The window that led to a door…

Urban Kitchen & Coffee Co, a busy family-run café located in Naas Town Centre, plays a big part in my journey to create Beyond No.6. 

Sorcha McLoughlin, owner of Urban Kitchen, tells the story. She and her team had wanted to put some creativity into their window displays at busy times of the year. And that’s just when I happened to walk through their door.

Sorcha says: “Lorraine was a customer in my café, which is across the road from Meadows and Byrne and she was an avid shopper there. She had a great relationship with some of the staff here, and when she was doing up her house, she would come over for a coffee and would be showing us what she was working on. It was like something out of a magazine! So we asked: ‘would you be interested in doing something for us?’”

After those chats, Sorcha was sure I was the right person to help. “She has such a good eye, so she was the perfect person to help us because we didn’t want something very commercial. We wanted something that was tasteful and classy; Lorraine knows our business, so she knew our style,” Sorcha says.

I began working on a Halloween display by going to a forest where I carefully picked branches and leaves.

“What she did just blew us away,” Sorcha remembers. “The Halloween display was magnificent. And with the Christmas display, she brought a touch of class to the shop, where it had always been a little bit thrown together in other years. The level of detail and artistic streak … Lorraine created something that was just absolutely fabulous. Other businesses asked who we had got to do up our window!”

Best of all, Sorcha liked my approach to listen, observe, and work with the team at Urban Kitchen. “At the start, we didn’t know what we wanted,” Sorcha laughs, “but she got a feel for the place and came back to us with suggestions about what would suit the décor and the style of business that we have. There’s kids in and out of the place all the time, so she was also conscious that the display wouldn’t be too delicate and the branches weren’t too sharp.”

During the work, the team entrusted me with the keys to the café so I could work on the design while it was closed, so it would be ready when it would be time to reopen again the following morning. “She was so respectful of the space that it was left as she would have found it,” Sorcha adds.

It’s fair to say my enthusiasm for the work made an impression on Sorcha. “She enjoyed doing it as much as we enjoyed looking at it, which was lovely to see. It didn’t feel like a job to her.”

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