400 – yes, 400! – Irish retailers for all your online Christmas shopping
From beauty and books to toys and tech, there’s a huge selection of homegrown companies
We have been overwhelmed, in the best possible way, by the response to our original list, a few weeks ago, of 100 Irish websites where you can buy lovely, unique and good-value presents in the run-up to Christmas.
Almost as soon as it appeared, business owners and many of their customers emailed us, tweeted us, sent us Instagram messages and contacted us on Facebook to champion more Irish companies doing the business online.
That response matters, because we all know that the run-up to Christmas, with so many physical shops in lockdown, is going to be incredibly hard for many businesses. It is also going to be a challenging time for shoppers, as they try to get organised for a Christmas like never before with more than 40 shopping days taken from them almost overnight.
We know the problems all too well, but we know the solution, too, or at least part of it. The internet. But, as we have said before and will say again, shopping online comes with a caveat. As much as 70 per cent of Irish consumers’ virtual spending leaves the country as people shop overseas.
It doesn’t have to be that way. As we are learning, there are many, many local sites that need our support this month and every month. If we could keep just 10 or 20 per cent of our online spend this year at home it would inject tens of millions of euro into our local economies. That would save jobs and keep businesses going.
So our 100 became 200, and is now becoming 400.
A Dublin toyshop that has been making children and their parents happy for generations. Nimble Fingers has grown a substantial online presence in recent years.
The Toy Shop, in Malahide, Co Dublin, has a supercute site with a large array of toys and scooters and all the rest.
Jiminy, based in Co Kildare, is a homegrown site that focuses on environmentally friendly toys.
Familiar to many Munster-based people, World of Wonder Toys is now doing the business in a big way online.
Just because it is one of the biggest toyshops on the island does not make Smyths less Irish. It stocks large ranges of all toys and operates a handy click-and-collect service.
An ever-increasing range of environmentally sound toys for all kids. Again, Mimitoys eschews easily breakable plastic stuff.
A gorgeous little shop on Quay Street in Galway that was always worth a browse in pre-Covid times. While the shop is on the small side, there are no space issues on the Wooden Heart website. Plenty of wooden and traditional toys.
A new kid on the block, Kaliedy, born out of the ashes of Mothercare Ireland, is the only Irish stockist of a wide range of developmental toys from the Early Learning Centre, making it an ideal starting point for parents of young children
If Lisa Simpson were to set up a doll company she would set up something like this, a site right up with the best we have come across this year. Based in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, Lottie focuses on body-positive dolls doing smart things. It bases many of its products on real kids and real people, and they do things that real kids do. Last year the company released a doll based on Sinéad Burke, who is a heroine of ours.
Duffy’s Toyworld, based in Dunleer, Co Louth, stocks a wide variety of imaginative, creative and fun-filled toys and is forever in search of fab new and innovative products. “Toys are our passion,” they say. Good for them, we say.
A site dedicated almost exclusively to the sale of board games? How could you not love Dice & Counters?
Pinocchio’s is a family business that dates back to 1983 but has had an online presence only since the first lockdown, earlier this year. It sells wooden traditional toys mostly and is well worth a browse.
Another family-run shop that sells toys and baby gifts, Munchkins has a separate shop for children’s shoes within the store. It is doing click and collect and nationwide delivery.
A small gift shop on Drury Street in Dublin, Tales for Tadpoles sells books, prints and other products for children. The print collection includes well-known illustrations and characters from books such as Winnie the Pooh, the Moomins and Miffy, as well as lots of Quentin Blake illustrations (from Roald Dahl’s books).
There is no need to panic-buy for Christmas when shops such as Toys and Games are selling online.
Kidiko specialises in personalised toys and gifts, books and wooden toys. Based in Co Galway, the company says its personalised rocking horses, play kitchens and trikes are going well at present.
Cluiche sells Irish-language games that manage to be both social and educational.
Glór na nGael’s site sells Irish-language games and has the Irish rights to Scrabble and Monopoly as Gaeilge. From early December Údar will also have Cluedo as Gaeilge.
Who wouldn’t want a Michael D Higgins who giggles when his belly is squeezed? Miggle D Giggles helps to raise money for Our Lady’s children’s hospital, in Crumlin in Dublin, too.
Opening Minds stocks schoolbooks, stationery and a great range of toys, from brands such as Melissa & Doug, Bigjigs, Lego, Orchard, Galt and Ravensburger. Check out Opening Mind’s terrific wooden toys, as well as its microscopes and science kits.
Rory’s Story Cubes are a great way to feed the imagination. You and your little ones just roll the storytelling dice to make up all sorts of tales and adventures.
The Bubble Room, an independent toy and children’s book store in Skerries, is a world of wonder by the north Co Dublin coast.
Teddy & Co, a lovely online shop, is one of the top suppliers of Ty Beanie Boos in Ireland.
This Limerick-based company offers ride-on electric cars, tractors and go-karts, plus outdoor toys such as playhouses.
It’s Magic, a Galway-based site, is the place to go for unusual gifts, toys and gadgets for all ages. It has everything from puzzles to puppets.
We’re big fans of educational toys, and this site has loads. They don’t look at all fuddy-duddy to us.
If you’re in the market for educational toys to give to children with additional needs this Christmas, the Sensory Learning Supplies site will be worth a visit.
Little Dreamers, an Irish family business, sells a large array of wooden toys “with a passionate dedication to quality, value and customer satisfaction”.
Tinney’s Toys is a one-stop website for farm toys, outdoor toys, children’s farm clothing and remote-control toys. While the huge shop in Letterkenny is closed the full range is available online.
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FOOD AND DRINK
“Finest traditionally-smoked wild Atlantic seafood” is the boast of Connemara Smokehouse. What it sells looks great, and we are almost as impressed by the @OldSmoky Twitter handle.
“My name is Sian, and I run everything,” the mail about Bosca Bakery that we received began. “I bake brownies that are then sent nationwide – they fit through your letterbox and postage is free. I can also include a personalised message to the recipient for free – they’ve been popular for lockdown birthdays and people thinking of loved ones they can’t visit right now. I always use the best-quality ingredients I can find, such as free-range eggs, real butter and Belgian chocolate. And they’re obviously delicious!”
You won’t find much better than Man of Aran fudge anywhere in Ireland. And you can take that to the bank.
These guys sell wine online, as the name suggests. Great range and speedy delivery.
Craft Food Traders stocks waffles, savoury snacks, juices and a whole lot more if you fancy a treat.
Chez Emily, a chocolate factory based in Dublin, supplies the entire country. We have tried the chocolate, and it’s excellent.
Mr Tayto on the internet? Who woulda thunk it? Netcrips, a small Irish retailer, is selling all manner of crisps, including many of Mr Tayto’s, as well as jellies and the like. Might be a nice idea if you have someone trapped in a place where Irish crisps – and we all know they are the best crisps – can’t be found.
Jams, jellies, chutney, etc. We are reliably informed that Crossogue Preserves’ grapefruit marmalade and crab apple jelly are excellent.
As anyone who has ever set foot on Shop Street in Galway will know, McCambridge’s is a delight of a shop that has been feeding the city and beyond for generations. Its big online range includes Christmas hampers.
Kayla’s Kitchen offers some great homemade ready meals if you are struggling to keep on top of things in your own kitchen.
This is a place to approach with relish. Ha! See what we did there? Ballymaloe has great food for sale on a lovely site.
A website address to remember, this. It belongs to the Chocolate Shop, and has all manner of beautifully packaged, gorgeous-looking chocolates. It has its roots in a shop in the English Market in Cork that opened 20 years ago.
Looking for Dublin honey? Then look no further than Olly’s Farm, which has a range of 100 per cent raw Irish honeys, including Dalkey Blosson and Dublin Mountains Heather, from apiaries around Cos Dublin and Wicklow.
Harvest Day aims to creates “transparency around the food we eat. Weekly deliveries of locally sourced, organically grown produce, direct from small-scale farms in your community”.
A bakery beloved of Galway people for a long time, Gourmet Tart Co is significantly expanding its online presence, which means more people across the country will be able to experience its delightful treats and hampers.
