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Overview of Avoca

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Page 1: Avoca Brochure

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This is 

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T here was a M il l at Avoca Village,

County Wick low. Set up i n 1723

as a co-operative wh ere farm erscould spin and weave thei r wool,

the M i ll’s uncoloured yarn wastur ned in to tweeds and blank ets.

H owever, colour soon came to

Avoca as vi vi d natur al vegetable

dyes in r eds, gr eens, an d yellows

brightened the M ill’s output.

T hese were soon r ecogni sedas Avoca H andweavers’ sign atur e

hues and the M ill thr ived through

the 1920s and 30s when i t was

ru n by a m arvellous tr io of 

sisters, the Wynnes.

By the 1960s however, i t had fallen

in to disrepair. Han dweavin g was

dying an d the looms grew largelysilent. U nti l a youn g couple with

a younger fami ly took a flyer i n

the m id-sevent i es and the rest,

as others m ight say, is hi stor y.

Once upon a time... 

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the mill At avoca village 

When D onald & H ilary Pratt

bought the Av oca H andweavers

M ill i n 1974, frank ly perhaps,

i t should have been an act of folly. T he then D ublin lawyer

was han dling th e sale of the si te

for development. H e ended up

buyin g it him self despite k nowing

nothi ng about handweavin g,

but believi ng ther e was a futur e

in the M ill’s past. T he run -down

buildings, the tumbling m ill, the

nam e itself had woven a spell of 

sorts. He left law and H i lary gaveup her teachi ng j ob as they took

over the leak in g M ill and empty

order book . But soon th e looms

were hum m in g again and Avoca

began to colour the world once m ore.

Avoca started as a m anufacturer

back in 1723 and i t probably

shapes ever ythi ng we do. To thi s

day, we handweave at the M i ll i nAvoca Village – it r oots us in our

heri tage – though ti m es change,

and power loom s are now also

needed to keep up with dem and.

N ow you’ll find A voca r ugs, thr ows

and scarves in natur al fibres –

100% pure new wool, mohai r,

cotton and li nen – k eepin g people

looki ng smar t and stayin g cosy as

far away as Japan an d the M i ddleEast. A nd as Avoca has grown in

confidence thi s m ost tradi tion al

of crafts has found n ew li fe

breathed into i t.

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We love detail an d colour andwhim sy and quali ty. We reli sh

the unex pected and th e sm ile of discover y. From the tradit ion al

tai lored tweed sui ts and

separat es of the A voca Collection

label, our D esi gn Studi o has

grown wings and flown. I t’s a

hotbed of i nspir ation , chock-a-

block and chaoti c, a bustling h ive

of ideas and what i fs.

Avoca com bs the world tofind or comm ission beautiful,

in terestin g fabri cs and tri m s,

and we manufacture i n Eur ope,

with m uch of our k ni twear, for

exam ple, m ade for us by Itali an

partn ers who work closely with

our Design Studio, season by season.

Avoca A nth ology, one of our t wo

designer wom en’s wear r anges,

launched in 2002 and is now

stocked in over 600 stores acrossBr itai n and Eur ope. R egularly

rank ed as one of the UK ’s

top ten bouti que labels by the

fashi on in dustr y bible, DrapersM agazine, A nthology’s twice

year ly collecti ons star t her e,

with m aybe a scrap of ri bbon or

a fabr ic swatch. A s does Avoca

Or igi n, our n ewer designer label.

Sam e attenti on to detail, same

emphasis on textur e and colour.

Di fferent m ood altogether.

A nd i t’s not only clothing.

T here’s Avoca ceram ics and

candles, perfum es and bags

and m ore: the only lim i ts on our

designer s’ ideas is that th ey’r e

not to be lik e anyone else’s.

the design studio 

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our Food 

HALLS 

I t all began with a few hom emade

 jam s and chutn eys brought in

by som e of our ear li est staff.

( Som e of these recipes still

bear their nam es.) N ow our

Avoca Pantr y range of jam sand m arm alades, reli shes and

chut neys, m ustards, oils and

dressings form the back bone of 

our F oodhalls. T hese are pack ed

with delicious, arti san foodfrom home and abroad. Exotic

in gredients, un usual coffees

and teas, interestin g sauces and

m uch m ore cram the shelves.

