lunch/special meal?

My absolute favourite place in Cork for coffee has to be Good For the Soul in Ballincollig. They make the best cup and Sarah has such a lovely energy. It’s always such a nice experience. Lunch spot has to be Good Day Deli and I always get the same dish - the fish tacos. I really enjoy a relaxed atmosphere for an evening out, somewhere you can chat, have a drink and good food. I love to go to Arthur Maynes for the vibe and they have a great veggie share plate.

Sunday night comes around too fast. How do you normally spend it?

I like to have all my jobs done by Sunday lunch time. Then Sunday evenings consist of cooking, relaxing and watching some TV. It’s time to wind down before the week begins again.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

My husband’s alarm goes off at 6.30am but I usually don’t rise ’til about 7.30am. Then it’s straight downstairs for some coffee, I write in our Leanún gratitude journal and take a few moments to myself.

A SPECIAL POP UP

The Christmas Pop up will take place on Sunday December 1 in the River Lee Hotel. It has been organised by Roisín of Chaos and Harmony and Vicky of Babyboo.ie.

Entry to the event, which runs 10am to 6pm, is free. There will be stalls featuring kids clothing, women’s fashion, accessories, year planners and more.

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