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IONA – Beginnings

Updated: Apr 8

Hello and welcome to my very first blog post! I’m super excited to be sharing this starting point with you all. So where did it all begin and what is it all about I hear you ask? Well, grab yourself a cup of tea, maybe a biscuit or two, and I will tell you the story of the beginnings of IONA, a small business inspired by design, colour and gorgeously characterful pieces.


Let’s start at the very beginning. Art and Design have always been at the forefront of my life growing up. I graduated in Textiles in 2017 and went on to work as a designer for a Fair Trade company in Yorkshire where much of my current design knowledge grew. Many of the things I have seen and learnt throughout this short journey have fed into me and fuelled the passion for wanting to set up my own business and bring the pieces I love to you.

Graduation July 2017.

Travel has also played a great role in the start up of IONA. I have been fortunate enough to travel for work and in my personal time. There’s nothing quite like a trip to somewhere new and exciting for setting the mind whirling with ideas. My most recent destinations include India on a business trip, and personal travel to Japan. In India I travelled around trade shows and factories, bursting with bold colours, sumptuous fabrics and intricate patterns. Whilst in Japan I fell in love with its people and rich historical culture. It was in Japan that I found a small antique Kimono shop, away from the centre of a town, brimming with second-hand Kimonos and Japanese knick knacks. The starting point for a collection of second-hand kimonos coming to IONA very soon.

Antique Kimono Shop in Japan.

You will find that many of the items in the IONA shop have more to them than just meets the eye. The jewellery that is currently in store is fair trade. Other items will be second-hand or made from up-cycled, re-purposed items, giving each of the pieces a story, making them into something to treasure for years to come.

Starting my own business is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time (and what better time to start than during a lockdown?) which is why I am so excited to share with you the beginnings of my shop, design studio and blog. I hope you will come with me on this journey because believe me, it’s only just begun!

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Contact: Iona Shepherd, Silsden, UK Email: ionalifestyle@hotmail.com

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