Blog

Archive: March 2012

Holistic Therapies for Pre Pregnancy & Pre Natal Care Can Take the Childbirth Experience from Potentially Traumatic to Tranquil


27 March 2012

 

In a busy world full of pharmaceutical drug choices and often complex medical procedures for ill health, conception and childbirth; acupuncturist and holistic therapist Maria Rafferty is a highly sought after, certified therapist who specialises in pre-pregnancy and pre-natal care using a combination of traditional Chinese acupuncture, Arvigo techniques of Mayan Abdominal Therapy and yoga to address a range of health problems and help couples achieve successful conception and peaceful births.  Having given up her previous career as an accountant, she retrained comprehensively and now works with couples from across Ireland to complement their journey in conceiving and delivering their babies. 
According to the Birth Trauma Association, per year around 10,000 women in the UK develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Also, as many as 200,000 more women may feel traumatised by childbirth and develop some of the symptoms of PTSD.  Maria therefore promotes the importance of preparing the mother and birthing partner, ripening the cervix and relieving anxiety and fear through acupuncture, teaching birth partners how to give pain relief through acupressure, preparing the ligaments and increasing the woman’s stamina.  With a firm mantra that couples are responsible for their own birth and that delivery can be stress free, Maria educates mums and dads-to-be on the holistic options they can choose both throughout pregnancy and during delivery.  Maria is also a trained doula, meaning she can be on call to attend a birth for a couple up to 2 weeks prior to their due date, accompanying the medical and midwifery teams, to calm mother, birth partner and baby and provide physical and emotional support.  The statistics on having a doula are a powerful testament to the benefits: a 50% reduction in the caesarean rate, on average a 25% shorter labour and 40% reduction in forceps delivery are just some of these.  
Maria says, “If a woman is physically and emotionally unprepared for her delivery and is scared or nervous, she produces adrenaline, the body then registers danger and makes it more difficult to birth into this stressful situation, so it is my role to prevent this stress; both through pre-birth preparation and the option of having me there at birth to calm both mother and baby and provide physical and emotional support.” 
She continues: “I left my job as an accountant to study a range of therapies such as acupuncture, fertility yoga and Mayan therapy as I felt very strongly that they worked and I can honestly say I have never looked back.  So many people are crippled physically, mentally and socially by problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, fertility issues or menstrual pain and helping people to help themselves reclaim their lives from these debilitating difficulties inspires me every single day.  I am especially passionate about the work I do with pregnant couples, just a few sessions is all it takes to empower them to take control of their own birth, give them a sense of peace and quash their fears about delivery, changing the whole experience of the most amazing event of their whole lives.  I feel truly privileged to be able to offer couples this and leave people feeling energised, centered and balanced.  Not only unique to Ireland, the combination of techniques I use are not practised anywhere outside of the USA at the moment, and I feel so strongly that people need to find out about and try these life changing treatments.”
One of a small number of highly trained individuals who have been taught Maya Abdominal Therapy, a technique which has been handed down from generation to generation, Maria helps treat digestive, fertility, menstrual and menopausal problems with Mayan massage, empowering clients with take home techniques they can introduce into their daily routine to improve their health and take charge of their own wellbeing.  This exclusive treatment repositions internal organs that have shifted and restricted the flow of blood, lymph, nerve and chi energy, addressing a range of problems from low energy, headaches and IBS.  Maria also runs a pre-conception course to prepare the female egg and male sperm and make the conception experience a healthy and happy one.  As part of couple treatment and consultancy, Maria can also address men with impotence, prostate and fertility problems.  
A client of Maria’s had previously had three very traumatic births and decided to take control of her fourth birth by having Maria as her doula, giving her pre-birthing acupuncture treatments and teaching her birth partner how to administer pain relief.  Feeling much more prepared and control of her birth she said, “After negative experiences of labour in the past, I longed for the birth I wanted with as little drugs as possible.  I longed to start labour myself and not be induced and when my waters trickled, Maria used acupuncture to establish contractions.  I was amazed at how it made the pace of the contractions change!  When my partner used acupressure throughout labour, it numbed the pain, giving me the confidence that I could cope through the contractions with my partners help.  It also made him feel more involved in the birth more as he had an important role.  After three previous labours where he felt completely useless, Maria’s training made him feel confident about supporting me through labour.
My son was much more alert than my other babies as the birth was drug free.  When you have a great birth you start motherhood from a different place, a negative experience of labour takes you a while to get over.  I haven’t even had a day of the baby blues; I've been on a high since my son arrived. I felt my son’s birth was the most empowering experience and it has brought my husband and I closer as a couple as this time he knew what to do and was a fantastic support during labour.”
Maria added: “So many of my clients feel strongly about letting more people know these treatments exist, acupuncture and the presence of a duola give people the strength to face their labour, and those who have experienced this can’t believe how much their labour is improved.”
Maria Rafferty BSc (Hons), Lic.Ac. CertATMAT works out of The Complementary Health Clinic, 211a Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7EJ for clients on an all-Ireland basis.  To book an appointment with Maria call: 07799 345 337 or email: info@mariarafferty.com