All Ireland Foods is a family business based in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, that aims “to encourage Irish food producers, growers, and cottage industries to sell and export their products online”. We like its key rule: “If it’s not grown, raised or produced in Ireland, or caught on Irish-registered trawlers, it will not be sold on our site.”
Ardkeen Quality Food Store rarely goes unmentioned whenever we ask people to recommend good places to shop local. The Waterford-based supermarket has moved into online delivery in a big way in recent times; nationwide delivery costs just €6.95 per order.
We’ve not actually tasted Hazel Mountain Chocolate, which is made in the Burren, but we do love the sound of it.
We love the Essential Food Trails site, which brings farmers’ markets into a virtual world and to a wider Irish market.
If you want smoked fish for a special occasion, you could run into Lidl or Aldi and get something cheap – or you could go direct to an Irish business such as Frank Hederman’s and have it delivered to your door. Sure, it will cost a bit more, but it will be a whole lot better.
This foodie heaven is another site that brings small producers to your front door – or at least to a collection point near you. Neighour Food is a great idea that deserves support.
The name of the site gives it away. Achill moutain lamb delivered to your door, by Calvey’s, of Keel.
Full disclosure: the Green Grocer at Home is the site of Pricewatch’s local greengrocer, in Stoneybatter in Dublin, and we have been shopping on it almost since the start of the lockdown. We can’t sing its praises loudly enough if you’re lucky enough to live in its delivery area.
Unglu-d is a gluten-free-food business with its own range of sauces and seasonings made locally in Co Louth. They come in handy 100ml bottles, so will make for lovely gifts. The folk behind it also do classes and help people learn more about a gluten-free diet.
Not all potatoes are made equal, as a quick browse here will make very clear. Alongside the potato varieties you’ll probably not have heard of, watch out for Ballymakenny Farm Shop’s seasonal bundles, such as a lovely-looking recent one of Queens and long-stem broccoli.
We don’t have enough space to include more of the wonderful Irish food businesses that have branched out online, but Buy Irish Food has a whole lot more of them.
If you are looking for wine, sweet treats, cheese and coffee, you can find it all on the Counter website.
James Whelan Butchers is one of the finest in Ireland, with a vast array of cuts, from the everyday to the high end.
Kish Fish Seafood Market has launched an online service, with everything delivered in cool boxes.
Sheridans Cheesmongers will deliver all the cheese, cured meats, crackers and other accoutrements you could want straight to your door.
Stuff U Need started out, at the beginning of the pandemic, delivering essentials to people not so keen on visiting shops and has grown in recent months into an online department store offering a delivery platform for many small Irish companies.
We spoke to Gráinne Mullins, who gave the world her chocolates at the height of the pandemic last month, and her enthusiasm was delightful. Then we saw the chocolates: they look amazing. You might need to pre-order soon if you want a Grá Chocolates delivery in time for December.
Chocolate Garden of Ireland, a Willy Wonka on the web, will celebrate its 20th birthday next year. Its ranges of chocolate and hampers look divine.
Coolanowle Foodhall, a family-owned and -managed foodie haven on Dublin Street in Carlow town, supports local and sustainable food production and a farm-to-fork approach.
We got hungry just looking at the Fat Fox site, which sells all manner of delicious treats.
We want the finest wines available to humanity, we want them here and we want them now. Withnail would have loved the Wines Direct site, so he would.
OpenHive: A home for happy bees making happy honey.
Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden has been working hard to move all of its products into its online shop, to give people access to the soaps and chocolates made by the abbey’s Benedictine nuns. You can also buy pottery and Christmas products handmade onsite, as well as Kylemore Abbey jams and chutneys.
The Source Bulk Foods, a zero-waste store in Rathmines in Dublin, delivers across the island of Ireland.
The range at Sweet News, a sweet and gift shop in Killybegs, in Co Donegal, includes the Biden Treat Box and Late Late Toy Show Family Sweet Treat Box, plus jewellery, handbags and fashion accessories.
Listoke Distillery, which makes craft gin in Co Louth, was the first distillery in Ireland to make sanitiser, which it began in March. Appropriately, then, its hampers “contain our award winning Listoke 1777 Gin, Poacher’s Irish Tonic, juniper berries to garnish and some hand sanitiser – we want to bring joy and keep people safe in these difficult times”. Sounds good to us.
The Powerscourt Distillery site offers a selection of local food that complements its Fercullen range of whiskeys. Its bronze, silver and gold food-pairing hampers include a trio of whiskey miniatures, local cheese, charcuterie and honey, and a link to an exclusive video in which its food-and-beverage specialist takes you through the pairings.
Ireland is practically drowning in spririts these days. On this site you’ll find glassware, hats, acccessories, hand santiser, whiskey and gin – lots and lots of gin. With free shipping to Ireland and Britain.
One of the nice things about buying a coffee from Butlers’ shops – which we’ve missed while we’ve been working from home – has always been the free chocolate. You can buy the full range here.
The Pantry by the Armada has a lovely-looking site; we were particularly taken by the Blend Box cocktails. Premade in the Co Clare hotel, they require only a shake, stir and pour on arrival.
Looking for something different for the spirit lover in your life? In addition to its sometimes hard-to-find whiskeys, Dingle Distillery’s online shop also sells some pretty nice-looking gin.
The Premium Butcher will deliver top-quality Irish meat direct to your door.
The Cool Food School offers stuff designed to get kids excited about food through cooking, reading, play and more. Its products include the Kiddies Food Kutter and the Safety Food Peeler, a safety-focused knife and peeler suitable for children from age two upwards.
Full disclosure: we got a present of a monthly subscription for this chocolate earlier this year – and it’s only brilliant. Every month two bars of randomly flavoured but always excellent chocolate arrive through our front door. Bean and Goose also has all manner of chocolate for sale on a one-off basis.
This excellent fish and food shop, based in the south Co Dublin village, offers turkey, ham and all kinds of seafood.
As well as its range of Christmas hampers, Ireland’s Artisan Pantry sells subscriptions to receive its monthly boxes of at least six artisan Irish foods from small producers.
This business, which has long supplied hotels and restaurants, also sells high-quality wines, hampers and gifts with a French twist to the general public.
Christmas can be a tricky time for vegetarians and vegans – which is where Thanks Plants comes in. Its Festive Box of meatless goodies includes a meatless roast to feed up to five people, plus garlic-and-thyme gravy and three types of vegan sausage.
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ART AND GIFTS
Gorgeous idea. The folk at the Book Resort put together gift boxes with books, chocolate, fancy soaps and more, all of which is delivered to you or to someone you like a lot in a lovely scented box.
In the market for some homespun tweed? The folk at Studio Donegal will have you covered.
We’ll let Quirky Irish Icons speak for itself. “Like everyone right now we are muddling through and keeping a safe distance! We are keeping the online shop open for anyone looking to send a little gift or make their fridge or walls look a little brighter! Rest assured we are abiding by strict hygiene standards while doing this and delivering via the lovely staff at An Post. Stay safe everyone.”
Carraig Donn is always a lovely place to buy a present, whether for yourself or someone else. The site, whose range goes from homeware to clothes, jewellery and accessories, is promising free and fast delivery on orders over €49.
We will hand over to the site to describe itself. “Caboose is the first online marketplace in Ireland that gathers the best Irish artisan producers together in one place. We make it easy for everyone to shop fresh ingredients, incredible flavours and rare recipes. We are proud supporters of independent producers, connecting them with food lovers. Come join our thriving Caboose community!”
If you are in the market for Irish-produced candles that smell lovely and look even nicer, then you shouldn’t go wrong with Put Your Feet Up.
Clamp & Tangle, a Galway-based shop, sells a range of working-from-home furniture as well as natty stuff you might need for your home when you are not working. The company also has a commitment to the environment: the designs on its site focus on sustainability as well as usability.
Pricewatch has long been a fan of this Dublin shop when in need of a fun and funky last-minute stocking filler. The Designist website is also fantastic.
Cogs the Brain Shop, whose physical store is in Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre in Dublin, also runs this excellent site for games and toys that children will love.
