I have always had an appreciation of natural, unique and rustic products, be they made from wood, clay, metal or glass. Having done some research into the history of the Czech Republic, in particular what life was like for the citizens of Czechoslovakia during the years of communist rule, I discovered what may account for the high quality of craftwork and the sheer volume of crafts that were practiced and are continued to be practiced in the present day Czech Republic.
During communism, only products from other communist countries could be imported. More often than not, these products were of low-quality but were offered for sale at high prices. Under the communist regime there were no private enterprises, no independent producers of any goods, everything was government run and owned. All these aspects of everyday life created a "perfect storm" for a thriving craft and handmade culture.
If people wanted something that wasn’t available from the government owned stores, they made it themselves. If they needed something of really good quality for their home, they made it themselves. The Czech people by and large built their own homes, and furnished them with handmade furniture. They made the most of the materials available to them and used small scale, village based craftspeople to make the goods that they couldn’t produce by their own hand e.g. the blacksmith, the potter, the glassmaker, the tanner. These practices sowed the seed for a thriving craft culture that survives to this day.
At the moment, Inspired By Nature doesn't have Irish-made products on offer but in the future we do have plans to design and manufacture our own range of wooden toys.