Looking for the perfect baby gift? Say hello to Ashfield Macramé and these handmade rainbows 10 months ago

Looking for the perfect baby gift? Say hello to Ashfield Macramé and these handmade rainbows

You can say a lot of things about this quiet time at home these past 10-11 months, but to many, it has sparked both creativity, ideas and even entire businesses.

This was certainly the case for Victoria Burke, the very talented and creative brains behind Ashfield Macramé.

A professional translator and originally from Argentina, Victoria came to Ireland eight years ago with her two best friends to have that 'living abroad' experience before settling down back home. However, as we all know, sometimes life gets in the way of even the best-laid plans, and having fallen head over heels in love with a with her now-husband after just a few months in Ireland, Victoria decided to stay in Dublin.

And the rest, as they say, is history. And now the happy couple are also parents to a gorgeous two-and-a-half-year-old boy.

Having always been crafty, Victoria explains that her mum is a very talented weaver back home in Argentina.

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"I grew up surrounded by yarn, looms, knitting needles, and so on. I learnt how to crochet, knit and weave at age 12 – I clearly wasn't a cool kid – so I've always appreciated all things handmade."

This time last year, having seen some gorgeous macramé rainbows on Pinterest, Victoria decided to try making one for her little boy's rom and soon found herself hooked.

"I just found it very therapeutic. I was delighted with the first one I made, but didn't think it was good enough to sell."

Then the pandemic hit and like the rest of the world, Victoria found herself spending almost every waking hour at home, and suddenly had the time on her hands to develop both her skills and an idea for her own little crafts business.

"After some weeks of trial and error (and lots of money spent on different materials), I was finally satisfied with the quality and started offering them on Etsy. With crafting and handmade things, though, I think that, really, it's an ever-evolving skill, in a way. The more you do it, the better you get at it.

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Having sold some of her rainbows, Victoria admits she was overwhelmed with the support, feedback and interest from her customers.

"I honestly didn't think people were going to respond so well. Every order, Instagram share, Etsy review or even a "Well done!" makes my day! Almost 100 percent of my customers are here in Ireland, and I'm blown away by their support. Irish people are probably the best customers in the world, they truly appreciate what you do and they show a lot of empathy.  I've never ever had a rude or pushy customer, even when a few orders got lost or seriously delayed in the post."

As for why the rainbows, Victoria explains:

"Rainbows are a symbol of hope. I've had some very special requests that stick with me, like a customer ordering a rainbow to send to the hospital nurses that had looked after her boy so well. Or a pregnant woman who ordered a colourful rainbow to have in the delivery room when she gave birth. Or a neighbour of mine who sent a small rainbow with the Irish flag colours all the way to her relative in Australia."

When it comes to where she sees her business going, Victoria admits she hasn't even really allowed herself to think too far ahead.

"I honestly don't know where I see my tiny business going. This is a one-woman show: I order the supplies, write the listings, run the IG account, make the items, pack them and post them. I even take the photos myself. So there's only a limited number of orders I can process monthly. As all small business owners and other creatives know, it's a full-time job with no weekends!"

However, having been blown away by how things have gone this far, this mum-of-one knows one thing for sure:

"It's definitely worth it when you love what you do!"

If you love these gorgeous rainbows, check out Victoria's Etsy shop for more!