How The Little Grasscal Drove Quality Irish Design
Having qualified as an accountant Gerry Crosbie practiced in Ireland before moving to the City of London and later the US. Following his return to Ireland in 1992 he set up an enterprise with a business partner producing a novelty product known as ‘The Little Grasscal’. In the shape of a head with a nose and mouth when inserted in water this character grew hair (grass) from its head. The little fellow managed to scrape into the very last slot on the popular flagship Late Late Enterprise Show on RTE national TV in 1993. Host Gay Byrne closed the Show clipping The Little Grasscal’s mop and it became an immediate nation favourite forcing Gerry into 24-hour production to service Christmas demand and featuring in over 50 outlets throughout Ireland.
The Little Grasscal enabled Gerry to achieve a long held ambition - to set up a retail outlet for contemporary Irish design, which he did in 1994. The market up to that time was saturated with traditional Irish craft, much of it mass produced overseas. Today Gerry continues to travel the length and breadth of Ireland and further afield pursuing his love of exquisitely designed and made pieces that give pleasure and enjoyment to people all over the world.
Gerry established the business in 1994 on Lord Edward Street in the historic Christchurch area of Dublin before expanding and later bringing it to mainstream Dublin City Centre.
He has always fostered and promoted the finest design and workmanship from emerging as well as established artists in a diverse range of disciplines.
"Our artists are at the forefront of contemporary Ireland, interpreting our times and reflecting our unique history in their own inimitable ways. Ireland's history resonates with the souls of artists, musicians, poets and thinkers who seek to express themselves and their influences through their hands and minds," he says.
In 2015 Gerry sold the retail jewellery and other elements of the business to focus entirely on the expansion of DESIGNYARD Awards & Corporate Gifts setting up a dedicated website supported by a showroom in a magnificent Georgian building at 19 Mountjoy Square East in Dublin.