In a busy world full of pharmaceutical drug choices and often complex medical procedures for ill health, conception and childbirth; acupuncturist and holistic therapist Maria Rafferty is a highly sought after, certified therapist who specialises in pre-pregnancy and pre-natal care using a combination of traditional Chinese acupuncture, Arvigo techniques of Mayan Abdominal Therapy and yoga to address a range of health problems and help couples achieve successful conception and peaceful births.  Having given up her previous career as an accountant, she retrained comprehensively and now works with couples from across Ireland to complement their journey in conceiving and delivering their babies. 

According to the Birth Trauma Association, per year around 10,000 women in the UK develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Also, as many as 200,000 more women may feel traumatised by childbirth and develop some of the symptoms of PTSD.  Maria therefore promotes the importance of preparing the mother and birthing partner, ripening the cervix and relieving anxiety and fear through acupuncture, teaching birth partners how to give pain relief through acupressure, preparing the ligaments and increasing the woman’s stamina.  With a firm mantra that couples are responsible for their own birth and that delivery can be stress free, Maria educates mums and dads-to-be on the holistic options they can choose both throughout pregnancy and during delivery.  Maria is also a trained doula, meaning she can be on call to attend a birth for a couple up to 2 weeks prior to their due date, accompanying the medical and midwifery teams, to calm mother, birth partner and baby and provide physical and emotional support.  The statistics on having a doula are a powerful testament to the benefits: a 50% reduction in the caesarean rate, on average a 25% shorter labour and 40% reduction in forceps delivery are just some of these.  

Maria says, “If a woman is physically and emotionally unprepared for her delivery and is scared or nervous, she produces adrenaline, the body then registers danger and makes it more difficult to birth into this stressful situation, so it is my role to prevent this stress; both through pre-birth preparation and the option of having me there at birth to calm both mother and baby and provide physical and emotional support.” 

She continues: “I left my job as an accountant to study a range of therapies such as acupuncture, fertility yoga and Mayan therapy as I felt very strongly that they worked and I can honestly say I have never looked back.  So many people are crippled physically, mentally and socially by problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, fertility issues or menstrual pain and helping people to help themselves reclaim their lives from these debilitating difficulties inspires me every single day.  I am especially passionate about the work I do with pregnant couples, just a few sessions is all it takes to empower them to take control of their own birth, give them a sense of peace and quash their fears about delivery, changing the whole experience of the most amazing event of their whole lives.  I feel truly privileged to be able to offer couples this and leave people feeling energised, centered and balanced.  Not only unique to Ireland, the combination of techniques I use are not practised anywhere outside of the USA at the moment, and I feel so strongly that people need to find out about and try these life changing treatments.”

One of a small number of highly trained individuals who have been taught Maya Abdominal Therapy, a technique which has been handed down from generation to generation, Maria helps treat digestive, fertility, menstrual and menopausal problems with Mayan massage, empowering clients with take home techniques they can introduce into their daily routine to improve their health and take charge of their own wellbeing.  This exclusive treatment repositions internal organs that have shifted and restricted the flow of blood, lymph, nerve and chi energy, addressing a range of problems from low energy, headaches and IBS.  Maria also runs a pre-conception course to prepare the female egg and male sperm and make the conception experience a healthy and happy one.  As part of couple treatment and consultancy, Maria can also address men with impotence, prostate and fertility problems.  

