Making face masks brought new business to local jeweller

By Maurice Garvey

TALLAGHT jeweller Ali Lowndes was hit hard, like many other SME’s, during Covid-19.

Juggling two young boys at home Lowndes had to wait until the youngsters (aged 2 and 5) went to bed, in order to concentrate on her laser cut acrylic and brass creations for her business A Little Idea.

Ali Lowndes 1

Ali Lowndes

To compliment the Covid damage to business, Ali started making face masks, and they proved a hit. The mens masks were sold out on her website www.alittleidea.ie.

Subsequently, Ali has replenished her stock of mens masks to cater for demand.

“Working from home during Covid was really tough, I would work late into the night when they went to bed,” she said.

“I started making face masks and each batch of masks sold out quickly online, so that kept me going. It brought lots of new customers to my website and my sales increased, along with my workload.”

Following this, Lowndes decided to rent a studio space in Harolds Cross to make and store all her handmade products.

Her stature as rising star in the business world accelerated when Lowndes was shortlisted for the prestigious Irish Made Award 2020 by Irish Country Magazine.

The business A Little Idea, has made it into the final list of nominees in the jewellery category.

Originally from Castle Park in Tallaght, Lowndes has always had a creative spark.

“I’ve been nearly six years doing this full time, but over 12 years since I set up the business,” she said.

“I studied photography in Dun Laoghaire College before moving on to the wedding industry and then retail.

I learned a lot about building up a business and a brand whilst managing a retail store in the city centre and also took some business courses.”

Ali initially started off with stationery 12 years ago, but then started making headwear and jewellery.

Her colourful designs, containing lots of bright neons, glitters and frosted acrylics in geometric shapes, can be found in over 20 stores nationwide.

“They are designed to be fun and colourful. I use sustainable methods.

The brass is cut down from larger sheets which are otherwise discarded due to some imperfections which only adds to their charm.

The acrylic used is made from Greencast Acrylic which is made from waste acrylic.”

With so many talented designers and makers shortlisted in this category, Ali is asking the public to vote for her.

The winner will receive a €6K advertising campaign and a free spot at the next Gifted Fair in the RDS.

You can vote every day until voting closes on September 30 at www.irishcountrymagazine.ie/vote2020

Follow Ali on Instagram @alialittleidea

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