Three cheers for craft

THREE Cork women are sharing their skills and passion for local handicraft, with the launch of a unique seasonal initiative, writes Audrey Ellard Walsh.
Three cheers for craft
The Three Magpies, Khrystyna Marriott of Ruby Robin, Tracey Ryan of Bia Beauty and Molly Ellis of Ewe Sir.

Three Magpies, a subscription gift-box with a difference, is full of treasures to delight any nature-lover.

Established by Tracey Ryan, Molly Ellis and Khrystyna Marriott, who are already well known for their individual offerings, the box contains carefully selected examples of each artisans work, beautifully packaged to make the ideal gift.

Artist Molly, who trades under the name Ewe Sir, works using hand selected wool to capture the beauty of native Irish animals. Her beautiful images of furry and feathered creatures are available as coveted prints, cards and paperweights.

Jewellery designer Khrystyna Marriott, of Ruby Robin, also draws on the countryside as her muse, making her jewellery using a range of natural materials found in the woods and on the mountain sides, combed from the windswept beaches and picked in the wild meadows.

Three Magpies gift,
Three Magpies gift,

Tracey, a Herbal Scientist and founder of award-winning skincare brand Bia Beauty, explains that the trio’s partnership was a natural one since they have all been fans of each others work for years.

“We began meeting each other at craft fairs in Cork around the time that we all set up our individual businesses around five years ago.

“As fellow nature lovers, we were immediately drawn to each other’s work and became followers and customers of each other.”

Throughout the years, they continued to meet again at trade shows. Molly saw a need for a women’s business group in Cork that specifically supports women in the craft industry and set up #CorkGirlBoss, a monthly meet up where the three began to chat regularly.

“All three of us are big believers in supporting other women,” says Tracey.

“We understand the hardships of running a small business especially with small children at home. The craft industry is predominantly made up of women and it’s a tough industry,” she adds.

“We design and make the products, we market them, we sell them, and we do all the admin and sometimes with a small team but mostly alone.

“It gets quite lonely and so it’s nice to have other women to bounce ideas off of and to get support and advice from.”

Three Magpies gift.
Three Magpies gift.

When the idea of combining their talents arose, Tracey said that it seemed like “such a natural thing for us”.

“We began by supporting each other’s businesses, coming up with ideas for each other and then the ultimate idea, combining our businesses! It’s a perfect fit really, we have three very different products but they sit so well together. We share a similar outlook on business, aesthetics and passions. Once the creative juices started flowing on this it became obvious to us that we needed to be in business together!”

And so, Three Magpies was born. The Winter Box, which is available until December 17, contains three specially selected gifts showcasing each brand’s unique flavour. Feed your skin with Bia Beauty’s deeply nourishing Pure Nutrition Facial oil, which uses wild Irish ingredients. Add a pinch of sparkle to your Christmas party outfit with Ruby Robin’s wishing pendant, made with real dandelion fluff picked and preserved in glass on a sterling silver chain. The box also contains a beautiful Ewe Sir red robin paperweight and matching card.

Three Magpies gift.
Three Magpies gift.

Their Spring box, which will be available from the end of January in time for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, is also ready to order now.

Tracey encourages people to shop local and support artisans this Christmas, saying that it’s “absolutely vital” to we support small businesses.

“Some people say that artisan goods like ours are overpriced but we hand make our products, we use local suppliers, we keep the money in the community and that is a lot more valuable to our customers than cheap imports that benefit no-one. Cork is such a great county for artisan producers and if people want to keep that culture alive they need to support us.”

You can find Three Magpies at their pop up shop at Bia Beauty HQ, Unit 3 Marina Commercial Park, this coming Saturday and Sunday (December 2 and 3), where they will be selling the Winter Box along with their other products. Pop along between 1pm and 6pm Saturday and 11am to 5pm Sunday for live lip balm making demos from Bia Beauty, free gift wrapping, tea and cakes.

See www.biabeauty.com. Prices start at €110.

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