We were absolutely chuffed to see Anne listed as part of the Women of Influence section in The Phoenix magazine last week.
“The use of contempoary design, along with traditional materials and craftsmanship is what has made Anne Behan’s stunning creations for Áine Knitwear such a huge success over the last 15 years. Unlike any other knitwear on the market, her design are immediately identifiable, imminently wearable and astonishingly affordable.
As part of McConnell Woollen Mills, Anne also design a more rustic range of knitwear and a beautiful home wares range. She comments:
We launched our home wares label ‘Living’ at Showcase Ireland and it has been very well received internationally. It coincided with a big expansion to our prodution facilities, up to 300sq ms and staff numbers grew from five to nine over the past year. We’ve also increased sales and launched more designs.
However, the biggest challenge is far more down to earth. Anne explains:
Finding the right staff isn’t easy. We are based in Clonlara, Co. Clare and there is no real tradition of knitwear in this locality. Training will be very important.
Undaunted, they are putting plans in place to target and grow sales and increase their exports. She also has plans to expand the ‘Living’ label with colours, textures and a range of lampshades. In order to achieve this, she requires a strong presence on the international trade shows in Europe.
We are currently researching which will be the best fit for us and our products.
Already available in a variety of quality retails outlets nationwide, they also host an online shop for buyers convenience.
This is a busy time for the team at McConnell Woollen Mills and Anne is loving every part of the journey:
Everything from design concept, to sampling and selling, to mayhem in production and seeing the label merchandised in the shops is exciting. But nothing gives me a thril like seeing strangers wearing my brand. That is still very exhilarating!
Visit www.aine.ie for ranges available.”