Shopping online for Christmas gifts? Think Irish
Instead of giving your money to a global behemoth, why not browse the unique gift ideas on the websites of our independent retailers?
Finders Keepers in Waterford is a treasure trove of stunning handmade wooden toys, quirky décor and other bits and pieces.
We all know we should shop locally. It’s more sustainable, bolsters community spirit, and it boosts the local economy. Yet the stats show that more than half of Irish people will shop online for their Christmas gifts.
You can still log on to do your Christmas shopping while supporting local shops, however. There are numerous Irish independent retailers with e-commerce stores on their websites. Browsing their unique offerings might solve your gift predicaments.
This gem of a store was founded by Waterford couple Lisa Connolly and Luke Marsh, who saw an opening for a unique gift and homewares shop in the city when they moved back home after a few years Down Under. The shop is a veritable treasure trove of stunning handmade wooden toys, quirky décor and other bits and pieces, and stocks only independent and cottage-industry products. Its website is under construction but you can message them on social media if something catches your eye and they will post it to you.
1 Little Patrick Street, Waterford, facebook.comfinderskeepersthestore
This is not your granny’s dusty crystal. Dingle Crystal’s modern and edgy Celtic designs are inspired by the dramatic landscape of west Kerry. Founder of Dingle Crystal Sean Daly is a Waterford Crystal master craftsman and he counts no less than Bono among his loyal customers. With handcut vases, wine and whiskey glasses, bowls and a range of other crystalware to choose from, it’s worth noting that no two pieces are exactly the same, making it a truly unique gift.
Green Street, Dingle, Co Kerry, dinglecrystal.ie
VIBES AND SCRIBES
This Cork-based emporium has been offering Leesiders its extensive collection of new and used books since 1991, but its arts and crafts offering at the second of its two shops is one of the largest in Ireland. From wool to fabric, and upholstery to haberdashery, every one of your DIY whims is catered for. Much of it is shoppable on its website, although a visit to the shop is strongly recommended. Its DIY craft kits for kids would make excellent stocking fillers.
Bridge Street and Lavitts Quay, Cork, vibesandscribes.ie
THE CAT AND THE MOON
Bespoke jewellery, fine art and handcrafts populate this Sligo town shop, which prides itself on specialising in “beautiful, thoughtful gifts”. Its philosophy for the past quarter century is that everything on its shelves – and on its website – is Irish-designed and made. A must-visit if you’re in Yeats’ country but its expansive online shop is also there to be perused. There’s a click and collect option, and it also offers free gift-wrapping.
The Cat and The Moon, 4 Castle Street, Sligo, thecatandthemoon.ie
OHH! BY GUM
This boutique should win prizes for the unique name alone, but it is already an award-winning boutique that stocks “eco-chic” women’s and kids’ clothing from Fairtrade and sustainable fashion labels not seen anywhere else. Chosen as the Irish Times ‘Best Boutique in Ireland’ in 2012, its website hosts a wide range of its stock, as well as a blog that often features the stories behind some of the products. It offers free deliveries in Ireland for orders over €80.
Station House Courtyard, Galway Road, Clifden, Co Galway, ohhbygum.ie