Irish businesses are heading into an exceptionally tough time right now. Not only have retailers and restaurants battled to reopen in some way, shape or form over the past few months, but tonight they learned they would have to close under level 5 restrictions. Now, I’m very aware that just recently, I wrote about how to shop on Amazon.co.uk for Prime Day. I did caveat that with a note that “given the year businesses have had, please do try and shop local when you can”. Prime Day has come and gone and now if you have purchases left to do ahead of Christmas, it’s time to get online and buy Irish. To save you digging through Google to find local Irish businesses, here are some of my favourites. If I’ve missed some, drop me an email and I’ll get your business added.
I’m going to break this down by category in the hope it makes it a little easier to find what you’re after.
- Food and drink
- Design and home improvement
Clothing is usually right down the middle. Some of this will be shopping for yourself while other bits will be gifting. Either way, shop with these online stores safe in the knowledge you’ll be supporting Irish businesses.
For Irish businesses this Christmas there could be no better message than Carpe Omnia. Seize it All. Carpe Omnia was founded in 2018 by two Irish brothers who were trying to find the perfect fitting pair of jeans.
Today, the brand leverages the power of some of the best known social media influencers to reach the masses and has gone beyond selling jeans to include t-shirts and hoodies too.
If, after one look at the site, you think it’s not for you, give it a second thought for your teenage nephew or student son. This is more than likely exactly the kind of clothing he’s after.
Polly and Andy
This is a real family business. Polly and Andy are mother and son, who live together with Tom Waterford. Andy wasn’t always fully able to communicate how he felt and what he needed. After some teamwork, Andy started to communicate until one day, as Andy was getting dressed, he pulled on his trousers and happily declared “these don’t hurt” before running off to play.
Polly had a moment where she realised how important the first layer of clothes on our kid’s skin is. After a lot of research Polly found the perfect solution, bamboo fibre clothing. Bamboo is super soft and smooth and feels great against the skin. It naturally wicks moisture away from the body where it can evaporate more easily and keeps skin cool and dry. I personally love this because Bamboo is sustainably grown and long-lasting.
Polly and Andy offer free shipping within Ireland with you spend €20 or more. This won’t be a problem given the gorgeous designs on show.
Food and Drink
Craft Central can be a bit of a double or triple whammy. By order your beer online while safely at home from the Craft Central team, you’re supporting an Irish business ad keeping a courier in work. Also, if you order Irish beer from Craft Central it’s all the better.
This online off-license is run from a newsagents near Stephen’s Green. The mind boggles at where they are keeping all the beer because the shop is small, but the online selection is vast. With a range of great offers and an amazing selection of beers, Craft Central will keep you liquored up during lockdown.
If you order before 3PM Monday to Friday, you generally get your beer next day. I can confirm this from lots of experience.
Donegal Farmhouse Cheddar
Screw it. I think it is now completely acceptable to eat your own body weight in cheese. Hell, it might even be expected.
the perfect indulgence or a cracking giftMarty, he likes cheese.
Founded in 2018, Donegal Farmhouse Cheddar hails from Kilcar in Southwest Donegal. With a small farm of cattle and sheep, the team has perfected traditional techniques to product semi-hard cheese in the style of cheddar. Noreen and James launched their cheese website back in May and have seen steady growth in online sales since. I’m not sure there’s a human on this planet who can resist good cheese so this is both the perfect indulgence or a cracking gift.
Beer and food. I could go on all day here, I really could. Frank Hederman has over 35 years smoking salmon. Preferring traditional methods over automation, there’s a real craft to getting your salmon here. Widely considered one of the best in his field, you can get this incredible fish, once reserved for the English Market in Cork, delivered to your home.
The White Hag
Over the past 12-months, I’ve grown quite fond of craft beer. One of those reasons is The White Hag. These guys could see the dangers that lay ahead last March. Just before Paddy’s Day, their biggest time of year, they had to act quick to save lots of beer from seeing the drain. They moved to online beer launches and even an online beer festival to not only survive, but to offer their loyal customers a new way of enjoying what is, to my humble tastebuds, one of Ireland’s finest craft beer selections. Master brewer Joe has yet to product a drink that I don’t love.