Green Outlook features more than 25 Irish suppliers offering lifestyle products including shampoo bars, safety razors and natural skincare.
Described by its owners as “a one-stop-gift-for-me shop based in Galway”, Drumgreenagh offers clothes, candles, ceramics, jewellery and a whole lot more besides.
Hen’s Teeth is a lovely site selling lovely things from the Dublin store, gallery, diner and wine bar. It’s well worth a look.
Clothes, shoes, homewares, kids’ stuff and a whole lot more. Scout’s ethos is to provide “a range of timeless products that steer clear from trends, instead offering functionality, good design and longevity” and to support “the wealth of talent in Ireland’s thriving design scene”.
Slated is an Irish family design studio creating (the hint is in the name) slate tableware and personalised gifts.
Studio22 offers luxury Irish gift boxes, filled with treats to suit all your family and loved ones, from its shop in Marlay Park, in Dublin. Gift-wrapped for home delivery all over Ireland.
Irish Design Shop prides itself on promoting the “work of Ireland’s most exciting designer makers”. It has both an online presence and a bricks-and-mortar shop in Dublin.
There is a limit to the number of sites we can feature here. The Irish Design website showcases a host of home-grown designers who create everything from homewares to clothes, jewellery, accessories and beauty products.
Mimi + Martha is a new online store working with more than 40 makers and designers, with a big focus on local design. You will find tasty food, gifts, homewares and lifestyle items.
Jam Art Prints stocks ceramics, textiles, jewellery and street art “in strange and wonderful forms”. The owners say they are “always working with the artists to create exciting new designs”.
The Word Bird is the home of personalised and original pre-printed word art by Susan Brambell. The idea is brilliant. You provide her with a list of words and she makes them into a shape of your choice. The result is a lovely, personalised text-art gift. There are also ready-made options if you’re lost for words.
“Indulge yourself or delight a loved one with our individually crafted gifts, made to inspire and charm. Handmade with love by over 100 passionate and creative Irish makers and designers.” That is how Market Street describes itself, and we can’t do any better than that.
My Shop... Granny Like It is an online store stuffed with novel gift ideas. Well worth a visit.
A small but beautiful range of hand-thrown ceramics made by Etaoin O’Reilly, with jugs, diffusers, cups and Christmas decorations.
Sam agus Nessa say they make quirky, contemporary, functional furniture and homewares using local Irish materials.
Finders Keepers is an independent design-led home and giftware store with a strong emphasis on sustainability.
The Kind is a gorgeous site stocked by more than 30 local businesses, with everything from kitchenware to toys, all is ecofriendly and ethically sourced.
This is not an Irish website, but loads of Irish people sell on the platform. Here’s how you find them. Search for what you want, and then, when the results come up, apply a “shop location” filter, which allows you to see only sellers based in this country.
Wild Atlantic Living, a gorgeous site based on the west coast, sells lovely things that will bring a smile to anyone’s face, unless they are super grumpy, like. Expect to find homeware, fashion, books, stationery and more.
Ail + El acts as a platform for design and contemporary Irish homeware. “Inspired by urban living and street art.”
Artillery Brand “aims to be among the world’s best places to find clever and distinctive wall art of universal and Irish interest”. We particularly like the classic posters advertising Ireland’s National Cemetery. There are also posters and prints of dear old Dublin sayings created by “international and Irish letter-crafters”.
The Burren Perfumery is “a small, west-of-Ireland-based company making cosmetics and perfumes inspired by the landscape around us. Everything is made on site, by hand, in small batches.”
Evans Arts Supplies is a fourth-generation family business offering an array of art-and-craft materials. “Since last March we have really seen a huge increase in people coming back to art, many who hadn’t drawn, painted or sculpted since college, and what a great gift idea for a loved one of any age,” they tell us. We can’t disagree with that.
2 Wild Geese, a Galway-based site, sells work by more than 60 artists and designers from all over Ireland.
Laura Jayne Halton is a well-known Irish designer who is now taking artwork commissions for Christmas. Fashion-inspired illustrations are also available.
Amazing scented candles from the Galway company Cloon Keen.
Six0Six makes gifts for the book lovers in your live. We love the map keepsakes too. All the items are handmade by a local artist in her Kildare studio.
Handmade wooden pens from the Donegal Gaeltacht.
Francis McCaffrey of McCaffrey Crafts, a fifth-generation stick maker, sells blackthorn walking and hiking sticks, as well as shillelaghs.
Green Dot is a place where you will find lots of Irish-made treasures, curated gift boxes and a “build your own” custom gift-box option. Based in Clonakilty, Co Cork, it is a hub for beautiful, ethically focused Irish craft and design.
If you are looking for Irish jewellery, baskets, leather goods, candles, cashmere, ceramics, wood turning, ironwork, cards, homewares and more, the Coach House Dingle could be the site for you.
Craft Shapes Ireland, a family-run business in Bunclody, Co Wexford, creates “beautiful personalised gifts” that include door wreaths, tree decorations, personalised wooden cheese boards and Christmas Eve boxes. “We have all gifts covered for your festive shopping,” they say.
The Irish Whiskey Stone Company offers fun and functional gifts such as whiskey stones (the hint is in the name, see?), drinks coasters and hip flasks.
We’ve long been fans of Annie West. The Sligo-based artist has all sorts of prints – many with a Yeatsy (that is a word, look it up) theme.
Not every site has its own classically trained cobbler who uses vintage sewing machines to make leather goods. But you will find that on the Carve On Leather site. There are wallets and bags and phone cases and notebooks, and they can personalise almost everything in their factory in Kildare.
What is most impressive about The Cat & the Moon is that absolutely everything you find here has been made or created in Ireland, from the art to the jewellery to the dinky baby booties and the scarves and clothes.
Birthday Cufflinks will make cufflinks from a genuine Irish coin from any year you choose. We can’t imagine there will be many takers for 2020.
The Blue Door, the lovely shop in Monkstown, Co Dublin, offers a whole range of interesting and handmade gifts and interiors products.
You may not be able to sleep in an Ashford Castle bed on an ongoing basis, but you can sleep in its fancy linen sheets after buying them here. There is also Ashford Castle Monopoly – where every road is Shrewsbury, presumably – and all sorts of other lovely things, including hampers.
Coastguard Creatives is a collective of craft workers, artists and designers based in Co Waterford.
Established in 1967 and supplying elegant Irish crystal from Galway city, this company sells glasses, home decor, lighting and jewellery. The site, which specialises in personalised crystal giftware, ships worldwide, as well as offering click and collect “for our local friends in Galway city”.
Parkadays sells sheepskin slippers and sheepskin-covered hot-water bottles.
We love the Little Museum of Dublin, and now we also love the Little Shop of Dublin, its online store, which sells books (for adults and child), games and high-quality souvenirs with a Dublin connection. There are also books it has published, including Kwaidan: Ghost Stories of Lafcadio Hearn and The Golden Age of Dublin, which tells the story of the Georgian city.
Do More with Your Pictures, aka McGee’s Photocentre, in Killybegs, says: “We are very like products offered on Etsy but we are a small business in Donegal, and everything is handmade, including the frames. Our goal is to get people to domore with their photos in this digital age.”
Woolow, a Galway-based company, makes organic-wool pillows. We hear they are supercomfy, sustainable and natural and are particularly beneficial for people with allergies.
Amilie Designs, based in Galway, works with Scrabble and slate to make very sweet gifts.
They don’t come cheap, with prices ranging from €1,250 to €2,500, but Celtic Rocking Horses, handmade from local hardwood, are amazing.
At It Again! brings Irish literature to life in a fresh and fun way, exploring the writers, their stories and the places that inspired them.
Made of Irish specialises in a whole host of presents, from candles to throws to corporate gifts, that are produced in Ireland.
You’ll find some lovely gifts on the Rowan Beg Design Studios site, all of it made in the studio in Connemara.
If the line “I suppose a ride is out of the question” goes over your head, then this shop might not be for you. But if you are from Dublin, or have any familiarity with the city, then you might find a card, mug or print that you think is bleedin’ rapid.
The Pen Place, based in Dún Laoghaire, in south Co Dublin, has been supplying fine pens for more than 40 years. It sells all the big brands, such as Cross, Mont Blanc, Sheaffer and Lamy, and says it has the largest range of fountain-pen ink in Ireland, with more than 300 colours in stock.
BabyBoo, based in Cork, designs and makes organic-cotton clothing for babies and big kids. It’s probably best known for its drool-busting bandana bibs.
Feelgood greetings cards and prints, “imagined, designed and created in Ireland”, including two specially designed cards that are helping to raise money for the charity Alone.
Anne Coyle, the woman behind Anne’s Luxury Irish Hand Knits and Crochet, tells us that she has been “knitting and crocheting for many, many years and has lots of ideas for gifts for Christmas, from handmade Arans to crochet baby blankets, all made in the foothills of the Cooley Mountains”.
This new website puts the fun in funky cushions. Well worth a look-see.
A Michael Tea Higgins mug? Check. A Vladimir Putin: Life Coach? Check. Notions coasters? Check. If you’re in the market for fun and quirky gifts, many of them with an Irish twist, then these guys will help you out.
Sarah Louise Interiors’ site is full of home decor, wall prints, mirrors and furniture, plus a host of ideas for Christmas gifts.
Kabira Allain, an Ireland-based women’s fashion designer, wants “to help you build a timeless wardrobe... to look stylish and elegant on every occasion.”
Hairy Fruit Art sells lots of lovely prints, cards and other stationery, plus organic-cotton face masks.
“I’m a visual artist and designer with my studio in a thatched cottage in Spiddal,” Siobhán Harton says. “I have red hair and my studio assistant is my dog, called Peigí Sú – can’t get more Irish than that, or cliched, lol... Lots of box-ticking on the grants applications.” Although she’s joking on that score, she’s deadly serious when she says her aim is to “create visual joy through digital collage and my original seascape paintings. My artworks are loaded with meaning and story.”
Kids’ room decor, toys and gifts, from a company based in Clane, in Co Kildare.
Linda Ní hAiniféin of Dingle Ceramics says she creates art inspired by the archaeology of the area, “the ruins of churches both humble and grand, the standing stones and beehive huts, the sundials and stone crosses”.
Fancy some rude greetings cards? The sendables that the FUcards Company sells – designed in Cork and printed in Dublin – are certainly that. The site also produces a face covering that is, if anything, ruder than the cards.
Dee Brophy Nice selection of decorative antiques and gardenalia for home lovers.
Peat Art Designs’ framed miniature sculptural scenes use turf, moss and tree roots. Each piece is unique.
Giles Norman Photography, a small family-run business in Kinsale, Co Cork, sells some amazing landscape photographs.
Two sisters run this small business, which uses essential oils and natural fragrances to make soy wax candles and wax melts. They also produce natural reed diffusers, car fresheners and inhalers in a wide variety of scents, including a Christmas blend.
We love the idea behind this site. The Shop That Nearly Wasn’t is stocked with Irish products made by Irish survivors of cancer, both supporting them, as artists, authors, painters, jewellery designers and more, and supporting cancer research here in Ireland – to make more survivors.
Bold Bunny, a climate-conscious small company launched in 2011 by Ali Jones, specialises in funny, thoughtful greetings cards, prints for children and adults, and its now cult Forget-Me-Not Family Calendar.
Gifted from Ireland calls itself a “one stop shop e-commerce site for all your Irish gifting needs. From the team behind the postponed Gifted Fair in the RDS, this site gives you access to Irish brands – from beauty to food, fashion, kids and interiors – in every corner of the country.”
Lovern Leather Goods, which is based in Galway, makes high-quality accessories to lift your spirits. “Our products blend the traditional with the contemporary – each one a natural classic,” they say.
Grant Designs turns timber, stainless steel and copper into sculpture, garden art and one-off chopping boards and serving platters.
The Leitrim Design House is a not-for-profit that mentors and supports small Irish craftspeople, designers and artists. “We’re (supposed to be!) celebrating 20 years in business this year,” they say. “Everything we stock is 100 per cent Irish.”
Everything here is handmade by Robert O’Connor, in Gorey, Co Wexford, who also offers woodturning courses.
Are cards gifts? They are certainly likely to be in more demand this year than for a long time, what with social distancing and everything. We love All Around the Sun’s cards for every occasion, which are designed and made in Dublin.
This candle company is almost certainly the baby on our list. It is run by 16-year-old Evan Quaid, a transition-year student from Co Limerick who began it in 2017, when he was only 13. All his candles are vegan-friendly, made with soy wax and lead-free wicks.
Shell’s Driftwood makes art from driftwood found on the shores of Carlingford Lough. Each piece is personalised using freehand pyrography. There are driftwood family trees, lamps, frames, mirrors and a whole lot more.
Berry Be Beauty, a small Fingal-based business, makes natural skincare products, soy-wax candles and reed diffusers using pure essential oils.
Fierce Nice is a Galway-based online gallery that specialises in museum-quality prints by contemporary Irish artists.
Arona makes solid perfumes using organic beeswax and natural essential oils.
The fabulous Fi & Co Boutique stocks loads of Irish and sustainable products for gifting and dressing this Christmas.
The PeeKa Company’s innovative PeeKaPlay Kit subscription service will send you high-quality, stage-appropriate toys for children aged from birth to 18 months old.
All was going well for this business, which started only last year, until Covid hit – which has seen so many special occasions cancelled and the end of visits to newborn babies.
Mags Riordan, an environmentally aware floral designer, grows nectar-rich flowers that celebrate the seasons, an ethos reflected in its Christmas range, which includes wreath kits and bouquets. Bumble Bee Flower Farm’s motto is “Always Grown, Never Flown”.
Julie and Paul are a French couple whose craft shop in Clonmel sells handmade gifts from small Irish companies. The Chou’s Cottage site hosts about 80 makers and designers
Crazy Monkey is a Cork-based company specialising in action sports and outdoor toys, such as BMX bikes, skateboards, scooters and go-karts.
Thin Line makes wall-hangable maps of popular parts of the Irish coast. Their layers of engraved, laser-cut birch are painted different shades of blue to show the different depths of the sea surrounding Roundstone, Kilkee and Dublin, among others places.
LizzieB makes soaps and candles and make-up hampers to order.
Inked Roseli says it loves making memories last a lifetime. The site has all manner of prints and cards to help celebrate the big and small moments that shape our lives.
Mamas Hospital Bag was founded by Grace Quinn and Sarah Molony, two mums from Dublin. Their beautifully packaged luxury gifts for mothers and babies feature Irish brands such as Voya, Foxford, and Moon + Mellow. The site also has some Irish-only gift bundles.
Jando, a husband-and-wife printmaking studio in Smithfield, in Dublin, run by Julie and Owen Mc Loughlin, specialises in architecturally and landmark-themed screen prints. You might recognise their Dublin Town series.
The Wild Felter produces ethical and ecofriendly wildlife-inspired art and homeware. Its site also sells gift sets from other makers with a similar passion for high-quality Irish goods.
Kenny’s Lahinch Art Gallery features some very nice original art. A lot of the works are pricey, but when it comes to this kind of thing you probably do get what you pay for.
One reader described Cuando as an “amazing Irish website site with awesome stuff on it that also has amazing customer service”. That left us none the wiser about what the site was. Turns out it has “unique gifts from makers and designers around Ireland”.
Quinn’s Craft Shop and Sweater Shop, in Ballyvaughan, Co Clare, offers a selection of gifts “reflecting this unique Irish landscape – for those that hold Ireland in their hearts”.
Catherine Byrne, the woman behind Rarebirds Art, is a graphic designer who specialises in wedding stationery. With demand for her services in that sphere all but drying up this year, she has pivoted to develop affordable prints and posters with a take on Irish slang.
Love in a Box is an online gift company with a mission “to spread love and joy by delivering an amazing experience to the people receiving our gifts”. The site features “beautiful items that are put together to build a gift box – a modern (and improved) version of a hamper”.
Hawthorne & Greene sells products for the home and garden, from cake stands for the baker in the family to terracotta pots for the gardener.
