Aileen Duffy

Aileen is currently the Craft Development Specialist for Co. Westmeath and Co. Offaly, and also Project Manager and Board Member at Core Offaly Westmeath Craft and Design, Ballinahown, Co. Westmeath. Following 15 years in the creative retail sector, working in the areas of sales, management, and primarily design, Aileen was offered the role of Project manager at Core Offaly Westmeath Craft and Design (2008), the Craft Council of Ireland's first Retail Outlet. As Project Manager Aileen implemented a comprehensive training, mentoring, and support program, to address the unmet needs of craft makers in the region. After two years in this position Aileen tendered for and received the role of Westmeath Craft Development Specialist by Westmeath Community Development. In this position, among other things, she instigated the foundation of the Made in Westmeath Craft Network, of which she is chairperson. This year Aileen secured the same position with Offaly Local Develoment Company. Aileen has received support from LEADER companies in both the Offaly and Westmeath regions to provide a variety of projects and supports to makers including: New Product Development Programs, Merchandising and Design Programs, Social Media and Web Design. Aileen also works to promote international opportunities for makers. Her successes thus far have included skills training in Finland and sales opportunities at the British Craft Trade Fairs in Harrogate.