A client of Maria’s had previously had three very traumatic births and decided to take control of her fourth birth by having Maria as her doula, giving her pre-birthing acupuncture treatments and teaching her birth partner how to administer pain relief.  Feeling much more prepared and control of her birth she said, “After negative experiences of labour in the past, I longed for the birth I wanted with as little drugs as possible.  I longed to start labour myself and not be induced and when my waters trickled, Maria used acupuncture to establish contractions.  I was amazed at how it made the pace of the contractions change!  When my partner used acupressure throughout labour, it numbed the pain, giving me the confidence that I could cope through the contractions with my partners help.  It also made him feel more involved in the birth more as he had an important role.  After three previous labours where he felt completely useless, Maria’s training made him feel confident about supporting me through labour.

 

My son was much more alert than my other babies as the birth was drug free.  When you have a great birth you start motherhood from a different place, a negative experience of labour takes you a while to get over.  I haven’t even had a day of the baby blues; I've been on a high since my son arrived. I felt my son’s birth was the most empowering experience and it has brought my husband and I closer as a couple as this time he knew what to do and was a fantastic support during labour.”

Maria added: “So many of my clients feel strongly about letting more people know these treatments exist, acupuncture and the presence of a duola give people the strength to face their labour, and those who have experienced this can’t believe how much their labour is improved.”

Maria Rafferty BSc (Hons), Lic.Ac. CertATMAT works out of The Complementary Health Clinic, 211a Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7EJ for clients on an all-Ireland basis.  To book an appointment with Maria call: 07799 345 337 or email: info@mariarafferty.com

 

Belfast Giants Become Wagamama Waiters


19 March 2012

The stars of the Belfast Giants hang up their hockey sticks in exchange for chopsticks to earn their keep at Wagamama.

 Wednesday 21 March will see the Belfast Giants take diversification to a whole new level as some of the biggest names in the team will swap pucks for noodles, as they take over as the waiting staff in Wagamama’s Victoria Square restaurant in Belfast city centre.

 The collaboration is to celebrate the end of a successful season in partnership of Wagamama and the Belfast Giants and will launch a very exciting competition for any fan of the healthy food or the exhilarating sport.

Fans can enter the competition to win an ice hockey stick and shirt signed by the Belfast Giants team, an evening in an Odyssey Arena corporate suite to watch one of next season’s matches and dinner in Wagamama with four of the team players, by answering cryptic questions on Facebook for the month of March and by coming along to the restaurant on Wednesday 21 March.

Sonia Lipton, general manager of Wagamama, is excited to welcome her new staff members to the restaurant, “This is a really fun way for us to reward our customers and it will be interesting to see how the Giants will keep their cool in the heat of the kitchen. This will be a real treat for anyone hoping to enjoy a healthy nutritious meal, served up by some of our country’s best sportsmen. It’s also a great opportunity to get your hands on some brilliant prizes!”

 Opened over a year ago, Belfast’s Wagamama restaurant has proven itself as one of the city’s top spots to enjoy healthy and freshly made Asian cuisine in a contemporary and relaxed setting. Favoured by the team members of the Belfast Giants for its approach to healthy eating, Wagamama continues to keep the goalposts nice and tight in fighting off any competition eager to score against it.

To meet the team as they fulfil their new roles for the night, come along to Wagamama, Victoria Square from 6-8pm on Wednesday 21 March. Follow us on Twitter @wagamamabelfast and find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/wagamamabelfast

LOCAL DESIGNERS WOW FASHIONWEEK AUDIENCES


16 March 2012

Last night, West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK audiences were treated to a breath-taking display of creative talent from both established and up-and-coming local designers. The sold out show took lovers of style on a wonderful journey through some of the most creative minds working in the fashion industry in Northern Ireland.

Cathy Martin, FASHIONWEEK Director said:  “The independent designers who showed collections last night made me feel proud to be from Northern Ireland due to the sheer quality and creativity they displayed and we are thrilled to be continuing our support of local talent, both the raw and edgy genius of new, up-and-coming designers as well as the more established designers. Shoppers and fashionistas here are buying locally too, so it’s nice to give our audiences something local and well made to buy. And we’ve had a few local designers’ pieces spotted by retail buyers in the past too, so who knows where we might see their product being sold on a national level in the future.”

The local designers’ night featured established favourites such as Una Rodden, Zoe Boomer, Maria Cardenas, Grainne Maher and Lizzie Agnew who continue to carry the torch for quality Northern Ireland design both here and overseas.

