Q1. Tell us where it all began
Carmel Grant Designs was created in 2013 from a passion of drawing memories. The love for creating caricatures began on my last day of secondary school in Leixlip County Kildare, when I presented each teacher with a personalised caricature as a surprise farewell gift.
The wonderful reaction of joy my art brought to everyone that day was a memory I have always cherished. Today this has developed into the joy of designing humorous personalised gifts for milestone occasions and bespoke designs from my studio in Waterford City.
Carmel Grant Designs tells your story through the beautifully hand-drawn caricatures and playful designs I create. I offer a selection of products and services ranging from framed personalised gifts, caricature guest signing boards, wedding and event stationery, unique digital design art and bespoke playful illustrations.
“Carmel Grant Designs was created in 2013 from a passion of drawing memories.”
Q2. What differentiates you from similar businesses in this area?
My unique artistic style of creating ‘kind caricatures’ differentiates me from my competitors. I also pride myself with my attention to detail and the drive to always provide high quality designs and products.
I love to work closely with every customer to build the design and caricature story of the person for whom the gift is intended, understanding their occasion, and personal details they want to include, delivering a one-of-a-kind creation that reflects the recipient’s personality and creating a gift and design with a lasting impression.
“My unique artistic style of creating ‘kind caricatures’ differentiates me from my competitors.”
Q3. What would you say are the biggest challenges your business is currently facing?
For the caricatures side of my business it is managing the costs as there has been an increase in materials costs in recent years, particularly for quality wood frames and presentation boards.
Another challenge is time, finding enough time to not only design and run my business, but to also constantly promote the business on the many social media channels which need to be active and frequently updated.
“I love to work closely with every customer to build the design and caricature story of the person for whom the gift is intended…”
Q4. What are your top ‘moments of joy’ over the past 4-5 years?
In 2019 I was delighted to create the design for large promotional fun cut out boards for the Irish forest adventure company Zipit.ie. These boards are displayed at the entrance of the three adventure parks in Cork, Dublin and Roscommon, for people to take fun photographs in and promote the parks.
In 2023 I created the artwork for two brightly coloured humorous cut out boards for the Vitamin Sea Festival in Tramore which featured the Tramore Metalman statue drinking coffee, seagulls eating burgers, chips and sushi, fish eating ice cream and a lady dancing. They were a highlight of the festival.
In recent years I have been a finalist in the Irish Wedding Diary and Mrs2Be.ie awards.
Q5. What does the future hold for your business?
In recent weeks I re-branded and relaunched as Carmel Grant Designs. I have developed a strong position in the business to customer market creating fun caricature gifts and designs for special occasions and I want to develop and open more opportunities for my designs in different areas, in particular the business market.
I want to showcase the versatility of my designs, demonstrating their adaptability for myriad corporate and business purposes, from promotional materials to illustrations. I am excited to explore the possibilities of future design projects and see where my artwork will bring me next.
“I am excited to explore the possibilities of future design projects and see where my artwork will bring me next.”