'My name is Ann and I am an Estonian who has been in Ireland since 2007, but in Galway from 2009. I am a single mum of two who runs a small business called Galway Designers Studio House in The Cornstore.
I grew up under the lighthouse on the biggest island of Estonia called Saaremaa, at the bottom of peninsula Sorve. We have seen harsh winters and hot summers, living in the water whatever time of the year, either fishing or swimming. I only arrived to Ireland for a two month holiday in July 2007 and have stayed ever since. My return ticket got extended and then, in the end, I never went back. On 2008 I met my kids' father in Tramore, Waterford who brought me to Galway to meet his sister, we fell in love with the city and its surroundings and moved here in January 2009.
Life has been busy since, I have worked in a bar, a hotel, in retail and started my own business. Between all that I had two kids, bought a house and ended the relationship with the kids' dad but started a great friendship and parentship with him instead. In 2017 I opened the Galway Designers Studio House together with Gayle Poppers. It is a fashion shop and a creative hub for local designers and artisans. We house small designers in our store who would like to break into the high street and get to be seen and sell their designs to the wider audience than the e-commerce scene. Our creative hub is holding different workshops to help grow businesses and get knowledge from the local business consultants, accountants, artists, other designers, and seamstresses. We also have a fully equipped sewing studio space where seamstresses and designers can rent a space and come to work. In addition to all that there's also a Gallery space where you can see the most recent Galway's talented painters and artists.
My passion for fashion has been bubbling in me from a very young age and the desire to make my own clothes started from age of 8. At the time I was more concentrating on my Barbie-dolls than on my own clothes, thankfully! I love seeing my daughter having the same passion and I love to nurture it to the highest possible way. Giving crochet and knitting classes has been a great way to teach kids to create something with their own hands. Teaching them young will make them appreciate the craft.
But by giving more support for handmade clothes, sustainably made clothes and designs, whatever it is you're buying, we can change this one thing: Our environment where our kids grow up! By supporting small local businesses, you support local future, local education, and talent in kids and grown-ups. And perhaps even help some of them to buy the dinner for some evenings or the piano lessons for their kid. Galway is an amazing city of arts, design, science and creative talents. There are so many hidden gems, who leave to pursue their dream in bigger cities. If possible, I'd love to play a part in bringing these talents back not only to Ireland but also to their home in Galway! Wouldn't you agree?'