Cofounded by Liz Dolan in 2014, Mortar & More is an award-winning international retail and hospitality design studio based in Dublin. mortarandmore.com
Are you a saver or a spender?
It depends on who you talk to! I don’t do much purchasing, but when I do I can have a tendency to go big. For the most part, though, I would be a saver.
Do you shop around for better value?
On bigger ticket items, I would tend to shop around but I value good experiences and am willing to pay for them. If someone is willing to provide a really great service, I will pay for it as it can just make life easier and, let’s be honest, a little more enjoyable.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
I have a very soft spot for chocolate and if there is an incredibly delicious manufacturer in Ireland who is willing to invest thought, time and design into one of my very favourite things and then present it in a large format which I can smash with a hammer, then I’m in, no matter the cost! Let’s just say it may have been over €100. I’m conscious of who might be reading this and who I may not have shared it with.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
A recent one is a car. It turns out that our second-hand beauty of an Audi has increased in value since we bought it!
How did you prefer to shop during the Covid-19 restrictions – online or local?
Local when I could, or online local. Covid made me even more aware of the value of retail and being able to talk to someone directly. I am also brutal at returning online items whenever required so am at risk of hoarding unwanted purchases. I don’t like waste.
Do you haggle over prices?
Most of the time, no. It doesn’t feel right to haggle on smaller items. On bigger spending, like a car or similar scale investments, I’ll always endeavour to get a deal.
How did the Covid-19 crisis change your spending habits?
I became far more aware of shopping locally rather than with big online retailers. Supporting local restaurants became more important when they couldn’t open their doors.
Do you invest in shares?
Not at the moment. It is something I would like to do in the future but only once I have done some research and understand the options more clearly.
Cash or card?
I use my phone. It is rare that I would use a card or cash.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
Jeans, and probably not the greatest value but it’s what I wear more often than not, so needs must.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
We’re currently doing a big save for a house and being relatively successful, so fingers crossed!
Have you ever lost money?
Not that I can recall. And now that I don’t carry cash, all going well it will remain that way.
Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
I won a tenner on the Grand National a couple of months ago but the reality is I struggle to know how to play the Lotto. I am way too cautious about gambling and the risk of potentially losing.
Is money important to you?
Having grown up in a house where things were tight most of the time, money is important to me. It helps provide a level of security for my family, and I feel fortunate and grateful that we are in a position to save.
How much money do you have on you now?
None. I don’t think I’ve carried cash on me since 2019! This doesn’t prove to be ideal when looking for a supermarket trolley, but for the most part, I have found I get by just fine without cash.
In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea