Macroom woman uses lockdown to develop unique  business

Macroom woman uses lockdown to develop unique  business

Zanete O’Gorman, who is selling her luxury handmade lampshades and cushions worldwide, with her daughter, Mia. Mia helps choose the fabric and designs for children’s projects. Picture: Zanete O’Gorman

A MACROOM woman who rekindled her love for design during lockdown has created her own side business following what can only be described as a real light-bulb moment.

Zanete O’Gorman created SeaPony Designs over the lockdown period.

In 2016, while she was pregnant with her daughter, she created her first custom lampshade as she struggled to decorate her nursery.

This began her journey creating her own colourful shades.

Now, her long-term goal is to become successful in the business and set a positive example for her daughter.

When lockdown started, Zanete decided to pick things up again from her home in Macroom.

“Slowly but surely I started to make them again at home. 

"I started making them for my cousins and nephews as presents and then people started saying that they liked them, so I went on and started to advertise in Macroom," Zanete said.

“So, I started off there and I have a Facebook page where I put up all of my work,” she added.

The initial inspiration to take up her hobby again came when Zanette’s place of work temporarily closed during lockdown.

“When I was at home, I had the time to pursue it because I had my days free, and I just couldn’t sit and do nothing. And it was something that kind of took off.”

With a background in interior design and creative textiles and her job also relating to the area, design has always been a passion of Zanete’s.

“It’s all related to design really. It’s all coming together after lockdown actually kicked it off for me.”

Her first custom lampshade was made for her sister-in-law in what she described as “the very first push” and she soon received another request from a local lady.

“She asked if I could do something with it and I did and it turned out really, really nice so I put them up on my Facebook page and on Macroom Notice Board.

"More people started to ask if I could do more for them or if I could make new ones and it kind of kicked off from there.”

Using a variety of fabrics in her work, she can create custom lampshades as well as cushions and helps clients in choosing their perfect materials and colours to create unique pieces.

She makes all her creations by hand in her home studio in Macroom.

While she makes a variety of designs, Zanete particularly enjoys the patterns and colours for children, especially because she can then call on her daughter Mia for assistance.

“She helps me. If she likes something — if it’s a horse — she likes creatures and animals, so I just ask her to look at stuff with me and see if she likes something and collect the fabrics because people might like them.

“I usually get her input there to make something that kids might think is nice.”

While at the moment her business is mainly online, having her own studio-cum-shop would be “the dream”.

Her main goal, however, is to create a successful business to show her daughter that women are strong and independent.

“I would like for her to see that mum can do something on her own."

A member of Crafters of Ireland, Zanete’s lampshades and cushions are available on craftersofireland.com as well as on shopinireland.ie.

For more information, visit SeaPony Designs on Facebook or Instagram.

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