Finding and celebrating daily rituals and little pleasures that keep us afloat …
Connectedness, joy, comfort, authenticity and Irishness – that’s what we feel when we think about Avoca, its stores, its beautiful, carefully selected things to buy, its extraordinary food and its wonderful people. We call it the #AvocaFeeling.
In a new series, we meet some of the brilliant women who create, live and breathe the magic of Avoca, and some of Avoca’s firm friends and fans, who are legion all over Ireland – and the world!
We’re also asking you, our reader, what makes you feel happy, connected and at peace with the world (particularly now, when the world feels tilted on its axis). What gives you that #AvocaFeeling? It might be baking your favourite Avoca scones, a cup of coffee with a pal, curling up on the sofa beside the fire, a hike up a mountain or a walk in a forest, your morning yoga practice, a delicious dinner (with wine), or rediscovering an activity you enjoyed as a child. In tough times, we need daily or weekly rituals … please share yours!
To share what gives you that #AvocaFeeling, email us on [email protected] or share a picture or video on Instagram, make sure to tag and follow us @theglossmag and @avocaireland so we can see your entries. We will share some of our favourite stories on thegloss.ie over the coming weeks…
THIS WEEK: THE JOY OF VISUAL MERCHANDISING
This week, Hannah Whelan, head of Visual Merchandising, on the joy of her role at Avoca …
“I have always found a lot of joy in being creative. Little things like making a friend or family member a birthday card, handpicking bunches of wildflowers to pop in a vase on my kitchen table, or making someone a thoughtful gift brings me a lot of happiness and a sense of satisfaction. There’s nothing I love more than putting on some of my favourite music and whiling away the hours doing something crafty!
Having always lived by the sea, I also find a lot of comfort in sea swimming and the magic powers of rejuvenation it has. I always feel so much better after a long, busy day once I’ve had a dip in the sea. In recent months my friends and I have started a little swim club, making sure we get together most days for a short swim and a catch up. It is such a small thing but has brought us all a lot of happiness! The Avoca creative team even got together for a few sunrise swims over the summer, and we all absolutely loved it. It’s a really enjoyable way to cultivate a sense of community and fun for the team.
Before 2020 and all of the restrictions, I really loved to travel. It is such an amazing way to find inspiration, especially when I’m on the lookout for new and exciting ideas for the stores. Visiting London in December to look at all the stunning Christmas installations and shop windows or flying to Paris to attend a trade show and peruse the boutiques, were favourite elements of my role as Visual Merchandiser.
I still find lots of inspiration closer to home too and adore curling up with a nice coffee to leaf through interiors and fashion magazines, soaking up all the creative ideas. I also love spending time outdoors and gather so much inspiration from nature while hiking and walking at the weekends. We’re very lucky that many of our store locations are set in the most picturesque settings. From Mount Usher Gardens to Powerscourt Estate and even our Head Office in Kilmacanogue, I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by the beauty of nature most days of the week. There’s no better source of inspiration!
Working with such strong, dedicated, smart women is really inspiring, and has given me the motivation to grow within the company, and to develop confidence in my own abilities.
The Avoca team really is like no other – there is a genuine sense of community in the workplace here, and I’m lucky to call many of my colleagues good friends. Working with such strong, dedicated, smart women is really inspiring, and has given me the motivation to grow within the company, and to develop confidence in my own abilities. I have been very fortunate to have worked alongside some extremely talented creative people here, who probably have no idea just how much they have encouraged and inspired me! You don’t get that everywhere, and I’m really grateful for it.
Since I can remember, it has been my job to set the table on Christmas Day. I find such joy in this ritual, and love to get creative in setting the scene for the most important meal of the year. I love fresh greenery for a tablescape as it’s such an easy way to make an impact. Usually I clip some holly from the garden and I have been known to ask the local Christmas tree sellers if they have any scraps left over! Last year I used these to create a beautiful centrepiece with lots of twinkly lights and candles. The finishing touches make a big difference too: I love to make cloved oranges and add pinecones or personalised name cards for each place setting. They’re all quite simple to create but look so beautiful on the Christmas table.”
THREE READERS SHARE THEIR #AvocaFeeling:
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