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The Woman Behind the Business, The Collective

We call into Madeline Blaine, owner and founder of The Collective, right in the heart of the Creative Quarter. We are greeted by this charismatic woman and her beautiful baby girl. 

Madeline’s story is one of inspiration and awe, one which I hadn’t expected. The Collective is built on a foundation of love, courage and raw talent. This jewellery designer and now business woman originally hailed from Lincolnshire and at 19 years of age her passion for art and travel lured her to Mexico. Her trip was planned as a massive 2 year venture with one of her girlfriends and then, life intervened. Two weeks in to her two year trip of a lifetime, she met her husband Gallardo – a travelling Mexican artist and jewellery maker who was selling his work in her campsite.

The newly loved up pair then took off on a month long tour to the north of Mexico, they stopped along the way in his jewellery workshop where he taught Madeline his trade. By the time they reached their destination they were married, six weeks after they had first met. Madeline sent her mum an email to tell her that she was married and now planned on residing in Mexico to become a jeweller, not to the surprise of her mother who always thought she would fall in love with a Latin man, as she herself had been in Mexico as a young woman!

The couple travelled around Mexico for four years making and selling their jewellery until they realised that they wanted to see the rest of the world and to do so, they needed to earn some more money. They setup shop in England with their jewellery brand; Gallardo & Blaine Designs, eight months of the year was spent in London focusing on their brand whilst the winter was spent in Mexico running their bar & restaurant. This dual life continued for 11 blissful years.

Tragically at the age of 36, Madeline’s husband was shot in Mexico during an attempted kidnapping while she was in Brazil. Gallardo had inherited some money from his Mother after she had passed, with this money he was building a beach bar when the tragic attack happened.

Eight years on from Gallardo’s untimely death, Madeline has found love with a partner from Cork and beautiful baby girl. Gallardo & Blaine Design still lives on in memory of her past husband, his wish was always to be a well known jewellery designer and Madeline has been able to carry on this dream in his name and honor.

Gallardo & Blaine Design has evolved and grown but always stems from what Gallardo taught Madeline. This beautiful and inspirational jewellery brand which consists of nature, animals and strong colours with Art Deco and Art Nouveau influences,  accompanies a collection of other Irish jewellery brands in Madeline’s brain child; The Collective. Madeline noticed there was a lack of opportunities for fellow jewellers to display their work in Dublin. “I wanted to bring together a collection of unique and stylish jewellery at affordable prices whilst being able to showcase the incredible talent that Ireland has to offer. When a location became available in the creative hub of Dublin– Drury Street – I jumped at the chance”.

As well as stocking 15 (and growing) Irish jewellery designers in The Collective, there is also a workshop on the premises where special commissions and repairs can be done. When Madeline is on the hunt for new designers to stock she is careful not to stock too many brands that have the same vibes or designs so as to keep the variety in her store fresh. The stock represents women of all ages, backgrounds and styles – there is genuinely something for everybody and a variance of prices.

If you are looking for a gift for yourself or someone else with some substance and thought behind it, The Collective is for you. Check the store out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or online:

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