She might have taken a longer path than many to set up her business The Pear in Paper, but every step of the journey brought valuable learning for Lynn Costello Erskine.
“I was always making things” says Lynn, “but my educational path took me in a different direction; I studied Environmental Management and loved the course and everything that it taught me about our environment. By doing the course, I became so aware of the impact society was having on the environment, so it greatly shaped the ethos of my business. I knew whatever I did had to be eco-friendly.”
Local Enterprise Office Donegal Stories

Located in the Donegal Craft Village in Donegal Town, The Pear in Paper is an award-winning letterpress and lino-print workshop.

Lynn set up The Pear in Paper in 2015, when she was on maternity leave with her third child: “I realised that I wanted to have my own business and be creative every day” says Lynn, “so I decided it was the right time to pursue my dream. From the outset, I wanted it all to be as environmentally friendly as possible, right down to the way I print; my card was made from recycled material and all packaging was compostable.”

Local Enterprise Office Donegal Stories

Lynn Erskine Costello at work in her studio with Florrie, a letterpress platen built in 1872.

Lynn started with lino printing, something she had never done before: “I learned how to do it on the internet, and it developed from there. I applied for an Expansion Grant with Donegal Local Enterprise Office, which really helped me bring the business to the next level. I acquired a letterpress, which I call Florrie, which uses no motor or electricity – each piece is created with slow, deliberate execution. Every day, the smell of ink, the whizz of the fly wheel, the ‘ding’ as the rollers ink the plate are little reminders of why I love what I do.”

Expansion Grant

Assists micro-enterprises who have traded for 18+ months. It covers 50% of eligible costs, subject to an €80K LEO contribution.

Local Enterprise Office Donegal Stories

LEO Mentoring

Provides practical assistance to your business to help tackle specific issues effectively and enable you to deal with future challenges.