Thursday, 31 March 2011

Baby, It's Handmade in Ireland

Hello, Anne-Marie of Handmade by Amo'r here. This week's Trade Secrets Thursday hones in on babywear and gifts. I thought I had so many to buy lately because my circle is at ‘that age’ but it’s official, Ireland is deep in the throws of a major baby boom.

So it looks like the 80s are back in more ways than one. Birth-rate statistics for the Republic of Ireland show we’ve surpassed the peaks of the last baby boom, which was 31 years ago. In 1980 numbers of newborns soared to 74,064. Figures slumped in the 90s, going down to 48,255 in 1994. However, in latter years we’ve reached those highs again with a whopping 75, 065 births in 2008 and 74,728 in 2009.

With a growing birth-rate despite the economic downturn, I gather Ireland is going against the general EU trend towards population decline. And the Irish baby boom is said to continue for the near future.

Great news for those of you who make those cute baby quilts, booties, clothes and other gifts. And perhaps too for those who have the crafty skills to jump on board the baby wagon.

Wily wool workers, fear not that demand for your cosy winter hats and gloves might slump this time of year. Yes, it is winter on the other side of the world, but branching out into baby clothes, blankets etc may help boost local sales through the summer months.

A point to consider when stocking your shop: expectant mums and grannies tend to buy for newborn to 6 months and they might shop throughout the pregnancy. Friends and extended family however, generally wait until the baby is born before buying clothes. Often they choose something to wear several months later. So there's a good chance they'll be looking for heavier, winter clothes for the 6- 12 month child right about now.
If you do go down this route, proper research into EU safety rules and regulations for childrens toys and products and/or children’s clothes is called for. For example, there are standards in place regarding cords and drawstrings in children’s clothing. (The links herein are provided as a starting point. If any of you have any further useful, related links, please do post below.)
Childrens’ art and nursery decorations are a great alternative for babies who have older siblings to hand down clothes etc.
As a buyer tired of the traditional Christening momentos, I for one, will be on the hunt for something different on Etsy. There is scope for crafters across various disciplines when it comes to creating OOAK nursery decorations, baptism gifts etc.

And let’s not forget the new mother, who deserves a little spoiling herself. I know a few proud mamas who would love a piece of jewellery to mark the occasion.

Rose quartz is associated, not just with romance, but also maternal love and feminine qualities such as gentleness and compassion.

On that note, a reminder that it’s Mothers Day here this Sunday, 3rd April. If you are participating in a market this week, perhaps highlighting appropriate items or putting together special gift sets or baskets for the occasion will drive some extra sales. Mothers day in the US is 8th of May. There’s still plenty of time, but it may be worth checking out An Post’s Express and courier rates as a possible option to offer your customers.

Now I’ve got a bit of shopping to do, if you'll excuse the terrible pun, it’s time for me to wrap up ;-)


  1. Great article, AM! I've just read that apparently Spain is having a baby boom, and they are blaming the World Cup win last year for it :)

    Love all the beautiful Etsy goodies for babies and mums alike.

    Actually, it's not just mums that hope to be feted on 3 April...*grin*

  2. Anne-Marie,
    what a great article. So much information, well observed, as usual.
    Yes I too have noticed the increase in sales and requests for baby items with the emphasis on sets or beautifully gift wrapped items. Loads of requests for neutral "new baby congrats" gifts. I will have some gift ideas coming soon to HuggleKnits.
    Thanks for including my greeting card.
    OOOOOh I just love those little booties and the wee cardigan....

  3. Wow so much information in one post, I think I need to start producing more products aimed at newborns and all that goes with as it is such a big market. thank you for including my pendant also. Paul

  4. A really useful article - I've just adapted one of my products for the baby market and have others on the way, so it's good to know I'm on trend!

  5. Thanks AM great article! AND a big thank you for mentioning me and my baby balls! Fi

  6. Hey thanks for featuring my Christening Heart for a Baby Girl. We are defo' in a baby boom....
    Louise, Living Ginger Designs

  7. Great article, delighted to see Mukky Monkey featured! Peas + Pods is a family market aimed at providing unique and original stalls to families and children from 0-7 years. We will pass on this article to our stallholders as it has some very useful points. is the website for anyone else interested.

  8. thanks peas and pods. Great idea for a specialist market!