Jerpoint glass: Online focus key to success since COVID-19

Jerpoint Glass was established in 1979 by Keith and Kathleen Leadbetter, after Keith trained as a glassblower in Sweden and travelled extensively around Europe developing his skills as a glass maker.

The couple launched the company from a converted Dutch barn at their home in Stonyford, County Kilkenny, designing and making glassware with “family, friends, music, song and an integrity for the craft.” Today their four children are actively involved in their business, which has forged a global reputation for innovative design.

“Each piece is hand finished. This gives our glass a uniquely soft rim and an all-over smoothness that is particularly apparent in the drinking glasses and is only achievable when a glass in completely finished by hand,” says Kathleen.

Kathleen’s passion for aesthetics and design is behind Jerpoint’s unique coloured glass palette. Today, she shares her passion with her four children, who collaborate in different ways on new collections while son Rory fills the position of main glassblower.

Before COVID-19, a lot of business came from the tourism sector – one of the hardest hit this year. The challenge pushed them to rethink their business and led to a new focus on online sales, where they achieved unexpected success. “It allowed us to reach a much wider audience but also let people know we exist. It’s crazy the amount of people, even within the country, who re-discovered us through our online presence,” says Kathleen.

#SupportLocal #Champion Green

To Jerpoint, local is about supporting the network the community interacts in, and they do this by supporting other local businesses and services in their area. Their glassblowing studio is open to the public for free, and offers guests a chance to see skilled glassblowers turn red-hot molten glass into beautiful shapes. In return, they ask guests to donate to local charities. They’re currently collecting for the Cappagh Hospital Foundation and have collected for charities like The Simon Community and The Kilkenny Amber Women Refuge in the past.

You can shop Jerpoint Glass on their recently upgraded website by clicking here.

Champion Green is supported by @KilkennyShop and @VisaIreland, in association with @sfa_irl@retail_excellence and Chambers Ireland.