Caroline Kelly

We are absolutely delighted to have had the opportunity to interview Irish crafter Caroline Kelly (of Cari Design), who is also the Etsy Ireland Blog Co-ordinator (impressive!) – as I’m sure you all know – a fantastic creative community that really supports and promotes talent.

I am originally from Kilkenny and, by way of a job and a man, I am now living in Westport, Co Mayo, Ireland.

I am 34 going on 22 in my head still! The mother of one little angel (well mostly!) and a full-time mum. I opened my Etsy shop in 2010. Someone I was speaking to about Ebay one day mentioned Etsy and I hadn’t heard of it. So I checked it out, got set up and the rest as they say is history.

Having been on Etsy for a few weeks I checked out the teams and that is where I came across the Etsy Ireland Team – which has been a great source of information, support and general positiviy since then.

Recently the Etsy Ireland Team Blog were looking for volunteers to help out and I put myself forward for Blog Co-ordinator. I am feeling my way and really enjoying being involved in something so interesting.”

How and where are you today?

 Today I am at home in Westport, Co Mayo enduring the ‘soft’ rain! My little girl is over with her Granny for the morning so I am catching up with a few things and getting some knitting done!

 How would you describe the journey that has brought you to this place? And was this the destination you had in mind?

 I am from Kilkenny and so probably wouldn’t have imagined that I would have ended up living in Westport. But happy I am!!! I fell in love and we moved here. I never had a final destination in mind for myself and so was open to whatever the future had in store. With regards to my knitting – I used to knit when I was in school and then just left down my needles for a lot of years. While I was pregnant with my little girl I rediscovered my love for it and promptly had a wardrobe ready for her when she arrived! After we had settled into our new normality I started up a small shop on Etsy stocking a few bits and one off pieces. At the moment I am working on a few stock pieces to put my shop and Cari Design in a certain direction. I hope that 2012 will be a good year for me and my little shop – with some new baby gift ranges and other exciting knits. I hope someday that my little shop will be something someone might think of when they want a special hand knit gift for a new baby in the world!

 Do you have a process to ensure you are in the right frame of mind to create?

 An empty house!!!! But that doesn’t happen very often. So I usually work best at night when the little lady is asleep. I find a clear head the best time to think and come up with some new ideas. But I always start out with a cup of tea, a perusal of the internet to see what is out there and get the brain juices flowing and then some knitting – usually gets me in the right place to create something nice!!!

 How do you think your background and culture influences your creations?

 I suppose learning at a young age how to knit was a great start. I come from a farming background to the small business, getting your own hands into things would have been nothing new for me. I love making things that are soft, and that have been made with love – I get so excited and happy when I complete something that looks lovely! I then love passing it on to someone who loves it as much!!

 What does beauty mean to you?

 Anything – everything is beautiful in it’s own way. I watched Birdsong recently and there was a line in it that I think will stick with me forever ‘The only thing is to love and be loved’ if anything is made with love, loved or gives love it is beautiful!

 If we had interviewed you when you were 11, what would you have told us you wanted to be when you grew up?

 A farmer – I was going to keep cows, pigs and maybe grown crops – and was very determined about it!!! When I was 13 that all changed!!!

What advice have you received that you want everyone to benefit from?

Never think you know everything. You will keep on learning all your life, accept it, enjoy it and drink it up!

Thank you so very much Caroline, we are delighted to have you in the family!

Definitely pop over to Cari Design for some lovely handmade knitted delights

handsome and pretty



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