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Image / Style / Irish Design

Irish Design Spotlight: Ceadogán Rugmakers


By Sarah Finnan
19th May 2024
Irish Design Spotlight: Ceadogán Rugmakers

Starting out as a bespoke rug business in Wexford town, Ceadogán Rugmakers has flourished since its was set up in the 1980s. Now run by Colm Kenny and Martina Navratilova – both with backgrounds in fine art and furniture – the brand remains true to its roots.

Tell us about you and your brand
We are Colm Kenny and Martina Navratilova, and we are Ceadogán Rugmakers, a second-generation luxury rug-making studio. We operate from our studio in the southeast of Wexford where all our rugs are created. We have established a reputation based on 35 years of exceptional craftsmanship and design thinking. Our rugs and wall hangings can now be found in hotels embassies and private collections all around the globe. 

What is your mission?
We have long straddled the boundary between art and craft. Our mission is to continue to blur the line between the two through collaboration and innovative design thinking. Through this merging of worlds, we can place our work in an environment where its value is understood and appreciated.  

Did you always know you wanted to be a designer?
We are both very creative and expressive people so I guess yes – unconsciously at least. It was always inevitable that something in this field would be the destination. 

What kind of items do you stock?
We don’t really stock finished rugs. Our stock consists of dyed yarn and backing fabrics which we keep as up-to-date as  possible so that we can make to commission within the best timeframe. We always have a good selection of our designs available to view in our showroom in southeast Wexford, and these can be bought as seen.  

Was money/funding a concern when starting out?
Yes of course! Money and funding are always of concern for any business at any stage, but especially when starting out. 

Best business advice you’ve gotten
Listen to your gut.

Favourite fashion/design accounts you follow
Richard Malone, Project Twins, Modet Furniture.

Other Irish brands you love
Mourne Textiles, Cushendale Woollen Mill, Talu Earthe, Liadain Knitwear.

Most useful learning since setting up a business
Same as above – listen to your gut. 

Proudest moment so far
Opening our “Island” Exhibition in 2023 was one of our favourite moments. A beautiful and fitting opening speech by poet Rita Ann Higgins set the tone for what turned out to be a huge success. We raised €85k for the Peter McVerry Trust while also raising much-needed funds to kickstart our “For the Birds” project. We have since managed to produce a quantity of our own yarns through regenerative farming for nature methods. Farm to floor, rooting our business in its environment. 

I want my brand to be remembered for… weaving worlds together and creating lasting beauty! We’d like to know our efforts here have made a positive impact on many levels. 

Imagery courtesy of Ceadogán Studio