Cool and contemporary Irish craft gifts (plus my favourite independent Dublin shops)

I’m the worst for going into present overdrive. I love buying people gifts, and this year I’m trying hard to be more mindful about what I buy. A big part of that is making an effort to support Irish makers and buy less, but better.

There is something so wonderful about giving someone something made by hand, often just a few miles away, or buying from an independent store owner, who puts so much love and care into curating their favourite finds.

 I had the pleasure of photographing some of the below at some point this year, so I am completely biased 🙂

And if you’re hitting the shops this weekend, scroll down for a round up of my favourite independent retailers in Dublin. 

Handmade candles and soaps from Clean Slate

Handmade candles and soaps by Clean Slate |

Nicole Connolly couldn’t find a scented candle that she loved, so she started making her own. She uses soy wax and natural, high-quality ingredients as well as gorgeous reusable packaging. I adore both the Espresso + Coconut and Sweet Tobacco + Black Pepper. She’s stocked all over the country too, including, in Dublin, Article, Appassionata and Scout.

Ceramics from Arran Street East

Arran Street East |

Photographing the Arran Street East studio and products was one of my favourite projects of the year. I’ve popped back a few times since and am rarely able to leave empty handed. The simple, functional pieces work in so many different types of spaces and and are beautifully glazed in colours inspired by the nearby fruit and veg market – these adorable succulent pots have a special place in my heart. Pop in to the Dublin studio or order online by the 19th for Christmas delivery. 

Blankets and totes from The Tweed Project
The Tweed Project |

Oh to be as fierce and as creative as Aoibheann McNamara, proprietor of Galway’s Ard Bia restaurant and co-founder of The Tweed Project. Wonderfully fusing contemporary designs with traditional methods and fabrics, the pieces are hand made using premuim Donegal Tweed and Irish linen. Available online, in Coffeewerk and Press in Galway and Dublin’s Indigo & Cloth as well as at Makers & Brothers

If you’re in and around Dublin city over the next couple of days, I can’t recommend the below independent stores enough. They’re filled with expertly curated finds, and, as Jette says:


A photo posted by Jette (@jettevirdi) on

On Dawson Street:

On Drury Street

  • Irish Design Shop: Some of the very best contemporary Irish craft and design. The new 2017 calendar – an annual project – is a thing of beauty. 
  • Industry: As well stocking some of coolest industrial pieces and great Nordic design brands, you can also find Irish ceramics, woollens and cards (by Dusty Boy!)
  • Appassionata: So much more than just a (beautiful) flower shop, Ruth stocks great plant gifts and sweet homewares too.  

In Powerscourt Shopping Centre

  • Article: You’ll find things here that you won’t get anywhere else. I could possibly do all my Christmas shopping at Article – from homewares to notebooks to candles, store owner John’s taste is second to none. 
  • The Garden: Another spot that’s so much more than a flower shop, you’ll find possibly the best collection of succulents in the entire city here, as well as gorgeous pots, seasonal wreaths (or the ingredients to make your own), candles and more. 
  • Chupi: Special, delicate things inspired by the Irish landscape. I receive a compliment almost every time I wear my raspberry leaf necklace. Each piece has a story, and the packaging is beautifully luxe too. 

In Temple Bar

  • Scout: Irish and international clothing labels curated by Wendy, one of the most effortlessly cool people I’ve ever met. The perfect place for chunky knitted socks, great totes and timeless, stylish pieces that are made to last. 

Happy shopping! 

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