Amora, based in Bray, Co Wicklow, specialises in Irish products: handmade candles, soaps, leather handbags, wallets and gloves, art, jewellery, woollen scarves and throws, tweed hats, fleece jackets, felt fairy-making kits, sock toys and jigsaws.
Gather & Gather offers a range of hampers and other gifts. The company behind it specialises in workplace catering, so it has, as you can imagine, been a difficult year. The hampers include a selection of Irish and local products, including 3fe coffee, Bread 41 breadmaking kits and mince pies, Áine chocolates, and homemade pudding and spice mixes.
Ireland is very well served by local candle makers, and we are always impressed when the emphasis is on materials that don’t damage the planet. Lilly & Co Candle Company promises hand-poured, “luxuriously scented candles that fill your home with warmth”. Sounds great, right?
If you’re in the market for antique and vintage furniture, Treasure Trove, a Co Wexford firm, offers both delivery and collection.
Hand on heart, we did not know about donkey-milk soaps. 12 Quail Farm’s Soap Studio has a huge range of them.
My Cotton Drawer, a Dublin-based site, sells ecofriendly products from keep cups and bags to cloth nappies and deodorants that won’t damage the planet just to keep you smelling good.
Wink and Elbow, a gorgeous-looking shop based in Dungarvan, sells presents and lamps and candles and Christmassy stuff and, well, you get the picture.
Milk Bath offers luxury bathing experiences, using either Irish grass-fed cow’s milk or vegan organic coconut milk, as well as organic oats from a small family farm, in products all made by hand in north Co Dublin. The maker handwrites all the messages that her customers send each other, “and it has tears streaming down my cheeks most days”, she says. She adds that a warm bath “releases the same hormone as a warm hug, so Milk Bath customers are literally sending each other and themselves lots of love”. Love it.
If you’re looking for a lamp with a backstory, then Copperfish could be the site for you. The stuff it sells might just light up your world in a most stylish and unique way.
Brigid Shelly, an artist with a gallery on the main street of Ardmore, Co Waterford, runs this small art-and-craft business in the town. The online shop she has added to her site will extend her reach in the run-up to Christmas.
Ailish Kelly of Sí Jewellery custom-makes jewellery, tie bars, pocket watches and more with images and quotes. She can also make ashes and hair-infused memorial pieces.
If you are in the market for something special for someone you care about you shouldn’t go wrong with a piece of jewellery from Chupi.
Bláithín Ennis is an award-winning jewellery brand that makes all its pieces by hand at a studio in the southeast.
A Little Idea offers some very brightly coloured and unusual jewellery, as well as the odd mug, turbans, headscarves and lots of lovely cards.
Grace Diamonds by Gráinne Seoige makes custom jewellery to suit all budgets. Ready-to-wear pieces are also available; the diamonds have been ethically sourced.
Eva Dorney hand-makes bespoke jewellery and everything from simple pearl-drop ear-rings and contemporary silver pendants to gold bangles and platinum dress rings.
Luxury jewellery ethically made in Ireland, featuring edgy designs for men and women in solid gold and sterling silver. The company was founded by the former radio DJ and music TV presenter Jenny Huston.
A wholly Irish-owned company which has been a market leader since 1979, Fields is a very well-known name from its 14 jewellery stores across the country.
This boutique Irish jewellery store, based on Chatham Street in Dublin, has moved all of its business online and is continuing to fulfil orders during Lockdown Part 2.
This fourth-generation Irish family jeweller, based on Clarendon Street in Dublin, offers antique and vintage jewellery.
Lulu + Belle makes and sells its personalised jewellery from a workshop in Rush, Co Dublin, using traditional hand-stamping techniques.
The Silver Shop stocks a great selection of antique and vintage silver and jewellery. Its physical store is celebrating 39 years in the Powerscourt Centre, off Grafton Street in Dublin.
Gollum’s Precious is an Irish jewellery business that prides itself on offering high-quality contemporary pieces. It makes many of them itself, by hand, and sources others from various creative designers and jewellers.
Shuul Colours has the best range of GAA-themed jewellery we have ever come across. It has a similar range for rugby fans, plus for birthdays, engagements, anniversaries and more.
Rothlú, based in the Ox Mountains, in Co Mayo, makes striking, sustainable jewellery using “scraps of undyed plain weave and textured cotton, linen and silk remnant that had little use and that was probably heading to landfill”.
Who knew Ireland offered so much handmade jewellery? The Jul range, made by Annette Byrne, is well worth a look.
Annemarie Reinhold is a Cork-based artist who has been working on a range of jewellery inspired by fruit and vegetables. “My aim is to create unique engaging sculptural and wearable objects,” she says.
Vanessa Ree Jewellery prides itself on collections that are “eye-catching, fun and designed to bring out the confidence in every wearer”.
Ogham Treasure, based in Athlone, sells word necklaces and other jewellery inspired by the ogham alphabet of the first written Irish.
Weir & Sons, whose flagship store is on Grafton Street in Dublin, offers covetable watches and jewellery, as well as a wide selection of Irish gifts. A go-to destination for exquisite engagement rings and wedding bands; as they say themselves, they are here to help mark life’s special moments.
Blonde the Store is an online jewellery and accessories shop specialising in fun, funky earrings that you won’t find on the high street. The website includes pieces from all over the world, including Francine Bramli Paris earrings and the Blonde team’s own brand, Eve Ray Designs. “With something to suit all budgets, life is too short to wear boring accessories,” they say.
The Maureen Lynch sites features all manner of jewellery in silver and gold.
Based in Drogheda, Chic Marilyn sells oil paintings, antique and modern jewellery, and high-end vintage clothing, including from Hermès, Prada, Galvan and Dior.
Bríanan McCloskey designs and makes jewellery using gold, silver, acrylics and semi-precious stones.
The renowned Hartmanns of Galway jewellery store sells Swiss watches from Tag Heuer, Longines, Raymond Weil and Tissot, among others.
Peter Gough of Oilean Jewellery specialises in unique handcrafted pieces inspired by Irish land- and seascapes. He also designs and makes contemporary collections that might make for lovely gifts.
“A lovely jewellery maker based in Cork that I used last lockdown,” one reader said about Barbara Hall Creations. “Prompt and reliable service and very reasonably priced for excellent quality.”
Connemara Marble, a family business based in Rathfarnham, in Dublin, makes jewellery and gifts.
Andrea Mears, a jewellery designer based in Limerick, works with precious metals to create “beautiful, thoughtful and personalised jewellery... inspired by spirituality, myths and history, but with a strikingly modern style”.
Tilted specialises in sustainable clothing and jewellery.
Matthew Weldon of Courtville searches for antique and vintage jewellery with a story, specialising in engagement rings and other high-end pieces.
Bannon Jewellers says it is a proud supporter of Irish jewellery designers, and “now more than ever we are committed to championing homegrown, independent talent to bring our customers jewellery that is designed and made here in Ireland”.
This family business, which has been around for almost half a century, has more than 2,000 different items for sale on its site, including its own Rocks-branded pieces, as well as the top watch and jewellery brands and handcrafted diamond jewellery.
Alice Claire Horgan, a jewellery designer from Oysterhaven, in Co Cork, says she makes “one-off and limited-edition silver and gold contemporary pieces of jewellery, pieces that are a bit different, while always focusing on design and quality materials.”
Biscuit is an excellent resource for anyone in the market for presents for themselves or others in the run-up to Christmas. It describes itself as a “curated hub to find art, jewellery, skincare, interiors and apparel”, made in Ireland by independent artists and makers.
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We love the socks from this Galway-based company. High quality and inventive to boot. Irish Socksciety has also moved into face masks: we particularly like the one that says, simply, “howya”.
Boxer shorts for boys with the word “Buachaill” on them? An-mhaith ar fad.
From jocks to socks, the Polly & Andy range includes some wonderful-looking seamless socks made from bamboo.
Socks of Ireland? Yes, they’re a thing now, as you’ll see on Sock Co Op’s site. And the world is a better place for it.
Very cool scarves and jumpers and – more recently – masks from Electronic Sheep.
Síológ sells high-quality, ethically made childrenswear and lifestyle products from independent Irish brands.
