The Maker Interview. TAKING THE FLAX and celebrating scissors & pencils

31 Chapel Lane, established by Joi & Damien are our fourth Maker Interview.  They have found 'home' and helped revive a local industry. Here they answer 10 questions.
 
The Out Takes
PARTNERSHIP: architect + banking
HISTORY: worth preserving
LEARNING: about home
INSPIRING: each other
NECESSITY: pencils


Tea Cloth

Tea Cloth

Cows of Co. Caven

Cows of Co. Caven

Table Linen

Table Linen

Q1 who ‘are' 31 Chapel Lane? 
31 Chapel Lane is founded by Damien and Joi. Damien is an architect, Joi’s background is in banking and finance. 

Q2 how did 31 Chapel Lane come into being? what is it’s history? 
D&J: On a trip to Damien’s home town of Cootehill, Co. Cavan, we discovered a rich history of linen mills and flax growth in the local area. Sadly, this industry died out almost a century ago but it had played such an integral part in the development of the town that we felt it was worth building upon.

Q3 when did you begin trading? how did you get involved?
D&J: 2012, we started by introducing a small collection of Irish linen products, that were not available in Ireland at the time, to our friends and families and we received a very positive response.

Q4 what have been the greatest successes and highlights since you began?
D&J: There are obvious things and occurrences such as our first stockist, our first trade show or design exhibition we were involved with. We personally get excited each time we discover a new part of the manufacturing and design process. Hearing a customer compliment a product or website is a really wonderful feeling also. 

Q5 you split your time between London and Ireland - how does that work?
D: Depending on what needs to be done these trips home (important to still refer to Ireland as home) involve meeting with suppliers, manufacturers, stockists and other creatives. One of the really wonderful things about our current arrangement is that we have these monthly trips during which we actively travel and explore the island of Ireland. I (Damien) have seen more of my home country in the past 3 years than I had in my first 25.

Q6 what does a typical day look like for you?
J: Fairly ordinary, it involves mostly emails, phone calls, meeting deadlines, prototyping testing, researching and planning etc all operational matters. 

Q7 what motivates you?
J: Faith, visions and dreams

Q8 what things inspire you personally and professionally? 
J: people, (esp Damien!) environment and architecture

Q9 what is next for 31 Chapel Lane?
J: continue to be diligent with tasks at hand and to grow organically. 

Q10 what is the single most important piece of design in your life?
D: Scissors & Pencil