Tuesday, 22 November 2022
Text Caption: #BuyDonegal launch at McNutt's
McNutt, a family legacy first established in the 1950s, is based in the beautiful Downings in North West Donegal. Initially founded by entrepreneur Bill McNutt, and later his son, William McNutt, there have been many changes throughout the nearly 70 years of business, but one thing has always remained constant, their love for Donegal!
There is no doubt where the inspiration for some of their pieces come from through the plethora of natural colours and fabrics. “Living and working in Donegal gives us great inspiration for our collections – the golden beaches, the blue waters, the rugged mountains, green landscapes and the wild winds” have all helped to inspire our creative work, explains William.
William McNutt, the current Production Manager of McNutt tells us how the beginning of McNutt began as an idea “It all started a long time ago, many people will remember my grandmother and father used to have a shop in Downings where we sold tweed fabric. After some time, my grandmother asked herself ‘why aren’t we doing this ourselves?’ so that was the start of McNutt in 1953.”
Throughout the many years and many changes the business has gone through, the values and ethos of what began this impressive entrepreneurial journey has always been core element of the growth “The original weaving shed is now the location of our shop, the old coffee shop was actually our family home. We’ve built ourselves slowly and steadily through the years and have customers all over the world to show for it”.
Having a base in the Gaeltacht region has allowed them the opportunity to work with development agencies such as Údarás na Gaeltachta has supported McNutt of Donegal on their journey of growth at every phase.
William highlights that great supports are available to all businesses throughout the county and “ would highly encourage local businesses to get in touch with your Local Enterprise Office (LEO), Údarás na Gaeltachta or Enterprise Ireland to find out what supports are available to you.”
One of the earliest global brands originating in Donegal, McNutt of Donegal showed that it was possible to be internationally successful and celebrated while based in rural Donegal. They have faced challenges, risks, and hard decisions along the way as William elaborates “one of the biggest changes was in 2008 when we decided to reinvent ourselves and use wool and thankfully, it worked out”.
The products, collections and styles that McNutt of Donegal has produces over the years has inspired countless other designers from across the world. William describes one experience of note “in the 1960’s, a Japanese fashion designer called Kenzō Takada visited Downings and following this, he ran a tweed collection that coincidentally, inspired more to make the same trip”.
These designers came throughout the years to learn from McNutt of Donegal and experience the unique offering Donegal provides to all our travellers. “One designer said it was like an out of body experience to discover Donegal and that it was better than a holiday. It was a bit of magic for them and luckily, we experience it every day”.
An ambitious company with huge plans for growth and expansion into new markets globally, one of the key goals for McNutt going forward is to become more sustainable and increase their collections and ranges with diverse and value products. “The McNutt of Donegal ranges are created to last a lifetime”.