My Story

I am privileged to be able to incorporate the three things I am most passionate about – Fashion, the Circular Economy and the Dingle Peninsula  – into my business venture, LilyMais.

As a teen, I wanted to study Fashion Design but at the time it was not seen as a sensible choice for a young lady from rural Tipperary! Instead, I trained as a chef and spent the next 25-years in hospitality, initially as a chef, then as a hotel manager and then as chef / owner of my own restaurant and cafés. When the opportunity was presented to me in 2019 to quit the food business, I jumped at the chance to return to college to study Fashion Design.

My enthusiasm was soon dented and I had a huge crises of conscience – while I loved fashion and fashion design, I hated how toxic the global fashion industry had become. The last thing I wanted to do was to add to the damage the industry was doing to the planet (latest figures suggest it is the second most polluting industry in the world, second only

to oil & gas).

Around this time, and inspired by my daily sea-swim with my local swimming group – the Baile Bathers – the idea hatched to make swim ponchos from  upcycled cotton towels and end of line fabrics that would otherwise end up in landfill.

The idea soon grew into a viable business and having based myself in a space at the back of my home for 3-years, I relocated here to Dingle Marina in September 2023.

All LilyMais products are hand-made here in this studio by people who genuinely care about the environment. We use upcycled cotton towels and end of line fabrics in all our wearables. Our non-wearable art pieces are principally made from materials collected from  some of our beautiful West Kerry beaches.

All our products are designed and made to be Circular – designed with an-end-of life in mind. So, if  you ever tire of your LilyMais purchase, simply return it to me here in Dingle and I will reuse most, if not all of its component parts in new products.

 Fran, 16thSeptember2023