Our Work / Ela Maria

Rebranding one of Ireland’s Longest Established Boutique Department Stores

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Two heads are better than one!

Client Testimonial


Elaine Murrihy, Director

“Feeling disillusioned in these challenging times in the retail industry Frawley has refocused our thinking, given us confidence in our brand and a specific plan to modernise our business and increase sales.

Beginning with a rebranding process, we thoroughly enjoyed the journey with Tony and the team and we love our new look which we feel is strong and modern and represents our unique identity in a crowded market.

We are looking forward to the next phase of the project in the months ahead with a strategic plan and weekly goals and could absolutely recommend Frawley to any business who feels they are ‘stuck in a rut’.”


Located in Newcastle West, Tralee and Ennis, Ela Maria is one of Ireland’s longest established Boutique Department Stores. Its flagship store, in Newcastle West’s historic Square House, occupies three floors and offers style-conscious customers a choice of over 80 international designer labels.

The business is run by sisters Elaine and Maria, whose love of fashion was passed down from their mother and founder of Ela Maria, Mary, who named it after her eldest daughters. From New York to London, Paris and Milan, Ela Maria edit their clothing, shoe, bag and jewellery collections to bring customers the latest international styles.

The Brief

We were challenged to achieve the following brand objectives:

1. To unearth what Ela Maria’s brand stands for today, i.e. the brand vision, how the brand is currently positioned in customer’s minds and its key competitive differentiators.

2. Strategically position the brand to stand out from competitors in a crowded fashion retail marketplace.

3. Develop clear and consistent messaging that will resonate with target customers, influencing their buying behaviour.

4. Understand market trends and align the brand strategy with the business strategy, i.e. future proof the retail business.

Brand Strategy 


Brand Positioning Message

Sisters in Style

Brand Positioning Rationale


Primary and secondary research revealed that ‘fashion’ is a word that is overused in competitor’s messaging. Fashion communicates trends that rapidly change, whereas Ela Maria are focussed on providing customers with a timeless and distinctive appearance; a ‘style’ that suits their individual look.

A key differentiator for the business is the ‘family run’ aspect that customer’s value, which affords them a more personalised shopping experience and nurtures a long-term relationship with the staff. The fact the store is named after Elaine and Maria makes it clear that as long as there are ‘brothers in arms’ for men, there will be ‘sisters in style’ for the women who want to look their best. Each and every customer that walks through their door is a ‘sister in style’ and will be treated as such with attentive, personalised style advice. 


Brand Narrative 


“Our mother always had a love of style and dreamed of studying at the Grafton Academy of Fashion in Dublin. For a time, life took her on a different path until one day she decided to follow her heart and open a ladies’ boutique. Ela Maria was born in 1981 and named after us, her eldest daughters Elaine and Maria. So you could say it’s in our DNA!

We believe in styling every woman who walks through our door to look their best and feel truly special. We travel the world to curate our collection of the latest pieces from the most exclusive designer brands especially for you…our sisters in style.”  

Brand Identity Design


The brand identity concept focussed on the story behind Ela Maria. We created a symbol to represent that, at its core, this is a family business. What began with Mary, later joined by daughters Elaine and Maria, flourished into an extended family comprised of close-knit staff members and clientele.


We worked with the 2 ‘S’s of Sisters in Style and used them to represent Elaine and Maria’s close bond, both with each other and with their mother Mary. Within the symbol we can see a heart shape signifying their love of fashion and style. We are reminded of Mary’s lifelong love of fashion, it lead to her taking that leap away from teaching to start the business. With this symbol, we are also reminded of the bond Ela Maria fosters with their clients through excellent customer service, where each customer is cherished. The typography is bold, contemporary, sophisticated and a little bit quirky.

Brand Activation

Branding Services Delivered



  • Brand Audit & Analysis
  • Client Research & Insights
  • Customer Segmentation
  • Brand Positioning
  • Brand Categorisation
  • Messaging Strategy
  • Social Media Strategy



  • Brand Identity Design
  • Brand Guidelines
  • External Store Signage
  • Internal Store Signage
  • Printed Collateral
  • Shopping Bag
  • Pull-ups Stand
  • Social Media Graphics
  • Digital & Print Adverts
  • Vehicle Signage



  • Brand Narrative
  • Messaging
  • Digital & Print Advertising



  • Strategy Workshops
  • Go to Market Strategy
  • Employee Engagement

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