Cartai Rubai

We worked with the very lovely ladies of Cártaí Rúbaí earlier this year on their new ecommerce website and I had to expend quite a bit of will power to stop myself buying all of their lovely Irish language products for myself.

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My own Irish is very rusty so we had to stick to English while Sadhbh gave us a behind the scenes peek into Cártaí Rúbaí…

1. Tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
I am Sadhbh, one half of Cártaí Rúbaí. My sister Cáit being the other half. We design and publish quirky Irish language greeting cards, badges and magnets and have plans to expand into other stationery items too… because we are slightly obsessed with stationery… Our designs are clean and simple and we try to keep the Gaeilge that way too!


2. What gave you the idea to create your products?
I have always loved the Irish language and had worked in the Irish language voluntary sector for years. I have also had a mild obsession with stationery ever since I started collecting ‘fancy paper’ in Primary School. So the inspiration has been there since the early days, I suppose! When it came to buying cards for family and friends, I was frustrated by the lack of attractive, contemporary Irish language greeting cards available, so I started making my own. I based my earlier designs on a character I named ‘Rúbaí’ which is where the business name comes from, and people responded really well to them. Soon I was getting requests to design cards for more and more occasions and Cártaí Rúbaí was born! After I had my twins in 2010 I knew managing the business would be trickier so I asked my sister Cáit if she would like to come into partnership with me. Cáit and I have very similar interests (stationery products *ahem*) so I thought we would work well together. Happily she said yes and happier still – we really do work well together!


3. Where do you find inspiration?
Books are a great source of inspiration for me. Children’s books, especially older ones with simple illustrations like Tove Jansson’s Moomins and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince. I also love old Irish language children’s books. I have one in particular that I adore the illustrations in, called An Banbh Beag, I am seriously toying with the idea of creating a whole range of products inspired by this book! I am a fan of graphic novels too. Artists like Edward Gorey, Daniel Clowes and David B always make me want to get drawing.

4. What advice or words of wisdom would you give from your experience?
Have confidence in your work. If you like it, other people will. You can’t please everybody, so make sure you are happy with what you are producing. Also, hire an accountant, it makes life so much easier!


5. What are your favourite things to do/foods to eat/books or blogs to read?
I like to read classic novels and bake healthy treats to relax but I also love to write. I have a personal blog that I started just before my girls were born and I find it a great creative outlet and a fun network to be a part of. Some of my favourite blogs are: Girls Gone Child for engaging writing and cute kids, including twin girls. Dig this Chick for inspiration on how to run a family business, and have a beautiful life and Fine Little Day for gorgeous design inspiration.

My favourite thing to do is to spend time with my family and to come up with fun activities to do with my girls. I love to get out into nature with them to find fairies or to splash in streams. I also enjoy spending my evenings sewing little toys for them or coming up with themes for future birthday parties. Making them happy brings me the most joy.

Thanks so much Sadhbh!

You can see more as gaeilge goodies on the Cártaí Rúbaí website.

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  1. Pingback: Cártaí Rúbaí Website | Curious Design

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