Born November 30, 1945 in Limerick City, Ireland, I spent my childhood years with a brother and sister in a workman's cottage alongside the main road between Limerick and Tipperary. My father was a cobbler, and my mother a dressmaker.
Who is Jane McDaniel?
The area around the cottage was a maze of small fields, boreens (small lanes), hedges that harbored a rich assortment of birdlife, and the occasional hawthorn tree. Fascinated by language, I started to write and retell stories at an early age (8 years old), thanks in part to excellent Irish and English teachers at the Presentation and Salesian convent schools. To a certain extent, I lived between two cultures because my father was English and Protestant, and my mother was from Belfast and Catholic.
I studied Economics at university in Germany, and worked as a business journalist for almost 20 years before moving to the USA in 1993. Thanks to a personal passion for history and a delight in sewing, what was supposed to be an early retirement after moving to Texas became a business and a storytelling profession.
I strongly believe that a culture draws simultaneously from both the past and the future to survive. The inherently rich Celtic culture of the Irish has crafted an island character which is curious about the new, protective and critical of the past and present; it is funny, subversive, and devious. The English language, as spoken by the Irish today, is full of trapfalls, hidey holes and shortcuts, and witness to the centuries in which the Irish have lived with and against English occupation. It is also a mirror of the richness of the Irish culture, the shortcomings of its people, their depth, and their capability to see themselves as part of a worldwide whole.
I've been telling tales since I was eight years old. (Most parents would say, "yeah, right, so've mine!"). I was lucky to grow up in a culture which fostered storytelling and, also, which did not get TV until the early 1960s. Although I tell tales from the ancient, epic legends of the Celtic culture, from my own experiences of growing up in the 1950s, as well as wonder-tales, i.e. tales of magic and change from all over the world - my focus is on building a bridge between the old and the new. My audiences range in age from 5 to 95 years old. There is magic is so much of life's experience.
I tell at folklife festivals, birthdays, family and corporate events, in schools, at the San Antonio Rodeo, at the monthly storytelling sessions held by the San Antonio guild of the Texas Storytellers Association, and have held the title of (US) National Irish Storytelling Champion from 2004 to 2007. Heck - I even held the title of Texas Biggest Liar, one year. I am a member of the San Antonio Storytellers Association, the Tejas Storytelling Association, and the (USA) National Storytelling Network. I travel in the summers to Achill Island, Co. Mayo, Ireland, to collect and tell stories with an old seanchai (storyteller) there, where I was instrumental in starting an annual storytelling festival..
On the sewing front:
Jane’s Irish offers the highest quality of heritage dolls, Christmas tree skirts, reversible table runners, pot holders and a few other items on the arts and crafts market today. Since its inception in 1992, the focus of my initiative has been on providing authentic, well-made dolls, teddy bears and home decor items, tailored to the individual needs of my customers. Insights gained from 30 years of doll-making experience (I have three daughters), and a commitment to excellent workmanship, coupled with a ten-year guarantee on all the products which I make have earned me a reputation for value amongst both customers and my peers in the market.
At Jane's Irish, I value quality and service above all else. That is why I give a 10- year guarantee on everything I make, and I DO make everything that you see either on this website or at any of the shows that I attend. My passion for this small business has not changed over 20 years of gradual growth and work in the arts and crafts field, both in the US and abroad. I can honestly say that - although my husband swears that, one morning, I'll wake up saying "I hate dolls" - it will be many, many years before that happens. You can find Jane's Irish now on Facebook and through a host of servers. My goal has always been to provide a quality product and to remain a small and very personal company. That will not change. When you call Jane's Irish at (210) 930-1026, you talk to Jane. The same goes for when you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me on Facebook at either Jane's Irish or at Jane McDaniel.
It's my job to listen well if you have any special product wishes, and, as far as possible, to work with you to make those come true. If you need reversible place mats which I don't have in stock or a table runner in a certain size, length or pattern, I will do my best to make that happen. If you need a Lizzy Dripping doll to look like your daughter, grandchild, niece or great-niece, I can do that. If you want a Teddy bear in a totally different pattern, I can do that. If you have an idea for something which you have not seen in the stores or at craft shows yet, I will see if it can be made to your specifications. Just velvet - that I never touch! I am committed to your enjoyment and satisfaction in whatever you buy from Jane's Irish. That's it.
In the end, I have two priorities - satisfied customers , and joy in doing what I do. Superior customer service, some companies call that - I call it simply listening to and taking care of my customers. I am proud of the opportunity to serve you, to get to know you and your family, and to be able to share with you my beloved Irish culture.