Local milliner turns international heads

February 3, 2014

By Christine Keighery

A local business woman who started a bespoke bridal headpiece business just last year is making heads turn on an international scale, with her latest order for a beautiful bridal headpiece placed by a Missouri bride-to-be who spotted her exquisite designs when she came across the facebook page “Bespoke by Roslyn.”

Visitors to the page can survey many of the wonderful millinery and bridal accessories created by the extraordinarily talented Roslyn Rafferty.

The enterprising Attical lady creates her breathtaking headpieces and fascinators single-handledly from her home-based studio in Crossmaglen.

A recent photoshoot at Darver Castle to promote Infocus Photographers in Dundalk showcased Roslyn’s unique designs beautifully and has attracted much attention from international shores.  Gaining such worldwide interest has also led, in recent days, to another order being placed from Ontario in Canada.

Inquiries and interest from ladies in Paris were also sparked recently when a Newry bride adorned in a bespoke headpiece and accessories by Roslyn travelled to the romantic city for her wedding photo shoot.

Speaking to The Examiner about the international boost to her business, Roslyn says she is thrilled by the interest and hopes it can go from strength to strength. The hugely creative lady revealed she operates via her facebook page and without a dedicated website, so she admitted to being overwhelmed by the capacity of the page to reach so many potential customers on such a large scale.

Although this is not the first time Roslyn has had a taste of international trade, having previously generated orders from Germany and as far afield as Australia, the latest international orders mark the  first time she has received orders solely based on the popularity of her Facebook page.

“I’ve created pieces for the international market before, through orders from local girls who have emigrated to Australia and who knew of my work and asked me to create headpieces for wearing to the Melbourne Cup,” says Roslyn,

“I’ve also done work for German clients but this is the first time I’ve received orders solely based on people coming across my Facebook page.”

Dedicated to her craft, Roslyn travelled to a New York trade show last November and says the unusual fabric she procured on the trip has also helped to draw attention to her creations.

The hard working entrepreneur is unlikely to forget her roots though, viewing her own successes as glowing endorsements for business and trade in south Armagh, helping to promote the area as well as the small businesses here which, she says, often struggle to generate positive publicity.

Roslyn has worked hard for the breaks she is now receiving, and admits that arriving at this point has been a process which has been ten years in the making.  Having attended Art college, she undertook several expensive Milliner courses over the years to hone her craft.

The modest milliner hopes her  burgeoning success can show others that with concerted effort and determination it is possible to use your passion and creativity to showcase your talents so that “eventually the rewards will come.”

“Of course I hope to capitalise on the international interest,” she says,

“but I am also constantly boosted by local collaboration and businesses here who promote each other and help each other out.

” I don’t want to be a millionare, I just want to  have a comfortable life and be happy with what I’m doing.”