Ethically made T-shirts and hoodies from Due South. Oh, and sunglasses made out of recycled skateboards – what’s not to love about that?
With hundreds of thousands of Irish people relying on the GAA to keep them sane during the winter lockdown, the hurling, football and camogie championships are likely to be more popular this year than ever. What better way to capture the hearts and minds of the smallest of fans than with GAA-themed babywear from Gagababy?
We could have put Avoca into almost any category. Not an Irish-owned shop any more, but it still sells a lot of Irish-made products.
Louis Copeland and Sons is an old-school tailor in a brave new world. If you are looking for fancy clobber or cufflinks or bags, you will find it here.
Anastasia has, in its own words,“an outfit for every occasion. We offer a great selection of stylish occasion wear for weddings, christenings, communions and confirmations from leading Irish designers including Fee G and Caroline Kilkenny. Other dressy wear ranges include Chiara Boni La Petite Robe and Stop Staring dresses.”
If you are looking for a place to buy and to sell fancy clobber, look no further than Siopaella.
Ohh! By Gum stocks all sorts of “ecochic” for women and children, from fair-trade and sustainable fashion labels that you will struggle to find elsewhere.
The Beanantees site explains itself better than we could: “Empowering apparel and gifts celebrating wild Irish women and an Ghaeilge. Designed, embroidered and printed in the hills of Donegal. Each range supports a different rape crisis, pro-choice or LGBTQ+ organisation.”
The Celtic Tweed folk design and create sustainable Irish clothing in Balbriggan, Co Dublin. The clothes are handmade to order, and the company does “gents, ladies and unique Irish gifts”.
Jasmine Boutique sells funky casual clothes and gifts for women.
Until very recently we had no idea such a thing existed, but, now that we do, we kind of love the idea of a subscription pyjama service. Or you can just buy on a one-off basis. Blu’s PJs Box has some lovely stuff, so it does.
Rainbow Kids Boutique is, one fan wrote, “the most wonderful little shop who primarily stock children’s ethical, comfy and colourful clothes but have recently expanded to include ethical adults clothing, gifts, beauty and a large range of toys. All their products come from suppliers who pay fair wages and their clothing is almost exclusively organic cotton.” The site sells Irish brands, and we are told its customer service is second to none.
MarieSue Lingerie, in Carlow and Newbridge, Co Kildare, has been in business since 2003. Professional bra fitters, they supply mastectomywear, sports bras, maternity and nursing bras, non-wired, wired and much more. They will also answer any query through email or a telephone consultation.
Indigo & Cloth store features “a curation of contemporary menswear, design and lifestyle goods”. It also has a speciality cafe on the ground floor of its shop in Temple Bar, in Dublin.
Hehirs of Cliden, in Co Galway, has had to shut its physical store, like all the rest, but is still selling menswear and womenswear all over the country.
A Donegal favourite, this, but now open to us all. McElhinneys has clothes for everyone, as well as beauty, home, jewellery, bags and more. The family-owned company promises free and fast delivery on orders over €49, and a free click-and-collect service locally.
If you don’t already love Lucy, you might after a visit to this site.
Dirty Fabulous sells original vintage from the 1920s onwards. Lots of great bridal and occasionwear, plus killer accessories such as hats, bags and jewellery, perfect for stocking fillers.
Thomas Patrick has been putting shoes on the feet of Ireland from its shop on Grafton Street in Dublin since 1974. That is closed at present, but you can still buy online.
Little Larks say: “We are two Irish mums, Caroline and Denise, who set up the brand and design beautiful-quality clothing that is fun to wear. We specialise in hand-smocked dresses and other lovely items from newborn to eight years.”
Monaghans Cashmere has been selling cashmere clothes and scarves for more than 60 years, so if you’re in the market for a lovely present for a loved one or even for yourself, then it will see you right.
Shops selling Christmas jumpers may be closed for now, but rest assured that you can still buy them from the Costume Shop, alongside all manner of costumes should you ever get the chance to go to a fancy-dress party again.
Landers, a family business with a big store in Tralee, sells a huge range of outdoor clothing and equipment. The site can kit you out for walking, hiking, mountaineering, camping, fishing, water sports, skiing and loads more.
How tweed is my valley? Pretty tweedy if you are these people. This Irish-made tweed company’s physical shop is shut, but it’s still selling online, both its own brand and many other small Irish makers and crafters.
Spailpín makes Irish cool. Based in Spiddal, in Connemara, it sells Irish-language T-shirts, hoodies and, more recently, face masks. Some of the masks are personalised with things like “Is mise Gearóid” and “Is mise Conor”. What about Áth Cliath Abú? It also does a great range of Christmas cards.
Emily Jean O Byrne recently pivoted her business from special-occasion headwear to ready-to-wear accessories.
Fódla, an ecofriendly clothing brand, says it is committed to social enterprise, sustainably conscious and hiking obsessed. For every five garments it sells it gives a T-shirt to the charity Inner City Helping Homeless. It also donates 5 per cent of each sale to the organisation.
Pamela Scott’s clothing and accessories store caters for all ages and sizes, and carries exclusive own brands as well as designer labels.
Not a lot we can say about Arnotts. You’ve probably heard of it. Big Dublin department store on the northside of the Liffey. We’re very fond of it and miss the occasional wander through the shop.
Although the upmarket department store’s physical shops remain closed, it’s business as unusual for Brown Thomas online.
The Harlequin, a Dubin-based vintage shop, is always good for a wander – and if you can’t do it physically you can always do it virtually.
Happiclose specialises in outfits for kids who don’t like getting dressed. There’s a lot of Velcro going on here. There are also a lot of very cute clothes.
Choice Boutique, a family-owned fashion chain with four stores in Dublin and three regional concessions, carries a mix of European brands, as well as two Irish-designed brands, Naya and Peruzzi.
Celtic Tweed is a sustainable fashion brand, for both men and women, that designs and creates handmade Irish tweed clothing in Balbriggan, in north Co Dublin. Its site offers a wide selection of jackets, waistcoats, gilets, body warmers and three-piece suits.
Purple Tag sells a huge range men and women’s shoes from popular high-street brands – plus gift vouchers – with free delivery for all orders over €40 in Ireland. It is the online trading partner of Graham Shoes, which has been in business since 1969, with stores in Dublin, Carlow and Kilkenny (where it has a specialist childrens’ shoe store).
Charme Boutique is a new site, based in Newmarket, Co Cork, set up by a person who lost her job at the beginning of the year when the retailer she had spent more than a decade working for closed down.
Basecamp’s great website caters for the outdoor-equipment and -clothing market.
Standfor, an online clothes shop based in west Co Cork, stocks a range of street-style and casual T-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, long sleeves, beanie hats and accessories with “unique designs and quality picked to face a tough opponent: fast fashion”.
Hats are back in a big way this year, and you won’t find many better than the ones on this site. Hanna Hats is a third-generation family business based in Donegal town, with 25 employees, that must be among the last hat and cap manufacturers to make all their products here.
Lee Valley Ireland is a small Irish company, based in west Co Cork, selling a range of Irish country clothing, including many gift items.
Carousel is an Irish vintage-inspired clothing store that had two retail spaces at the beginning of 2020 but has now moved exclusively online. It designs its own vintage-inspired clothing brand, Circus, in its Dublin studio.
A traditional Irish clothes shop with a storied history in a very modern setting.
Mad Jessie says it designs high-quality, colourful, durable activewear. “Uniquely artistic, beautifully bold, super strong, comfy & mad4fun: it’s all about how you feel!”
Colette Latchford, a women’s clothes shop in Galway, stocks labels including Marella, Emme (by Marella), Marc Cain, Gant, Oui, Luis Civit, Aldomartins, Reset, Onjenu, Claudia C, Passioni, and Olivier Philips. Its site offers free delivery within Ireland, as well as click and collect.
Gaeilgheansaí is a Dublin company selling modern Irish-language clothes such as sweatshirts, hats and T-shirts. “Our focus is on pride for the Irish language, pride in yourself, and women’s rights. Our mottos include ‘Tá Gaeilge Agam’, ‘Tá Cúpla Focal Agam’, ‘Bí Bródúil’ and ‘Ní Saoirse go Saoirse na mBan’.”