Up and coming design talent was represented by Derry-based milliner John Paul, as well as graduate designers Dave Henderson, Ruedi Maguire and Lisa McCabe with her Nor Lisa label. Knitwear designer Mary Callan also showed pieces worthy of an international catwalk, and that’s no surprise given her experience at Chloe, John Rocha and Lainey Keogh.

“I can’t remember a time when the design and fashion scene here has been so active – but not only that, the talent of the designers has everyone at FASHIONWEEK HQ excited about what they could achieve on a national scale and we’re delighted to help put their talents on the creative map”, said Cathy.

Belfast FASHIONWEEK continues tonight with the final sold out catwalk show looking at what’s available on the high street. It will feature an exclusive runway show from online retailer, Boohoo.com, as well as collections from French Connection, Exhibit, Marks & Spencer, George at Asda, Heatons and stores including Oasis, LK Bennett, Kurt Muller and Pilot from The Outlet in Banbridge. CastleCourt stores GAP, New Look, Designers at Debenhams, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins will also showcase.

Other FASHIONWEEK events include the Children’s Fashion Master Class which is part of the Children’s Festival, followed by the Fabulous Fashion Teas at the Culloden Resort and Spa on Saturday 17 March showing collections from luxury retailer, CRUISE.  

On Mother’s Day, the FASHIONWEEK finale - Style Sunday at James Street South - will include collections from chic Lisburn Road boutique, Please Don’t Tell, with hair tips from the team at Michele International and make-up advice from leading make up artist Paddy McGurgan as well as some stunning creations from one of Northern Ireland’s top designers, Una Rodden.

The full show schedule is available online at www.facebook.com/belfastfw or at www.belfastfashionweek.com along with details of this season’s trends plus links to all participant retailers and sponsors.  
 

For further information, stock or catwalk pictures or interviews with retailers, designers or director Cathy Martin, please contact:

Michael McCrory at CMPR on T +44 (0) 2890324437 or via email/mobile: michael@cathymartinpr.com +44 (0)7816537762

FASHIONWEEK KICKS OFF IN STYLE WITH DESIGNER BOUTIQUES NIGHT


15 March 2012

Last night (Wednesday 14 March) saw fashion fans, style spotters and on-trend city slickers descend on the Europa FASHIONWEEK Centre for the launch of the thirteenth season of über stylish West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK.

And it was lucky for some as over 500 fashionistas were treated to a West Coast Cooler drinks reception before taking their seats to watch a runway showcase of the finest fashions from Northern Ireland’s leading designer boutiques hosted by the gorgeous BBC presenter, and former Miss Northern Ireland, Joanne Salley.

Some of the most desirable addresses in any fashionista’s little black book were on show including Logans of Cloughmills, Candy Plum in Hillsborough, Notaria in Larne, Diamond Dolls in Banbridge, Stella & Dot by Grainne Maskey, Yoke, Blush and Jourdan in Belfast and Armani at The OUTLET in Banbridge.  Also from The OUTLET, were collections from DKNY Jeans and Calvin Klein underwear. Blush bridal and occasion wear boutique also launched a collaborative collection with designer Una  Rodden called Cara Couture at the show. Trends such as pastels, metallics and safari prints dominated the catwalk with rich silks and sheer lace giving the season a very feminine feel. The catwalk itself was pretty pastel pink in a nod to this season’s hottest trend.

FASHIONWEEK Director, Cathy Martin said:  “Opening night of FASHIONWEEK is always exciting and this year it’s our designer boutiques who took the honour of getting proceedings underway in front of a packed audience.

 “Each of our stunning models had their hair expertly styled by Joe McGivern, Creative Director for Cloud Nine hair products, whose revolutionary hair technology and styling aids allowed for some really wow hair looks.  Our official eyewear partner, William Morris London, and legwear partner, TheRightTights.co.uk completed our models’ looks.”

Tonight’s show (March 15th) will highlight the talent of some of Northern Ireland’s established and up-and-coming local designers.

“A firm favourite with FASHIONWEEK audiences is Local Designers Night which this season features talented milliners John Paul from Derry and Belfast’s very own Grainne Maher.  Lizzie Agnew, Zoe Boomer, Maria Cardenas and Una Rodden will also showcase their collections while newcomers Ruedi Maguire, Nor Lisa, Mary Callan and Dave Henderson will take the opportunity to wow audiences with their gorgeous creations”, said Cathy.

