Sunday, August 9, 2009

Foxford Woollen Mills



My sisters parents in law have a lovely holiday house on the shore of Lough Conn, Pontoon, Co. Mayo. A couple of weekends ago she invited my parents and Greg and I to stay. We usually get to visit each summer and the ladies of the group always take a trip to Foxford Woollen Mills which is just a 10 minute drive away. I was especially looking forward to going this time around as Ruth had told me that the whole place had been refurbished since my last visit. I was not disappointed...it took all my will power to leave the store without loading the credit card....now that i'm home i wish i hadn't been so sensible!

The Mill was established in 1892 and gained a solid reputation for its beautifully made textiles. Unfortunatley like so many businesses during the past recession the company went into liqudation in 1988. However the liquidator Joe Queenan identified the huge potential of the Mill and took a chance by buying over the place. With a lot of hard work and the help of other investors the Mill has since gone from strength to strength. Today over 70,000 people visit the Mill each year. The visitor centre includes a fabulous shop, gorgeous restaurant, bakery and jewellers. You can also take a tour of the working Mill (shamefully i have not yet done so..maybe next year!). As well as the Foxford store two other stores were opened- one in Wetsport (opened in 1994) and one in Dungannon (opened in 2000). The brand is also sold in House of Faser Dundrum and The Kilkenny Design store as well as outlets in Britain, Netherlands, Sweden, and the US.

In 1999 Joe Queenan met with renowned Irish Designer Helen McAlinden. Helen stamped a contempory look onto the traditional product. A new range of colours emerged from dusty greys and earthy browns through to soft pastels and beyond into zesty pinks and limes. Something to suit all pallets men and women alike. She created new patterns, introduced softer finishes and her overall influence on the brand contibuted to it becoming a fashionable 'must have'

The store was relaunced with a fresh new look in November 2007. Unfortunatley their website is experiencing difficulties at the moment ..but i will keep an eye on it to see when its back in action http://www.foxfordwoollenmills.ie/ for the moment you can check out some pics i took on my recent visit to give you just a taste.

As well as the foxford product range the store is full of other popular must have brands including some of my personal faves, Joseph Joseph, Sia and Pantone to name but a few. The restaurant is also fabulous, even a cup of tea is accompanied by a touch of glamour - served on a silver tray with glass cup and saucer and a fabulous selection of Tea Forte teas ( i recommend the lemon and ginger!)

Foxford Woollen Mills is a must see if you are taking trip to Mayo..i'm going to leave my conscious at home on my next visit!!

Sources: Foxford Woollen Mills Back in Fashion again, Foxford Woollen Mills, Co.Mayo, to unveil plans for futher expansion, Foxford Mills redesigned for the future, Foxford Woollen Mills Visitor Centre, Reborn rug company says wool done, Irish wool returns as this seasons must-have

2 comments:

  1. That's lovely, like the Avoca look without their cluttered approach to accessories. I always think fondly of them because of the cosy Foxford blankets of my childhood.

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  2. Love that rocking chair!!
    Lovely post - makes me want to visit.
    xCharlotta

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