Edel MacBride is 100 per cent Irish-designed and -produced luxury fashion knitwear made in Co Donegal using local yarns. “What can I say?” MacBride says. “I held my first Irish craft fair in 1977, and now I’m a grandmother with a passion to knit something more amazing every day!”
Costelloe + Costelloe, the well-known and well-regarded clothes shop in Dublin, is doing the business online in a big way.
What could be better than a fluffy robe? A fluffy robe with your name on it, maybe? You can find them at Robes4You.
Native Denims makes premium jeans by hand at the Chocolate Factory in Dublin. It launched its website in 2018, “as we perceived a void existed in the premium denim space for high-quality, well-fitting, sustainable fashion items manufactured using traditional methods on the island of Ireland”.
This little screen-printing business in Lahinch, in Co Clare, has been printing its own Celtic designs since 1979.
“Sustainability is core to the brand’s beliefs, and Fia is committed to minimising its impact on the environment,” say Fiona Sheehan and her daughter, Anna, who are based in Killiney, Co Dublin. “When you take the high ground with Fia you can be safe in the knowledge that you are investing in premium-quality slow fashion that will stand the test of time.”
Fresh Cuts Clothing is an ethical and sustainable Irish brand designed and owned by Stephen Murphy. He does a full range of affordable casual clothing, as well as selling other ethical clothing brands.
If you’re in the market for shoes for kids or adults, Kirby’s Footwear, a family-run business in Ballincollig, outside Cork city, is well worth a look. It also offers click and collect if you’re in the neighbourhood.
Costume, the Dublin boutique founded in 1997 by the Tucker sisters Anne and Tracey and their mother, Billie, has become a stylish shopping destination. It now sells its full range of contemporary designers on its website.
Havana, the luxury fashion boutique in Donnybrook in Dublin, has stocked its online store with the same lustworthy pieces as the standalone store. Hosting international labels like Comme des Garçons, Hache and Ann Demeulemeester, it is also the exclusive stockist of the Irish designer Simone Rocha and Irish knitwear brands Colin Burke and Castanea.
Beautiful South, a Dublin boutique owned by Grainne Wynne, specialises in “classic pieces with a fashion-forward twist”. Although its site isn’t set up for ordering, you can shop via phone or Instagram, and Wynne will even hop on her bike to deliver the items herself – within a cyclable distance, of course.
Olori, which is based in Cork, stocks a covetable list of brands, including Róisín Linnane, Filippa K and Studio Nicholson.
Established in 1984, Macbees, a Killarney boutique with a strong online offering, stocks a mix of new, emerging and interesting homegrown and international labels.
Whether you’re after the perfect dress for a socially-distanced wedding or a cosy knit for lockdown, the Kildare boutique Emporium Kalu has an impressive online store stocking it all.
Muse, a fashion boutique in Waterford, says it focuses on lesser-seen brands from Ireland and abroad. Its exclusive handmade leather bags with a vintage twist could make an ideal gift, as could its accessories from the Irish designers Debbie Millington and Mary K. You can also order by phone, with delivery nationwide.
No visit to Galway is complete without a browse in Charlie Byrne’s. This is the city’s largest and loveliest independent bookshop, with new and second-hand books on sale. Browsing online is not the same, but it is still a thing of wonder. And the money stays in Ireland.
Just Books describes itself as “a unique and charming bookshop located in the heart of Mullingar. We offer customers the personal touch and that’s what makes us stand apart from other bookshops. We deliver books across Ireland. If you don’t see what you are looking for, simply contact us and we will try our very best to get it for you.” Just one reason why shopping local is so much better than the alternatives.
We have long loved the books in this collection. They are full of love and warmth, and although they may have been born out of great sadness, they have also given a huge amount of joy to parents and children everywhere and to children’s charities across the country.
This is a year that most of us will never forget but – fingers crossed – 2021 will be less memorable. Get Up & Go sells all kinds of diaries, and they are all quite lovely.
The Book Shop has more than 50,000 second-hand books for €2 or less, with free delivery on orders of more than €20. It has other books that cost more than that, too. Lots and lots of them.
Kennys, which celebrates its 80th birthday this year, has the longest-running online bookshop in the world – take that, Amazon. It often matches the big boys on price and beats them on quality.
Dubray is a great bookshop with helpful and informed staff. The website is pretty good, too, with a lot of books we would all do well to read.
Bridge Street Books, an independent, family-run bookstore in Wicklow town, won the Irish Times Book Shop of the Year award way back in 2014, when the world was a different place.
O’Mahony’s, a Munster-based family-run bookshop, has been in business since 1902.
In the market for children’s books? They’re something the people at Halfway Up the Stairs know a lot about.
The Book Centre’s site is a great online resource for book lovers, with excellent recommendations for all ages, videos on helping children to learn to love to read, and even fancy chocolates. What more could you want?
We would be lost without our independent bookshops. Bookworm, in Thurles, Co Tipperary, has been posting books to people all over Ireland and, we are told, has being playing a blinder as a community resource since Covid-19 hit, last spring.
Tertulia is an independent bookshop in Westport, Co Mayo.
Bags of Books has a great-looking site packed with titles for all the children in your world.
Tara Book Company sells a vast array of books primarily aimed at a younger audience.
Antonia’s Bookstore, in Trim, Co Meath, will be celebrating 15 years in business. It is operating click-and-collect and free delivery in the town but can ship to anywhere in the world.
Recently named Bookshop Heroes by the Bookseller trade magazine, the husband-and-wife team of Brian Caliendo and Ailbhe Finnegan have run their Sligo shop since 2009, but the Caliendos have been on site for 90 years, first as a well-known restaurant.
Lesley Price of Bridge Books, in Dromore, Co Down, is another of the Bookseller’s Bookshop Heroes. Price followed her childhood dream and opened her Bridge Books 25 years ago. During the spring lockdown, she went to great lengths to source and deliver books with thoughtful personal touches. She also started offering book bundles, and fundraised to supply books and stationery to the local children’s hospice.
Philip’s Bookshop, started in Mallow, Co Cork, in 1989 by husband and wife Philip and Catherine O’Flynn, has marshmallowed – I mean mushroomed – since. Their daughter June joined in 2008, and last year they took over the former Dunnes Stores building.
Woodbine Books in Kilcullen, Co Kildare, was named Ireland’s Independent Bookshop of the Year 2018.
Dingle Bookshop claims to be the westernmost bookshop in Europe. It also boasts: “We don’t just have the book you wanted, we have the book you never knew you wanted!”
One of Dublin’s oldest and best-loved bookshops, Books Upstairs is also home to the Dublin Review of Books.
Sheelagh na Gig in Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary, sells wholefoods and wholesome books. It’s open for takeaway coffees and is offering a click-and-collect book service, as well as hampers of books, chocolates, books, gifts and, er, books,
MUSIC AND TECH
When it comes to tech, there isn’t a lot made in Ireland, but at least by shopping with a local retailer, you are contributing to the local economy. This site is promising next-day delivery on an impressive range of kit.
This site sells electronics including PCs, laptops, phones, components and software from the world’s leading manufacturers and promises delivery within a couple of days.
Record shops have been having a hard time for a long time. While the world may have surrendered to streaming, there is a lot to be said for the physical product which is now being sold in virtual shops such as this one.
There aren’t many shops selling Irish tech but this is one. It has its own-brand wireless earphones and headphones and more exciting products currently in late-stage development and coming soon.
This site sells music on vinyl and CD. It sells film and television programmes on DVD and Blu-ray. And also sells Nintendo Switch and PlayStation games, electric scooters and coffee machines.
Family-run business with as wide a range of camera equipment as you will find almost anywhere. Offers click-and-collect and delivery service across Ireland.
It is very easy to look to the big players if you are in the market for white goods, but there are a lot of local retailers in the space too, and many of them have pretty polished online offerings, such as Heavins. When we were on the site last week there was an impressive-looking sale.
If you are in the market for some high-end tech then these guys are definitely worth a look.
