Have you visited Giddy Studios in Dundrum Shopping Centre? It’s a fabulous pottery studio that is conveniently parked on Level 2 of the Red Car Park. I’ve been there so many times with my own children and was super excited to be able to sit down and chat with its founder and owner, Helena Dilleen.
When you meet Helena, her passion for her studio and guests is clearly visible, you really do feel incredibly welcome. We sat down with a couple of coffees and I asked her a few questions to share her story.
Tell us a little about yourself
I grew up on a farm near the pretty seaside town, Dungarvan in County Waterford. I moved to Dublin to study a French/Spanish Marketing Degree, I had no idea how fundamentally the marketing aspects would assist me with Giddy Studios at the time.
After my degree, I lived in Spain for 9 months. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of connecting with another culture and immersing myself in another language. I moved back to Dublin and met my husband Alan in 2002. He’s my absolute dream supporter and we have 2 girls aged 4 and 6 years. The connection with Spain has always stayed with me as we have always had Spanish Au-pairs to help our family.
I love family life in Dublin. There are just so many opportunities, whether it’s a stroll in the park or a workshop, the city has a huge range of activities for families. I particularly enjoy living near the city centre and spending time with family in Phoenix Park.
How did you get your business idea for Giddy Studios?
I used to work for a graphic design company before Giddy. I knew that I wanted to be creative and start a business of my own. Its key purpose had to facilitate the making of positive memories that absolutely anyone can participate in. I can’t believe it’s nearly 9 years since I opened Giddy’s first studio, which was located opposite Marlay Park. An opportunity came up to move my business to Dundrum Shopping Centre in 2011 and we haven’t looked back since.
I’m very passionate about my job and love seeing people inspire each other through creativity regardless of their level of ability. Whether it’s a group of 5-year-olds making memories painting ornaments at a birthday party, a corporate team building activity discovering hidden talents or a couple of friends spending quality time together, there really is something for everyone. The added bonus is being able to add a glass of wine or a beer to the activity or leave it out, it’s completely flexible.
What would you say is your most memorable moment at work?
Without a doubt the night before opening my first studio. It felt like the night before my wedding, I was full of hope and complete excitement with butterflies in my tummy …. sheer Giddiness.
What does Giddy Studios have to look forwards to this year?
Oh, lots! We will continue to provide corporate networking activities, there will be more exciting products to Giddy’s ceramic collection and we will provide lots of fun crafty birthday parties and events throughout the year.
Families Go Global has a few ‘parentpreneurs’ within its community. What advice would you give a parent with a business idea?
I would definitely suggest contacting the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) where you will find plenty of advice and support when starting up or growing a business.
We would like to thank Helena for her time and the generous 20% discount she offers our premium members. Our aim is to present a selection of local businesses who come highly recommended by our members. We are delighted Giddy Studios is one of those companies. Have a look at her pottery painting programme for Spring/Summer 2017.
Photo credits: Brittany Winkelman Photography