Enterprise: Three to Watch

Three to Watch
Anna Chisnall

Not quite my beat but still quite happy to tell you about three quality entrepreneurs that I’ve met over the past few months. Each, in its own way, is doing good things, each providing an excellent service.

I “met” Anna Chisnall via one of my photographs which she is now using as a background on her website. It features her first jewellery collection: the lovely Aran Stitch collection.

The Aran Stitch, her first formal collection, has been inspired by her love of the traditional stitches used in Aran knitting patterns which are now so popular across the world. “I learned to knit when I was five – I recall my first real project was a pair of white bootees made as a gift for my neighbour’s new baby. I have always been fascinated by the different stitches and textures of wool and yarn, and it was while holidaying in the West of Ireland as a teenager, I became fascinated by the traditional Aran sweater, and the amount of hours it takes to knit one by hand.”

Take a look at the collection and, like me, I’m sure you’ll be fascinated as well. Dublin born Anna enjoyed a long career, in radio and television.”It was while my three boys were young that I began taking jewellery making classes in silver and gold, one evening a week. I began making pieces for friends for special occasions, and pieces on commission, and later took a number of stalls at local fairs.”

Know Thy Place
Louise Baker, a professional archaeologist for 15 years, explains all about Know Thy Place in this video. Know Thy Place  gives you the opportunity to understand where you live - or where your ancestors were from - in a completely new way, providing you with a beautiful chart to display in your home or workplace. They offer personalised archaeological research to everyone, giving you a fresh outlook on your Irish Heritage.

You can order a Prestige Chart which is then researched and created, a chart focused on a location specified by you. They can research to town or townland level or even to a farm. Townlands are an integral part of the Irish land division system and every address in Ireland belongs to a specific townland. Each chart is individually researched, and will carry your personal or family name on the chart as requested by you. Wouldn’t that be an unusual present for a relation, at home or aboard?

Soap cakes!
Mianra Soaps

I first met Hajni Kele, the lady who makes the fabulous range of Mianra Soaps,  at a Craft Show in Cornmarket Street last year. More recently, I saw a brilliant display of her work at The Pavilion between Cork Airport and Ballygarvan.

The soaps are eye catching, coming in many shapes and sizes, often looking too good to use, such as a “cup cake” display that they had in the Pavilion.  But they are good to use, very good. We regularly bring back soaps from France, especially from Provence, and I reckon Mianra is as good, indeed better than any of our limited imports!

Hajni is based in Carrigaline and has been making soap since 2002. “All our soaps are handmade in small batches using high quality oils and butters and using the traditional cold press method”. They are enriched with natural elements, including Wild Harvested Seaweed and Honey, and they contain no preservatives making them “suitable for the most sensitive skin”.

Well worth a try. Lovely to look at, gorgeous to smell and great to use.