Other FASHIONWEEK events include the sold out Children’s Fashion Master Class and the high street show on Friday 16 March followed by the Fabulous Fashion Teas at the Culloden Resort and Spa on Saturday 17 March showing collections from luxury retailer, CRUISE.  

On Mother’s Day, the FASHIONWEEK finale - Style Sunday at James Street South - will include collections from chic Lisburn Road boutique, Please Don’t Tell, with hair tips from the team at Michele International and make-up advice from leading make up artist Paddy McGurgan as well as some stunning creations from one of Northern Ireland’s top designers, Una Rodden.

“We’re delighted that FASHIONWEEK continues to be THE must-attend event in Northern Ireland with another sell-out run of all our events.”, said Cathy.

The full show schedule is available online at www.facebook.com/belfastfw or at www.belfastfashionweek.com along with details of this season’s trends plus links to all participant retailers and sponsors.  


For further information, stock or catwalk pictures or interviews with retailers, designers or director Cathy Martin, please contact:

Michael McCrory at CMPR on T +44 (0) 2890324437 or via email/mobile: michael@cathymartinpr.com +44 (0)7816537762

NOT SO SECRET MILLIONAIRE SHARES THE SECRET OF HER SUCCESS TO RAISE MONEY FOR HOSPITAL


08 March 2012

 

She’s already made millions with her sales and marketing strategies, and now Belfast based business woman, Bernadette Doyle, is planning a seminar on the 20 March in the Fitzwilliam Hotel that will show business owners here how to solve one of the most pressing problems facing any small business: how to attract and retain a steady stream of clients and customers.
 
The event is a ‘one-off’ for high flyer Bernadette which she’s planned just days before making her second visit to Necker Island, the home of, arguably, the world’s most successful entrepreneur, Richard Branson, to share business insights and ideas.
 
Bernadette said:  “I want to share with Northern Ireland business owners my simple, proven marketing strategies to attract a steady stream of their ideal clients and customers. These strategies will work whether you are selling to businesses or to individuals.”
 
Bernadette plans to give all proceeds raised to the Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children as a way of saying thank you to them after nursing her son back to health when he became seriously ill.
 
“There is a dual purpose with this event - to help raise money for the hospital and, which is just as important to me, give local business owners the right tools to attract the right type of client for their business and help them make more money.”
 
The seminar will cost £27 per person and includes a business makeover, Q&A session, high level networking session in the five star Fitzwilliam Hotel and spaces are allocated on a first come, first served basis.
 
Bernadette continued:  “The event, which is a fraction of the usual cost of attending one of my events, starts at 3pm on Tuesday 20 March with a registration in the Assembly Room on the ninth floor of the hotel.  The programme will continue until 7pm when an hour long networking session will begin giving people the chance to swap details or ask more questions. 
 
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for business owners and entrepreneurs to mine me for information as I don’t plan on doing an event like this again.”
 
To book a place at the seminar call 028 90370371 or log onto www.clientmagnets.com/belfastseminar . 

She’s already made millions with her sales and marketing strategies, and now Belfast based business woman, Bernadette Doyle, is planning a seminar on the 20 March in the Fitzwilliam Hotel that will show business owners here how to solve one of the most pressing problems facing any small business: how to attract and retain a steady stream of clients and customers.

 

The event is a ‘one-off’ for high flyer Bernadette which she’s planned just days before making her second visit to Necker Island, the home of, arguably, the world’s most successful entrepreneur, Richard Branson, to share business insights and ideas.

 

Bernadette said:  “I want to share with Northern Ireland business owners my simple, proven marketing strategies to attract a steady stream of their ideal clients and customers. These strategies will work whether you are selling to businesses or to individuals.”

 

Bernadette plans to give all proceeds raised to the Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children as a way of saying thank you to them after nursing her son back to health when he became seriously ill.

 

“There is a dual purpose with this event - to help raise money for the hospital and, which is just as important to me, give local business owners the right tools to attract the right type of client for their business and help them make more money.”

