Delgany designer opens fashion boutique off Grafton Street

A Wicklow fashion designer has recently begun selling her designs in a bricks and mortar store just off Dublin’s Grafton Street with a long-time friend.

ohanna Dooley (27) from Delgany, County Wicklow and Kara O’Sullivan (27) from Ranelagh in Dublin launched their fashion online rental business, ‘Greens are good for you’, nine months ago.

After running a successful Christmas pop-up shop with friends, the enterprising pair fast-tracked their self-funded business and have now opened a permanent bricks-and-mortar store off Dublin’s Grafton Street.

The concept store, ‘Curated x Greens’ on Royal Hibernian Way, will be home to 15 small Irish lifestyle brands for the next 12 months.

The line-up of 14 other brands in the shop includes Aisling Kavanagh Design and a number of businesses born during lockdown, including Gabrielle Malone knitwear and To Dye For, a range of mood-boosting hand-dyed loungewear and accessories which Johanna herself started on her own in a small bathtub at her family home in Wicklow. The range is now manufactured in India.

“Tie-dye was such a big trend during lockdown but there weren’t any pattern designs that I loved myself, so I thought why not create my own,” said Johanna. “When I started To Dye For I thought online was the only way forward, but we have seen a shift recently, especially after Covid. There is an importance of having a physical store and giving customers an in-store experience.”

The two flourishing entrepreneurs have been friends for years and with a keen eye for fashion and business, they have also discovered a gap in the clothing rental market.

“Kara had experience working in the office of Brown Thomas, we always wanted to do something together, but we never really did,” Johanna explains, “Coming out of lockdown, we got chatting and we basically wanted to change the rental model here in Ireland.”

Johanna says people are now more used to a renting lifestyle than before.

“They are way more accepting of it. It’s becoming cool now whereas before, they wouldn’t be advertising that they rented something.”

Although they are still in the early phases of the enterprise, the two business owners have already made plans for the future and are looking forward to lies ahead.

“We are currently looking for investment to help build a platform and we also hope to have other retailers on board soon,” explained Johanna.

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