It’s no secret that it’s a difficult time for Irish people, and business owners in particular, as Government restrictions and instructions to stay inside look set to dry up many sources of traffic and income.
While many Irish businesses have shut their bricks-and-mortar outlets until further notice, a huge number will be keeping their online services up and running, and need consumer support now more than ever.
From books to jewellery to soap, Extra.ie has a list of 10 independently owned Irish businesses ready and willing to provide retail therapy to those who won’t be stirring out of the house for the foreseeable future.
Based on Dublin’s D’Olier Street, Books Upstairs has many a stalwart fan among Irish bookworms, both for its meticulously curated selection of books and its cosy cafe.
Just a few book bundles we wrapped this morning ? Thanks to everyone who has placed an order and told us a bit about what they like to read – we’re loving selecting books for you & hope they’ll help get you through ?#bookbundles #COVID19ireland #SelfIsolation pic.twitter.com/R5drdyxkez
— Books Upstairs (@BooksUpstairs) March 17, 2020
While Books Upstairs has closed its doors to the browsing public for the moment, orders can be made via email or telephone.
Books Upstairs has also launched a book bundles service, whereby customers submit information about their reading tastes and preferences, and staff select and wrap three surprise books to send via post, as well as a similar blind date with a book service — ideal if you’re stuck for a new read over the coming weeks.
Donegal based duo Lana and Ciara run Bean An Tees, an online shop offering a range of jumpers, bags and tops with gorgeous, hand embroidered slogans as Gaeilge.
Described as ’empowering’ products ‘celebrating Wild Irish Women and an Ghaeilge’, Bean An Tees products contain Lizzo and Derry Girls references, as well as Irish slogans ranging from cailin alainn (lovely girl) to cailleach salach (a personal favourite — dirty witch) to mala cannai (bag of cans).
Not only are the clothes and accessories very cute, each range supports a different Rape Crisis, Pro Choice or LGBTQ+ organisation so by shopping with the Bean An Tees, you’re helping both independent Irish business and seriously worthy causes.
Run by Aoife Stapleton from her base in north Dublin, Clé offers colourful, unique handmade earrings made from clay and sterling silver that are guaranteed to brighten the mood of anyone tiring of the whole working from home situation.
Not only are the earrings really lovely to look at, each design has a tongue-in-cheek name that exudes Irish charm and humour — from Spice Bag, to Ban Garda to Junior Infants, the names capture the personality of the earrings and the brand as a whole perfectly.
Having appeared at a number of craft markets in recent months, Clé earrings can be ordered online over email, and Aoife is currently working on having a website up and running as soon as possible.
Look, we haven’t had an official divine decree yet, but according to Minister for Health Simon Harris, current circumstances have definitely put forward a solid argument for postponing Lent.
Established in 2012 by husband and wife duo Brian and Rachel Nolan, Nobó became Ireland’s first dairy and gluten free ice cream producer, later expanding into delicious dairy-free chocolate.
Whether you’re vegan or not, Nobú has some seriously delicious, fairly healthy treats on offer in a huge variety of flavours, and considering they have just reduced their minimum free delivery order to €15, there’s no better way to indulge your sweet tooth during these long days indoors.
Irish coffee shops are likely to be hit quite hard by the current situation, but a number of Irish coffee roasteries are keeping their online shops open for business, including Kerry-based company Bean In Dingle.
A family-owned business headed by the fondly-named ‘Mr Bean’ Justin Burgess, Bean In Dingle is keeping its online shop open, where customers can avail of a monthly hand-roasted coffee subscription service.
The online shop also offers a variety of coffee-related merchandise and equipment, and locals in the Dingle area can order coffee beans online for delivery.
Starting out as the brainchild of three returned Irish emigres, Karl Swaine, Niall Horgan and Diarmuid McSweeney, Gym + Coffee is now a sizeable community committed to keeping active in Ireland’s stunning natural landscape and to socialising in the rising cornerstone of Irish society, the local coffee shop.
Endorsed by Irish athletes ranging from Brian O’Driscoll to Eimear Considine, Gym + Coffee has a range of Irish-designed athleisure wear that is ideal for all those home workouts and hikes everyone has promised themselves they’ll get around to doing over the coming weeks.
With everyone washing their hands approximately 500 times a day at the moment, now is the time to treat yourself to some fancy soap from Palm Free Irish Soap.
Based on the shores of Lough Derg in Killaloe, Co Clare, Palm Free Irish Soap has been operating since 1996, producing zero waste, cruelty free, natural soaps in a wide variety of gorgeous scents.
Winning the 2020 Best Green Small Manufacturer Award, Palm Free Irish Soap is serious in its commitment to sustainability, and its colourful bars of soap are lovely to look at as well.
Founded by Laura Magahy in 2015, Arran Street East produces beautiful, simple ceramic tableware from its studio in Dublin City Centre.
Offering sleek and colourful vases, jugs, mugs, bowls, tealight holders and so on, Arran Street East is keeping its online store open over the coming weeks and is offering 50% off on pottery.
Presumably many people are developing an unprecedented interest in decluttering and sprucing up their houses, and the gorgeous, handcrafted products on offer at Arran Street East are sure to make lovely finishing touches to any home.
As both mental and physical health are being prioritised like never before, self-care has become even more of a buzzword, meaning that investment in quality skincare produced in Ireland could not be more timely.
Based in Kilrush, Co Clare, Nía Natural Beauty was founded by skincare expert Celia O’Grady. Playing on the Irish word for radiance, Nía offers skincare products made using oils, butters and natural superfood ingredients that are ideal for all skin types, especially sensitive or dry skin.
Nía boasts a wide range of products available to order online, including current favourite Just Balm, which promises to reduce irritation caused by increased handwashing and the use of hand sanitiser.
Established in Dublin’s Stoneybatter in 2011, Damn Fine Print provides Irish artists with an open access space to screen print their work.
Although studio spaces and workshops organised by Damn Fine Print will not be available under the current circumstances, an amazing array of prints can still be ordered online at a time when Irish artists are in dire need of support and most people are in need of a little cheering up.
Featuring prints by talented Irish artists such as Holly Pereira, Neil Dunne and Izzy Rose Grange, Damn Fine Print’s online store offers the perfect opportunity to contribute to the #createdontcontaminate campaign.
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