Bob Ianson,Heirloom Linens | Justin Manning and Julia Maddin, Drake General Store
In this episode, recored live at the Showcase Ireland buying show in Dublin. I sit with both makers of amazing Irish products and two of the Canadian merchants that joined me for the trip across the Atlantic. We kick off with Siobhán Kehoe from Rathbornes Candles. Founded in 1488 this is a company that got its start lighting the streets, churches and lighthouses of Dublin to now making products found in the finest stores around the world. Next all the way from Victoria Bob Ianson, founder and co-owner of Heirloom Linens is back on the podcast and we sit down and talk about his observations from the buying show floor, what it takes to win in retail and his advice after a lifetime in retail to merchants just starting out and learning their craft. Then Eleanor Hanna, General Manager at Hanna Hats of Donegal a third generation company passionate about creating unique Irish products talks about their powerful brand story and incorporating tradition and craftsmanship into their popular products. We wrap up with buyer Justin Manning and Julia Maddin, Head of Operations from Toronto’s own Drake General Store on how to develop an eye for the right product on the Showcase floor that is a perfect fit for the eclectic merchandise mix that is the hallmark of the Drake’s assortment.