We all love a Black Friday sale to kick off our Christmas shopping sprees (and perhaps nab a little something for ourselves), but Small Business Saturday asks us to focus our attention on our locally owned enterprises – for whom each customer is appreciated and valued.
At Irish at Heart we work with dozens of suppliers each and every month, to bring the very best of the Emerald Isle right to your doorstep, and I wanted to take this chance to champion a few of them below.
Of course, there are many more than I could possibly do justice to in a short blog, but the ones that I have chosen all have products available in our store right at this very moment – meaning that you can add a touch of Irish creativity to those stockings that you’ve so carefully been planning!
In 2010 husband and wife team, Ed and Tara Hammond, founded ‘Slated’, and have been making luxurious homeware in Dublin ever since!
Ed comes from a long line of slate craftsmen, with his family working on the roofs of Ireland since the early 18th century. However, inspired by the natural beauty and durability of the slate that her husband’s family worked with, Tara saw a whole new way in which to bring those generations of expertise to life.
Together they handcraft each unique piece using a traditional slater’s knife – a family heirloom that has been passed down from father to son for over 150 years. Despite the age-old technique, the result is contemporary creations that are designed to last the test of time.
Subscribers to our Imbolc box in 2020 were treated to a gorgeous tealight candle holder, in which a striking serving of bronze adds a subtle warmth to the cool texture of the slate.
Rachel Webb Ceramics
Rachel applies her vast knowledge of fine art to the gorgeous ceramic concepts which come to life at her studio in Galway City. Her elegant yet emphatic creations combine the fragility of porcelain with bold designs that highlight her unique passion for the material.
Every piece is individually created, ensuring that no two products are the same – each capturing a unique moment of the artist’s time and skill. Back in April of last year, we were delighted to bring a drop of this exclusivity to our ‘A Soft Day’ box – in the form of her beautiful Connemara Raindrop photo holders.
The soft blue glaze of the misty skies of Ireland gives way to the rugged crackled glass of the landscape beneath it, allowing the aura of the Emerald Isle to frame your treasured memories.
Irish at Heart Kids Box
With a box combined value of over $75, treat the special Cailín (girl) or Buachaill (boy) in your life to a wonderful Irish at Heart gift box. With only 100 available of each, be sure to get yours quickly!
Available for $55
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Nestled next to those Connemara Raindrops in the ‘Soft Day’ box, was also a gorgeous little raindrop pendant from Meab Enamels, although this is far from the only time that this wonderful supplier has contributed to our Irish at Heart offerings.
Their delightfully whimsical Tir na nÓg earrings made an appearance in our ever-popular Faeries and Folklore box, while the 2019 Samhain box flickered with the fiery vibrance of their gorgeously autumnal ring.
The business began over fifty years ago, with a young and inspired Meab who developed her very own open firing technique, marking each design with her vibrant and distinctive style. Clair has since inherited her mother’s artistic flair but brings her own individual character to the pieces she creates – adding larger decorative pieces to the offerings of Meab Enamels from County Westmeath.
Green Angel first came about as a solution to the skincare issues of founder Mary Mitchell, who was forever in search of the perfect product for her own sensitive skin.
Together with her husband Chris, she delved into the world of natural botanicals, healing seaweeds, and ancient therapies – which combined to form the cornerstone of their very own luxury skincare brand.
All of their products are organically crafted - enriched with the perfect blend of vitamins, minerals and hand harvested seaweeds - to nourish and relax your hair, skin, and home. With the increased hand sanitisations of the last couple of years, Green Angel lived up to its name by keeping my hands soft and soothed with their luxurious hand cream – a treat which I was delighted to share with the subscribers of April’s An Fharraige box!
At it Again!
It’s not often that a supplier crops up more than once in the same Irish at Heart Box, but we absolutely fell in love with how the team at At it Again! brought James Joyce’s Ulysses to life and included not one, but three of their products in our Bloomsday offering this May.
It all began for Niall Laverty and Maite López when they were frolicking through the Wicklow mountains, when they were struck with an idea of how to bring a literary adventure of Dublin much close to home… From there, Romping Through Ulysses was born, a fun and vibrant guide to the Joycean masterpiece – putting the story of the everyday man firmly back into the hands of the casual reader.
It was such a hit, that they soon turned their attention to the wider world of Irish classic literature adding a number of new novels to the “Romping Through…” series including Dracula and Gulliver’s Travels – both of which have been gifted to our Irish at Heart communities!
Sam agus Nessa
The world of practicality and creativity collide in the Kildare workshop of Sam and Nessa, as her whimsical inspirations and penchant for bright colours breath a new life into his his carefully crafted and functional forms.
The wild beauty of Irish timber is incorporated into their creations, lending its honey-coloured grain pattern to each piece that leaves the Sam agus Nessa studio – always serving a practical purpose with a smile.
This heart-shaped “Moi Chroi” tealight candle holder was sent across the world with love as part of our Grá box in February last year. It adds the perfect little homey touch to any table setting - whether a simple centre piece for a romantic meal, or a subtle flickering on the coffee table as you re-watch your favourite romcom.
The natural beauty of county Kerry is at the very heart of the products created by the lovely crowd at Kemare Soaps.
They always work in small batches, ensuring that each item is curated with the utmost care and attention – resulting in a truly beautiful bath-time treat. The blend of olive and coconut oil will leave your skin feeling nourished and pampered – gently scented by the sweet-smelling essential oils.
Irish at Heart subscribers were treated to a soft touch of lavender, with this cute little woolly felted soap – featuring an idyllic Irish landscape complete with grazing sheep. This Baaa of Soap forms a lather and wash cloth all in one and was part of our Spinning a Yarn box in 2020!
What’s your favourite small business that you have discovered nestled amongst the emerald sheets of your Irish at Heat boxes? Let us know in the comments below!
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