 

The seminar will cost £27 per person and includes a business makeover, Q&A session, high level networking session in the five star Fitzwilliam Hotel and spaces are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

 

Bernadette continued:  “The event, which is a fraction of the usual cost of attending one of my events, starts at 3pm on Tuesday 20 March with a registration in the Assembly Room on the ninth floor of the hotel.  The programme will continue until 7pm when an hour long networking session will begin giving people the chance to swap details or ask more questions. 

 

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for business owners and entrepreneurs to mine me for information as I don’t plan on doing an event like this again.”

 

To book a place at the seminar call 028 90370371 or log onto www.clientmagnets.com/belfastseminar .

 

War on Waste: Ethical Fashion Warriors, The Fashion Souk, Open Chic Boutique in Belfast's City Centre


06 March 2012

 

The award-winning Fashion Souk is set to launch Ireland’s first eco-fashion and sewing café this Spring in the heart of Belfast’s city centre from 2-4 PM on 10 March, to coincide with the monthly Fashion Souk market taking place from 10AM-4.30PM on the same day.   Both events are taking place in the In Shops on Castle Lane, where the chic city centre ‘Boutique Souk’ will be open throughout the month, offering a hand-picked selection of up-cycled, ethically traded and previously-loved fashion, alongside revamped and updated furniture and soft furnishings.  The dedicated sewing café will serve fair-trade coffee and be home to four pay-by-the-hour sewing machines, to allow budding seamstresses to repair, restore or rethink well-loved items with the help of the Fashion Souk design team.  There will also be regular sewing master classes & workshops running in store.
This innovative new Boutique Souk shopping space will have a completely waste-free interior with changing areas made from recycled pallets, various shop fittings made from cardboard and old tyres and the bar area in the café area made from wine crates, among other recycled materials.  The Boutique Souk is set to transform the way Belfast fashionistas live and shop, making it easier to be green and gorgeous.  For those who love fashion, but also care about the welfare of people and the state of the world, the new store champions making fashion fair for the worker, sustainable for the world and guilt free for the shopper.  
Founder of The Fashion Souk Alyson McElroy said, “The monthly Fashion Souk events have been running for some time now and there is a clear interest in ethically sourced and upcycled fashion in Northern Ireland.  Our community already knows the importance of being green, reducing waste and looking after the environment but more and more people are realising that if we don’t do it now, it will be too late for future generations to salvage.  We are delighted that the Boutique Souk store will now be open every week so we can reach even more shoppers with the smart shopping message in between the monthly Souks.  I am particularly excited about our dedicated sewing room that will allow shoppers to learn how to make, mend or customise favourite clothes to prolong their wardrobe life and keep their owners on trend.  Plus fashionistas will be able to make something completely unique, exactly how they want it and no one else will be able to buy in the shops.”
Fashionista and Director of Belfast FASHIONWEEK, Cathy Martin, commented, “Belfast is a fashionable, chic city but shoppers also want to be conscious and careful when picking up the latest trends.  These days, there’s no shame in buying previously owned clothes and cheaper isn’t always better. And although we are in a recession, I find people would rather choose something a couple of pounds more expensive to ensure people in the clothing industry are being fairly treated.  In addition, fashionistas are shopping smarter, choosing classic and versatile pieces that can be worn season after season and then revamped and re-loved, as money is tighter and people are more waste conscious.  The Boutique Souk is a welcome addition to the city centre and, as always, Belfast FASHIONWEEK will support its green fashion mantra in any way we can.” 
Boutique Souk is opening on 01 March and will be open Thursdays 11-7pm and Fridays and Saturdays 11-5pm.  Located in The IN Shops, Church Lane, Belfast, the Boutique Souk aims to make it easy to be green and gorgeous throughout the week.  The monthly Fashion Souks will continue on 10 March, 14 April, 12 and 26 May, 09 and 30 June and these will now take place around the Boutique Souk store.  For more information visit http://www.facebook.com/thefashionsouk call 028 90140045 or email info@thefashionsouk.com.  

The award-winning Fashion Souk is set to launch Ireland’s first eco-fashion and sewing café this Spring in the heart of Belfast’s city centre from 2-4 PM on 10 March, to coincide with the monthly Fashion Souk market taking place from 10AM-4.30PM on the same day.   Both events are taking place in the In Shops on Castle Lane, where the chic city centre ‘Boutique Souk’ will be open throughout the month, offering a hand-picked selection of up-cycled, ethically traded and previously-loved fashion, alongside revamped and updated furniture and soft furnishings.  The dedicated sewing café will serve fair-trade coffee and be home to four pay-by-the-hour sewing machines, to allow budding seamstresses to repair, restore or rethink well-loved items with the help of the Fashion Souk design team.  There will also be regular sewing master classes & workshops running in store.

