Celebrations are underway in Kilkeel to mark MADE In Mourne‘s 4th Birthday this week. The social enterprise first opened its doors in November 2017 after local entrepreneur Jenna Stevenson identified a need for better facilities in the Mourne area.
Jenna Stevenson, owner of The Curated Hamper Co, upon returning from Australia, struggled to find a suitable location which provided business support and reliable wifi for home grown creatives. An isolated, rural area did not lend itself well for business sustainability and growth with many small business owners having to commute for essential services. And so, the Mourne Entrepreneurs Network came to be. Over a relatively short period of time, together with Mourne Entrepreneurs Network, a solution become apparent and plans were put in motion. Thanks to the support from local businesses, Made in Mourne was born just 98 days later!
“THE PEOPLE, THE PLACE, THE PRODUCT.”
The gift shop provided a platform for twenty artists and creatives when the doors first opened, With a wealth of home-grown talent, numbers have multiplied year on year. The Greencastle St premises also includes a Business Hub, which provides space for co working and networking, supporting and inspiring both individuals and businesses alike. In spite of a global pandemic and with the addition of online shopping, sales at MADE in Mourne naturally increased. Jenna, who has volunteered her time over the past 4 years to establish MADE In Mourne explains,
“The pandemic created an awareness of supporting local, we have seen a significant increase in sales.”
This was positive news for the busy mum of two as she, like many others, pursued her strategy for growth in such uncertain times.
“MADE FOR MORE”
Fast forward to Summer 2021 and with 70 artists to showcase, retail space had become restricted. With sales supporting a demand for jewellery and fine artwork a second premises would be required. A vacant retail unit on Bridge Street became available providing a perfect location for Made In Mourne no 2. The new store, opened in October, brought with it four new jobs and supports a further ten curators and makers.
This is welcome news for the area and reinforces the all-important message,
“When you buy locally you are generating new money, hence enhancing community wealth. This is something we aim to continuously build upon” -Jenna Stevenson.
Thanks to local support MADE in Mourne now employs 12 part time staff and exhibits over 80 talented creatives! That’s a huge cause for celebration!