My name is Rieleen Bn Uí Dhuinnín. I was born and raised in South Africa, where my family still lives. In 2011 I had an opportunity to work in Ireland and I took it.
I moved to Ireland for work, but stayed for love. I married my wonderful husband, Seán Óg, in 2013 and we are living and raising our two beautiful girls in the Cork countryside.
I am a yoga teacher in the locality and have always enjoyed teaching, but I had a dream to do something creative alongside yoga. My mother always encouraged creativity and often did arts and crafts with me and my sisters back home in South Africa when we were kids, so I had a love for creating from a young age.
A few years ago I had the idea to start making jewellery – something different, that you can’t just get anywhere. I was reluctant to actually start it, as I was scared of how it was going to be perceived. I didn’t feel ready and felt insecure. But during the height of Covid, in January 2021, my beloved uncle suddenly passed away and I made a decision the day after to stop living in fear and start living my life with more passion and conviction – life is short and I needed to start living it.
Since then, I started Dúil. I now design and make mixed media jewellery and art pieces that are available in my online shop and in two local gift shops, Quinlan’s Gift Shop in Macroom and An Siopa at The Mills in Ballyvourney.
I predominantly use polymer clay as a medium – I enjoy the versatility of the medium, that I can sculpt it into anything I want, which is kind of symbolic for the way Dúil started in the first place.
My creative process is like therapy to me. I feel very connected to each piece I make. I love playing around with colours and textures. Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m going to make when I sit down at my desk, I look at all the clay and just start playing with whichever colour I gravitate to at the moment and let my hands take over.
I have learned a lot about business and myself over the last year and a half of starting my business. My community and loved ones have been incredible in supporting and encouraging me and I’ll be forever grateful for that.
I am excited to see what the future will hold for me and my little business and to see where it will take me.
You can find Dúil on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Etsy to get an inside glimpse in to all things Dúil.
Dúil is part of the 2022 To Be Irish Gifting Guide.