Slated to be a suc­cess­ful busi­ness

Irish Examiner - Property & Interiors - - Interiors -

What’s your back­ground?

>> I worked in quite a dif­fer­ent in­dus­try than I do now, I was a mem­ber­ship sec­re­tary for a trade as­so­ci­a­tion. It was only when I took a ca­reer break to have my chil­dren that I re­ally got to in­dulge in my pas­sion for de­sign.

Slated was born from my love of nat­u­ral slate as a ma­te­rial. I was look­ing for some­thing dif­fer­ent for our home and couldn’t find just what I wanted, so this led to my hus­band and I cre­at­ing the first piece we ever made to­gether, a slate ta­ble run­ner. We made the piece for our home as a one-off piece think­ing noth­ing of it, but friends and fam­ily ab­so­lutely loved it and we soon found our­selves pro­duc­ing them for oth­ers.

What’s a typ­i­cal work­day like for you?

>> Af­ter drop­ping my two chil­dren to school I head to our stu­dio, where the first job of the day is dis­patch all our or­ders that will have come in overnight. It’s then time to check emails, I like to get through th­ese early in the day so that the rest of my day is free to work on what­ever project we have go­ing on. All our slate is cut by hand with a 150-year-old slaters’ knife by my hus­band Ed in our stu­dio. The process can be slow as each step from cut­ting to wash­ing to pol­ish­ing and pack­ag­ing is done by hand. ■

Tell us about a re­cent project or de­sign you have worked on?

>> I ab­so­lutely adored work­ing on a re­cent project with Pow­ers Whiskey. Work­ing along­side such an iconic brand was an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. We ab­so­lute­lyrel­ishedthechal­lenge of cre­at­ing a prod­uct com­pletely dif­fer­ent to any­thing we’ve made be­fore — be­spoke tast­ing plates with a twist— that we and the client were de­lighted with.

>> I love beau­ti­ful pieces with a clean min­i­mal look that are as well made and as func­tional as they are beau­ti­ful.

>> My work is com­pletely and ut­terly in­spired by tra­di­tion and fam­ily her­itage. Ed’s fam­ily have been work­ing with slate since the be­gin­ning of the 18th cen­tury and there’s just some­thing so spe­cial about that. Whereas once our 150-yearold slaters’ knife would have cut slate for some of Ire­land’s most iconic build­ings, to­day it is used to cut beau­ti­fully re­fined pieces for use in the home.

What’s your de­sign style? What in­spires your work? What’s your favourite trend at the mo­ment (if you have any)?

>> For me it’s all about qual­ity ma­te­ri­als and not what is on trend. We’ve had amaz­ing suc­cess with our col­lec­tion of slate and cop­per pieces. This shows that peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate pieces for their beauty and their qual­ity as much as whether a ma­te­rial is trendy or not.

What’s your most trea­sured pos­ses­sion?

>> I ab­so­lutely love my huge map of Dublin from the pre-1900’s which came from my fam­ily home in Dalkey. It has pride of place hang­ing in my home and even af­ter all th­ese years it con­tin­ues to in­trigue me. I could spend hours pour­ing over all the de­tails in it, ev­ery­thing from the vis­i­ble changes in the Dublin land­scape to the po­lit­i­cally in­cor­rect names of in­sti­tu­tions dot­ted all over it are just some of the things that would keep me oc­cu­pied for hours. Per­fect view­ing for when I want to wind down with a cup of tea!

Who would be your favourite de­signer, or style in­spi­ra­tion?

>> I’m con­stantly in­spired by so many dif­fer­ent things in­clud­ing ev­ery­thing from the places I visit, to the Ir­ish coun­try­side, to the books I read.

What would be a dream project for you to work on?

>> Since the com­pany was been founded we’ve been over­joyed to have worked with some of the world’s lead­ing brands to cre­ate the most beau­ti­ful be­spoke pieces. We’re work­ing on some in­cred­i­ble projects that I’m re­ally ex­cited about. I can’t wait to see how they turn out.

Have you any de­sign tips for us?

>> Some­thing that was in­stilled in me from a young age was the im­por­tance of buy­ing a high-qual­ity prod­uct once for a lit­tle bit more rather than buy­ing a lower-qual­ity piece at a cheaper price point that will need to be re­placed time and time again.

■ www.slated.ie

■ So­cial me­dia sites:

■ Twit­ter: @Slate­dire­land

■ Face­book: face­book.com/ Slated.ie/

■ In­sta­gram: @Slated.ie

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