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Irish ‘Clicktailing’ craftsperson gets selected for London’s Saatchi Gallery

Ciara O’Keeffe, completes unique ‘Clicktailing’ programme which transforms firms into online retailers

4th July, 2013 – Ciara O’Keeffe, a Kildare based ceramic artist who completed NDRC’s Clicktailing programme, has had her works selected for exhibition by the Saatchi Gallery, after ‘pinning’ photos of her works on Pinterest.

Ciara graduated from NDRC’s ‘Clicktailing’ programme in May and, using the online marketing skills she acquired started promoting her work online , her ceramic 3D piece ‘From the corner of my room’, is on display on the second floor of the Saatchi Gallery in London (see http://ciara-o-keeffe.myshopify.com/collections/all ). The directors of the Saatchi Gallery simply saw Ciara’s work online, contacted her directly and offered up the exhibition space in the gallery.

Clicktailing is a unique programme that transformed traditional Irish businesses into online retailers. It was completed by 20 firms which, over 10 days spread across just five weeks, built their online presence to a stage where they are now trading online. Ciara O’Keeffe was one of the participants.

Run by Inventorium and the Irish Internet Association (IIA), the ‘Clicktailing’ programme brought together recent graduates from Job Activation programmes, small indigenous craftspeople, retailers and a group of experts to provide hands-on support for participating businesses with product photography, online payment systems, logistics advice and marketing skills, at no cost to the participants. The intensive accelerator programme concluded with the launch of the online stores with full ecommerce and logistics capabilities. Partners included An Post, Realex Payments and the Crafts Council of Ireland (see www.clicktailing.com for a full list of partners and sponsors).

At the culmination of the programme, a competition was held where a group of judges deemed Kennedy & McSharry (http://www.kennedymcsharry.ie/), one of Ireland’s oldest menswear stores to have the best online merchandising and product photography. Kennedy & McSharry is already generating sales online.

The retailers involved are already generating online sales with three-quarters selling through their online stores.

Fiona Hyland of Inventorium congratulated Ciara saying:
“Ciara’s success not only highlights the power of social media, but also how, in a short period of time, retailers can get online and achieve a huge degree of success.

“Clicktailing provided Ciara and her fellow participants with the tools and the knowledge to deal with the key challenges retailers face when making the move online, namely product merchandising and photography, logistics, marketing and technology

“Many of these retailers are already taking international orders online and, as Ciara has shown, generating interest abroad. I congratulate her and wish her all the best for the future.”

Ciara O’Keeffe added:
“I am delighted that the Saatchi Gallery took such an interest in my work. After completing Clicktailing, I was able to engage with potential customers in a new and direct way and I am already seeing the benefits.

“My studio practice was established in Kildare 14 years ago and since then I have been creating bespoke ceramic artworks, using the quality of clay to capture mood and sensitivity. I have developed my practice to incorporate mixed media with my ceramic pieces. The recent ‘urban’ series has a contemporary feel, while retaining a sense of nostalgia and memory. Inspired by fashion, these ceramic artworks are embellished with strong textures and eclectic pattern.”