Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí (Praise the youth and they will flourish ) is the famous Irish proverb whereby encouraging young people will help them succeed. No more is this thought process evident than The Galway Designers Studio on St Augustine's Street.
Managed by Ann Petrov, stocking creative and unique fashion, The Galway Designers Studio is a new concept fashion boutique like no other in the west of Ireland. Its mission is to encourage, support, and assist in the business growth of Irish based designers.
Ms Petrov says for many young Irish designers the opportunity of securing a platform to showcase their talents and creations is one of the toughest obstacles they will encounter when starting out on their chosen career path. "It can be difficult for designers when they are starting out. At The Galway Designers Studio, we give them the launchpad and the chance to show their work. Our mission is to provide a platform for the talented designers of the west of Ireland to showcase and sell their designs, to boost the ‘shop local’ ethos and to provide a different shopping experience for both consumers and designers alike."
The showcasing of designers' products and clothes is done via the 'rent-a-rail' system where designers will rent a rail in the store, along with providing a studio space from which the designers can work and The Galway Designers Studio will then help sell the clothing and accessories to customers. But unlike many other outlets the store does not take any commission on the items sold, everything goes back to the designers.
"We are about supporting designers so they keep 100 per cent of the sale, we take no commission. We are the link between the customer and the designer. If a customer may like a design or a piece of clothing but it may not be the right size or fit, we will then put him/her in contact with designer. We are not about fast fashion. We are passionate about hand-made clothing that can be custom made for every customer.
"I am a designer myself so I know what a feeling it is to see someone wearing something that I crafted. But it is also cool that a customer can know the person or have a coffee with the designer that made what they are wearing. Supporting local is for what we are striving here."
With more than 20 designers on display at the store, The Galway Designers Studio is preparing for its one year anniversary on December 7, a landmark about which Ms Petrov is excited. "To reach our first birthday is mighty. It is very pleasing because our business concept we pursue is about supporting local people to succeed. We will be celebrating the date by having a week of discounted prices as well as having a raffle to raise funds for Irish Cancer Care Society so we hope plenty of people will come along to join in the celebration."
The Galway Designers Studio thanks its customers for its support in its first year in business and looks forward to seeing them in 2019.