Fr eshly-made A voca salads,

soups, gour m et sandwi ches and

tarts can be tak en away from our

deli-bars, as can m any favouri tes

off our café men us. People tr avel

for m i les to get our house-bak ed

breads. A nd some of the storesnow have special cheese andchar cuteri e r oom s too. Whilst

others featur e wine shops wi th

an exclusive han dpick ed selecti on

from sm aller, in dependent

vi neyards. An d the sm ell of 

fresh bak in g fi lls the air.

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A love of gardeni ng i s in the

fam i ly’s blood. So it was probably

no surpr i se that when we went

look in g for a new site for of ficesand a shop half way between

south Dublin and Avoca Village

M ill, we fell in love with what

was left of gar dens once attached

to the house of the Jam eson’s

Whiskey fam ily. A gain they were

far fr om th eir glory days, but

they did boast som e ex tr emelyrar e and lovely trees i ncludin g

a 900 year old Yew walk .

G ood k arm a, then.

T his became our K ilm acanogue

base, where we’ve n ow a store,

two cafés, our head of fices and

our design studio set in the mi dst

of toweri ng tr ees and tr anquil

landscaped grounds. M oreover,

we’ve also a garden centre andnu rser y there, and an ex panse

of gr eenh ouses where we grow

for the garden shop and cafés.

Avoca Powerscour t H ouse is set

in one of I reland’s m ost famous

gardens. Av oca R athcoole has

a contemporar y walled garden.Even our Suffolk Str eet store in

the heart of D ublin has a secret

rooftop garden.

A nd since 2007, M ount U sher

G ardens, a wor ld-class exam ple

of the so-called R obin soni an

style, has been r un by Avoca.

Established in the late 1800s,

M ount U sher i s laid out across

22 acres ( approx 9 hectares)along th e bank s of the easy-

flowin g R iver Vartr y. One of 

only three I ri sh gardens to get

a top rank in g by the U K ’s G ood

G arden G uide, here you’ll find

over 5,000 species of plan ts, all

m anaged organi cally, attractin g

tens of thousands of vi sit orsann ually. ( O f cour se we’ve a

lovely café ther e too and

great shoppi ng.)

ur ardens 

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Who knows? Well, Av oca i s

certainly indi vidual. M any of 

our adventur es have been gr eatsuccesses, but not all , of cour se.

What un ifies our appr oach i s

to try to avoid the average or

ordin ary. In stead, we look for

colour an d life and happiness,and seek out the unu sual and

beautiful. Our m ission i s to

create joy and have fun. I n factwe’re selfish, choosin g thi ngs

fi rstly because we love them and

then hopin g we’re not alone in

our taste.

By an d large, Avoca doesn’t

do shor tcuts: i f we’r e going to

pur sue an i dea, we don’ t waste

tim e, but we lik e to do it properly,not ju st for the bottom li ne. We

k eep what A voca offers un i que,

by designi ng and i nn ovating

in -house, and nur turi ng

relationships with li k e-m in ded

partners, li k e organi c farm ers,

potters, perfum ers and candle

m akers, for example.

Avoca rem ain s a fam i ly business,

now run by four siblin gs, their

parents and a fantastic team .A nd i n the way of fami lies,

exchanges of v iew can be, let’s

say, colour ful. P erhaps thi s is the

extr a in gredient that separates

Avoca from the m ainstream, highstreet. Whatever i t i s, for n ow,

it’s work in g.

mad as hatters 

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join 

our party A s well as retai li ng thr ough our

own stor es, A voca wholesales its

cloth i n g, accessori es and soft

furn ishin g ranges around theworld. Some of th i s i s di stri buted

dir ectly by us fr om I reland, the

rest i s han dled by our agents.

I f you ar e a retailer and you’re

i nterested in any of the Avoca

ra nges or you’d lik e tofi nd out

m ore, check out www.avoca.ie

or you can call us on +353 12867466 or em ai l [email protected].

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M ade with love in I reland

AvocaK ilm acanogue

Bray

Co. Wicklow

Ireland

T +353 1 286 7466

www.avoca.i e