Mint+, a Dublin-based site, stocks an array of consumer electronics, including pre-owned and new smartphones, Apple AirPods, smart speakers, and Google smart-home products.
Freya Guitars sells electric, acoustic and bass guitars, as well as “other quality musical instruments at affordable prices”.
After a challenging time in the digital age, Golden Discs – one of the most enduring record shops in Ireland – has seen something of a resurgence in recent years.
CD World Ireland, which has been online since 2004, covers a wide range of music on CD and vinyl, specialising in “Irish music from traditional to ballad, country to céilí, folk to all the latest releases”.
Barker Photographic is a Cork-based supplier of cameras, lenses, lighting, microphones and backdrops to help you look and sound great in Zoom meetings.
The Sound Shop, in Drogheda, sells musical instruments, music books, PA and sound equipment, DJ equipment and pretty much everything else a musician (or anyone who likes to play it loud) could ever need.
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If you are looking for clothes to get you through the winter – in the Arctic circle as well as Ireland – then this shop based in Bandon, Co Cork, will help you out. It also has all manner of outdoorsy gadgets and things that would help you survive in the wild – but luckily we’ve not reached that point.
It is easy to forget the big players when drawing up lists such as this but just because it is massive doesn’t make this shop any less Irish. It is also committed to free next-day delivery across Ireland as well as free returns. Returns have now been extended for Christmas until January 6th.
A specialist in all things bikes, running, swimming and surfing, this site has been trading since 2007.
Surfdock is Dublin’s original surf shop, established in the Grand Canal Dock in 1991, now a second-generation family-run business. It sells wetsuits, changing robes and equipment for surfing, windsurfing, paddle boarding, open-water swimming and more. It offers click and collect too.
Cycling has never been as popular as it is now – or at least not since the 1950s. This place can keep you safe and dry and your wheels spinning.
This is a family-run Galway bike shop that has been serving the biking needs of Galway and beyond for generations. From bikes and accessories to rentals and cycling holidays.
Orbit Cycling, set up by two avid-cyclist brothers at the start of the first lockdown, sells cycling clothing and accessories for all groups, from beginners through to the highest Irish levels.
The Cúltec hurley is a synthetic hurley that’s hollow from the handle to the bás, incorporating cork to create a large sweet spot. It comes in a range of colours, although we reckon you’d have to be really, really good to pull off a brightly coloured hurl on an actual pitch.
Viking Marine, based in Dún Laoghaire, is home to everything you need to get out on the water, whether sailing, swimming, kayaking, paddle-boarding or anything else.
McSport, an Irish-owned, second-generation family business, is one of Ireland’s largest online retailers of sports and fitness equipment.
HEALTH AND BEAUTY
This beauty salon spent the summer working to build its online retail business to provide online beauty and hair products including Clarins, Yonka, Image, Kerastase, ASAP. It has lots of beautiful gift sets as well as the cutest bath bomb sets. It delivers nationwide, and orders costing more than €50 have free delivery. The company also does a click-and-collect service from its salon in Clontarf.
Billed as Ireland’s most northerly Irish make-up brush brand, this Donegal business sells a range of high-quality make-up brushes that would make for a nice alternative to some of the big multinational brands that you might have heard of.
This skincare company, based in Dundalk, Co Louth, manufactures, packages, and produces 100 per cent Irish products.
A small salon in Dun Laoghaire in Co Dublin will be selling skincare products and gifts and doing virtual skin consultations for people. It also has home facial kits to bring the salon to you.
You might well ask how a barber shop can go online. Well, it can't cut your hair but this website can still be a destination for all your male grooming needs in the weeks ahead.
The company behind the hairbrush brand called Knot Another Feckin Hair Brush mainly supplies hair salons, so you can imagine that things have been tough in recent months. It says it has developed a hairbrush called the Knotty Brush that prevents damage and detangles superfast.
2B Organic sells organic and vegan beauty products, from beard oil to help you tame the beast in your beard to organic cleansing creams and sleep balms to sooth your inner night-time tiger.
A lovely range of magnesium deodorant sprays which are scented with natural coconut and vanilla oils. We are promised chemical-free products which don’t stain.
Natural, clean skincare and home fragrance free from synthetics. They are also vegan-friendly and sustainably made by hand in Ireland.
Could there be a better time to be in the soap business, when everyone is washing their hands with more vigour than Howard Hughes in a septic tank? This Clare-based family business offers an ethical and environmentally friendly alternative to mainstream options.
Sunaura sells professional-quality make-up, including beauty and special effects make-up and related supplies.
“An Irish online organic plant nursery which empowers people across Ireland to easily grow their own healthy organic veg and beautiful, bee-friendly flowers in harmony with nature,” they say. Their Connemara farm produces a curated range of certified organic Irish plants, seeds and supplies to save time and give easy, fast results. All its products are delivered nationwide in zero-waste packaging.
Cookware, bakeware, kitchenware – oh and the knives are out too.
An Irish-owned and run business which provide an ecommerce storefront for charity shops, which of course are closed at present under the restrictions.
Wonky Cards designs and prints a range of greeting cards and mugs for all occasions. The site also offers customised products and a Christmas range, and the company is focused on its environmental impact and uses only FSC-certified products and recycled products.
Who knew there were so many different environmentally friendly straws out there? EcoStaws, a Limerick-based company, did. Its great site is full of great straws.
It’s a Wrap makes a range of gorgeous beeswax wraps that are not only environmentally friendly but also keep food fresh for longer. Win-win. The wraps last about a year.
Lovely baby products from a company based in Swords, Co Dublin.
This online flower shop specialises at Christmas time with gorgeous fresh, handmade wreaths and Christmas floral decor.
We will simply quote the reader who recommended this site. “I recently purchased a beanbag from this site. Excellent website. Great customer service. Fab product. Speedy delivery. Irish owed company.”
Like many companies, these guys were forced to pivot in the pandemic. At the start of the year it was a company which ran Irish events and exhibitions. Today it sells all the kit you’ll need for your home office.
Beautiful pop-up cards for Christmas and all sorts of other events.
There are a lot of crafty people out there. Sew Irish! has all sorts of gifts for people who sew, from complete kits to quirky pin cushions, books and embroidery equipment.
A Greener World is a Clare-based shop selling ecofriendly and vegan products, including household items, vegan food, ecofriendly toys, and beauty products.
Everything on Stable of Ireland’s lovely site has been sourced in this country.
Who knew there was an Irish company specialising in interactive toys for dogs? All the toys in the K9 Connectables range have been inspired by the people behind the site’s dog, Sandy. They promise next-day delivery across Ireland and will also ship worldwide.
Hund Dog Boutique stocks a range of natural dog treats, toys and other accessories, including Irish brands like RiRaw, Harry’s Dog Bakery and Holistic Hound.
We’re not sure what we expected Vibes & Scribes to sell, but balls of wool were definitely not it. With so many people locked down, knitting has rarely been as popular as it is now, and wool has rarely been as hard to come by.
It has been a tough time for businesses like Adamson Luggage. Not only have they had to close, like most other retailers, but they also sell a product that can’t have been in much demand over the past eight months, with international travel virtually disappearing. In addition to suitcases, it also stocks briefcases, leather products, wallets, purses and umbrellas, among other things.
Dakidaki sells modern, unique accessories using materials such as brass, aluminium, polymer clay and cotton.
Gary’s Glue sells glue, lots and lots of glue. There are glue guns, glue sticks, D3 and D4 sealants, and craft glues. It also offers Gary’s Glue art-and-craft packs and is about to add a DIY builder’s box, along with a Christmas-themed box.
To quote Winnie the Pooh, “Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon.” It’s true – and you’ll find all sorts of them at Loons Party Supplies. For weddings, bridal showers, hen parties, birthdays, christenings, confirmations and whatever you’re having yourself.
Who knew teeth-brushing could be so cool and glam? Spotlight Oral Care, set up by two Irish dentists, Lisa Creaven and her sister, Vanessa Creaven, has all manner of sleek gift sets for Christmas for both men and women.
We all know that dogs aren’t just for Christmas, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve Christmas presents. And you’ll find all types of treats for them at Don’t Forget the Dog.