Design And Home Improvement
With so many of us all fortunate enough to be working from home and earning uninterrupted income, home improvement is top of the list for plenty of people around the country. Here is a list of some great Irish online shops to spend some of your hard earned cash.
April and the Bear
April and the Bear is one of Ireland’s leading lifestyle and interior stores. Their website is filled to the brim with unique homeware and exclusive art prints. This Dublin-based company was founded by Siobhan Lam and stocks some incredible items to make your home warmer, more homely and definitely quirkier. April and the Bear offer free shipping on orders over €100 in Ireland with orders taking two to three working days within the Republic.
Online, you’ll find anything and everything from UV-light phone sanitisers, a fitting gift at this time of year, to this amazing Grá poster which, as you might imagine, sells out regularly.
Donegal Copper Craft
Perhaps a bit of an outlier, Donegal Copper Craft never actually had a physical store. To date, Neil Ferry, the copper craftsman, has solely focused on selling online. Neil, originally from Ballyfermot, always loved working with his hands. Starting out purely as a hobby, today Donegal Copper Craft is one of the best-known creators of copper gifts.
Donegal Copper Craft specialise in some of the classic pieces you’d expect to see. The likes of family crests, coats of arms and the crests of sporting teams. But Neil also does some incredible bespoke pieces too. Check out this sign, made by the children of a healthcare worker-working during COVID-19 and transformed into a piece of art by Neil.
Jam Art Factory
As long as I’ve lived in Dublin, I’ve woken to look out at the Jam Art Factory. I love this place and love it even more since, at the start of the first lockdown, they painted their shutters and encouraged people to shop online. The Jam Art Factory first opened on Patrick Street in Dublin back in 2011. Ever since it has been the home to and a gallery for some of the most striking and quirky contemporary Irish art.
When it comes to gifting something uniquely Irish while also having the range to capture someones personality, it doesn’t come better than the Jam Art shop. Honestly, I find it very unlikely that you’ll be able to browse the gallery without finding the perfect gift for someone.
While I’m not a religious man, one of my favourite prints they have right now is this Sacred Heart Statue print from Grey Street. One you’ll recognise if you’re familiar with the Liberties.
How does giving someone a greeting card that’s so unique and nice that the card itself could be considered a gift? Honestly, I’m not just trying to cheap out here. Paper Bear makes simply amazing laser cut pop-up cards. I’ve been going on about them for years and always pick up a few throughout the year. These are a must buy gift ahead of birthdays and all other major celebrations.
Plant a Ring
I stumbled upon Plant a Ring while flicking through TikTok of all places! Created by Dean Gannon, Plant a Ring is a Westmeath-based wooden jewellery brand. Woodwork always played a bit part in Dean’s life with his father being a carpenter. Dean’s own business salvages wood and turns them into amazing pieces of jewellery.
I picked myself up a black Bog Oak ring and I adore it. It’s stylish but also plays a role in the environment. For every piece that Dean sells he also plants a tree. Not sure what size ring you would need? Order a free sizer. Rings not your thing? Order another piece of wooden jewellery.
I guess I kind of have to mention some technology right?
InvizBox is an Irish privacy company which has designed a piece of kit that sits between you and public internet connections to protect your personal data. While it might be a while until we travel again, heading out to the coffee shop might not be that far away again. If you’re doing that for a while and trying to get some work done too, this is a great piece of kit.
Ok, so Canon and Nikon aren’t exactly Irish. You got me. I’ve been to Conns Cameras in Dublin a rake of times and it’s like a toy store. They have it all when it comes to hardware but you’ll also find the answer to nearly every imaginable question you can think of. By shopping in this piece of Irish photography retail history you’re helping to support an Irish business and many Irish jobs.