This innovative new Boutique Souk shopping space will have a completely waste-free interior with changing areas made from recycled pallets, various shop fittings made from cardboard and old tyres and the bar area in the café area made from wine crates, among other recycled materials.  The Boutique Souk is set to transform the way Belfast fashionistas live and shop, making it easier to be green and gorgeous.  For those who love fashion, but also care about the welfare of people and the state of the world, the new store champions making fashion fair for the worker, sustainable for the world and guilt free for the shopper.  

Founder of The Fashion Souk Alyson McElroy said, “The monthly Fashion Souk events have been running for some time now and there is a clear interest in ethically sourced and upcycled fashion in Northern Ireland.  Our community already knows the importance of being green, reducing waste and looking after the environment but more and more people are realising that if we don’t do it now, it will be too late for future generations to salvage.  We are delighted that the Boutique Souk store will now be open every week so we can reach even more shoppers with the smart shopping message in between the monthly Souks.  I am particularly excited about our dedicated sewing room that will allow shoppers to learn how to make, mend or customise favourite clothes to prolong their wardrobe life and keep their owners on trend.  Plus fashionistas will be able to make something completely unique, exactly how they want it and no one else will be able to buy in the shops.”

Fashionista and Director of Belfast FASHIONWEEK, Cathy Martin, commented, “Belfast is a fashionable, chic city but shoppers also want to be conscious and careful when picking up the latest trends.  These days, there’s no shame in buying previously owned clothes and cheaper isn’t always better. And although we are in a recession, I find people would rather choose something a couple of pounds more expensive to ensure people in the clothing industry are being fairly treated.  In addition, fashionistas are shopping smarter, choosing classic and versatile pieces that can be worn season after season and then revamped and re-loved, as money is tighter and people are more waste conscious.  The Boutique Souk is a welcome addition to the city centre and, as always, Belfast FASHIONWEEK will support its green fashion mantra in any way we can.” 

Boutique Souk is opening on 01 March and will be open Thursdays 11-7pm and Fridays and Saturdays 11-5pm.  Located in The IN Shops, Church Lane, Belfast, the Boutique Souk aims to make it easy to be green and gorgeous throughout the week.  The monthly Fashion Souks will continue on 10 March, 14 April, 12 and 26 May, 09 and 30 June and these will now take place around the Boutique Souk store.  For more information visit http://www.facebook.com/thefashionsouk call 028 90140045 or email info@thefashionsouk.com.  

 

BELFAST RETAILERS HAVE FASHIONABLE CELEBRATION OF INDEPENDENCE


02 March 2012

Belfast retailers will celebrate their very own ‘Independents Day’ on 5 March – as part of Belfast City Council’s Independent Retail Week – when they put on a free fashion show and exhibition in the City Hall.

The Celebrate Independent Fashion show will take place between 12.30pm and 1.30pm in the Great Hall of the City Hall with tickets for the free show available from the Belfast Welcome Centre.

The event will have something for everyone as a selection of independent stores from right across the city will literally set out their stalls making the event feel more like an indoor market.

Alderman Christopher Stalford, Chairman of Belfast City Council’s Development Committee said: “This flagship event is a fun and visual way to highlight the contribution of fashion and beauty independents and the quality and the choice that is available across the city.

“However, Belfast Independent Retail Week is about all the independent stores, hardware, home, craft and food that make Belfast such a satisfying place in which to live, work or visit. They help make Belfast unique and we want them to know they have our support in this difficult economic climate.

“The fashion event is an innovative way of doing that, especially in such an iconic building as the City Hall, and the pop-up shops are forward thinking and a really useful way of allowing even more fashion beauty and craft stores to show their wares.

“I hope many people take advantage of the opportunity of free tickets to come and see something that little bit different in the City Hall.”

Tickets for this lunchtime event are free and are available from the Belfast Welcome Centre Box Office on 02890246609.

For more information on Belfast Independent Retail Week, you can visit the council website and click on www.belfastcity.gov.uk/retail

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