Meet the woman behind Urata Designs

Urata Designs first opened in Ballincollig in 2012. Before that Jurate Gembutiene worked from home for a little bit and before that she worked for other people. When she left, many loyal customers followed her to her home and then on to her boutique in Time Square, Ballincollig.

We recently caught up with Jurate to find out more about Urata Designs and plans for the future.

Tell us about your work:

My focus right now is bespoke wedding dresses and evening wear.

But I started with all kinds of alterations to slowly fading all alterations out and into only bridal and now only wedding dress alterations.

As well as wedding dress alterations, I am highly skilled designer that can design any outfit from scratch and in some cases I can make a wedding dress in 6 days 8 days before the wedding.

I design and make my own patterns and cut fabrics, I can design any dress for any occasion to make you feel like your best self.

How did you choose the name?

My own name is Jurate, which is a Lithuanian name, it was hard to pronounce and when one customer came to me, and she kept calling me ‘Urata’ and I really liked it and loved how it sounded and this when I decided to become Urata Designs.

How did you come up with this concept of Urata Designs and bespoke evening wear?

I wanted to let people that there are other options when it comes to buying a dress, that you can design your dream dress, a dress perfect for you, your individuality, and your figure. That there are other options other than buying something you see in the shop or boutique. For brides to know that they can have exactly what they want when it comes to their wedding dress, to have as many different aspects as they wish and to have their input and their ideas added to dress - making the dress 100% theirs and unique to them. It is the same for the mothers of these brides, they can be as bright, individual, and unique as they wish and not fall into a standard outfit for mother of bride/groom. We have seen huge rise in bespoke wedding dresses and evening wear in the last 3 years as many can’t find what they are looking for in the shops or it is outdated and not fashionable.

Tell us about yourself:

I was born in Lithuania, youngest in a family of 6; both my mother and father had a background in dressmaking and this is where I first started sewing.

I had other dreams too and wanted to become a nurse, but life had other options for me and when it came to providing for my first daughter, I turned to dressmaking as it was a great profession to have back then. In the later years I had a son and another daughter and my own business in Lithuania.

Due to a robbery in my business, I had to make a quick decision of moving to Ireland so I could keep providing for my 3 kids. We all moved to Ireland in 2004, where I got a job as a seamstress. My kids attended school in Ireland and I built a new life for myself.

Now my kids are 33, 30 and 26 and I am also a grandmother to 2 beautiful boys Jayden and Jaxon.

My kids all have wonderful lives here and I could not be prouder of them all.

What do you most enjoy about running your own business?

When an idea becomes a reality, seeing someone come into with an idea and me turning that idea into their dream dress. Seeing a bride’s reaction to a dress I made, there is tears of joy and hugs.

I have met so many amazing people, many amazing brides that have come to me for their wedding dress and came back to me for a christening dress and came back again for a communion dress.

I have customers for life, and I love seeing many of them growing up. I am currently designing a unique outfit for an influencer that she will be wearing to an award show.

This is something different to me and can’t wait to make it.

What do you least enjoy about running your own business?

Not talking to me - when customers know exactly what they want but don’t tell me and keep it to themselves and then tell me later when everything is already done. Everything can be done, no matter how crazy or different the request is.

What are you hopes for Urata Designs in the next 5 years?

I’d like to expand, open a bigger boutique, with a showroom for brides and a design studio to make bespoke designs.

For people all around Ireland and eventually everywhere else to know exactly who and what Urata Designs is.

Another hope is to stop working with the sewing machine and design only while I teach others and pass my knowledge to someone else who has the same dream.