After visiting Peter McConvey, Running the Mill in Belfast we soon realised the blend of creativity and talent on show. Running The Mill started with the simple observation that many gift/souvenirs available locally didn’t really reflect our culture in Northern Ireland. “There’s more to our wee nation than sheep and shamrocks.” Peter knew that by working with local artists, he could develop something new for visitors and the locals alike.
Running The Mill showcases modern arts and culture to tourists visiting Northern Ireland. T-shirts and other tourist merchandise printed with artworks found locally.
Q: What makes your product unique?
A: We make it easier for artists and designers to create, manufacture, market and deliver products featuring their designs to tourists, expats and locals alike. All our products are designed and printed in Northern Ireland and are based on Northern Irish themes. Artists simply collect a commission on sales of their product, we do the rest.
Q: What inspires you as an artist/maker?
A: As a business we are inspired by creating locally produced gifts for visitors to our wee country. We feel that tourists should be able to choose a gift or keepsake that really says something about Northern Ireland. We started with the idea that ‘there’s more to Ireland than sheep and shamrocks’!
Our artists are inspired by a range of subjects from the local film industry to sporting heroes, landmarks, popular and historical culture.
Q: How did you get started?
A: Running the Mill is a brand developed by The Signature Works to meet a gap in the market for locally produced and locally relevant tourist gifts. We started developing the brand in 2014 taking time to ensure we have the right products in the right place at every stage. We are currently working on expanding our range and sales outlets.
Q: Why do you think it’s important to keep local?
A: It’s important to support local creative industries and ensure where possible that spend from locals and visitors stays in our economy as much as possible.
Q: What motto do you live/work by?
A: “There’s more than sheep & shamrocks!”
If you are an artist, designer or retailers and would like to be part of Running the Mill, just get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit www.runningthemill.com to see a full gallery of their work.