Standún is well known as a landmark in the picturesque town of Spiddal in Connemara. From humble beginnings, the store has grown from strength to strength over the years with the third generation of Standuns, Cliona and Laragh, currently at the helm.
Regarded as one of the best known and most respected fashion, gift and craft outlets in the west of Ireland, the Home of the Aran Sweater proudly celebrated 70 successful years in family business in 2017.
Founded in 1946 by May and Máirtín Standún, the store quickly became a well known meeting place in the area. People travelled from all over Connemara and further afield to shop at Standún, some travelling by bus and others for many miles on turf lorries. In the 1960’s, Standún set up a finishing factory for Aran sweaters which was to become a hugely important aspect of Standún’s business, particularly as the tourist industry began to grow and develop in the 1970’s. The unfinished Aran sweaters were collected from home knitters all around the country and brought to the factory for finishing. Standún later became the first store in Ireland to export the Aran Sweater to large department stores in the US such as Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor.
Donal, May and Máirtín’s son, took over the business in 1972 and continued to serve the local people with a grocery store, ice-cream parlour, general household goods, a butchers, petrol pumps and undertakers – all under one roof. In 1983, Donal and his wife Raymonde decided to focus more on the tourist market as there were more and more tourists visiting Ireland at this time. Standún quickly became a landmark in Connemara for great value knitwear and good quality Irish products.
As Donal and Raymonde’s eldest, it was somewhat assumed that Cliona would take over the business eventually. After completing a business degree at UCC, Cliona worked for Harvey Nichols in London, before taking up a post as a web developer at L’Oreal. She returned home at the age of 26 to take over the family business from her dad, who was retiring.
Laragh, 28, joined the family business five years ago, having worked in the buying offices of both Dunnes Stores and Lifestyle Sports in Dublin. Prior to that, she completed a degree in anthropology and music at NUI Maynooth, followed by a post-grad in fashion buying and management at DIT.
The girls have worked hard to preserve and build on the great name that their parents, and grandparents, successfully established over the years. With so much on offer from ladies fashion, childrenswear, home accessories, knitwear, gifts, jewellery and menswear, as well as a coffee shop which serves delicious homemade food, the store reflects all that is best in Irish and International produce marrying the traditional and contemporary to stunning effect.
Cliona and Laragh are looking forward to the grand opening of their second shop in Oughterard on Saturday, 28th April.
The future of Standún is certainly safe in the hands of these impressive ladies, that’s for sure!
Visit www.standun.com for more information.