As an independent designer, I’m passionate about supporting other small Irish businesses, but then I’ve always been drawn to makers and creators with a strong design ethos and a rich narrative. In Ireland, we’re fortunate to be spoiled by an effervescent community of both. For me, buying local is about much more than investing in beautiful, useful things, though. There’s something soulful about buying from brands that devote the same care and commitment to everything they produce, as we at Castanea do to each piece of cashmere we design and make.
Buying local is also very much about being part of a community. I guess it’s another way of finding your ‘tribe’, and there’s nothing more feel-good than connecting with like-minded individuals who share the same aesthetic and values as you do.
For this reason, I wanted to curate a small directory for you of gorgeous Irish brands I turn to time and again. I hope they resonate with you as much as they have with me. Happy browsing!
Love Paula x
Noel Byas Ceramics
Noel Byas is a self-taught potter based in Dublin who creates the most exquisitely textured earthenware. I especially love his subdued colour stories and I’ve collected a beautiful selection of pieces over the years. Byas’s urban surroundings inspire his work, giving his pottery a characterful but contemporary feel, which really appeals to me.
I think of perfume as invisible armour, because it’s as empowering as a red lip or a high heel, but more subtle. What I adore about Dublin-based brand Parfumarija is that you can search the website for a scent based on your mood, or search for perfumes within the scent family you like most. Either way, I can get lost browsing all of the intoxicating options.
My go-to jewellery brand is innerisland.ie. Founder Gemma O’Leary has built a beautifully unique brand through distinctive design details and textured finishes. Her pieces are modern and statement-making, but subtle and delicate too. Plus, she uses recycled gold and silver wherever possible.
D8 Design Co
A really good candle is one of my favourite indulgences, and D8 Design Co has a beautiful selection made from 100% soya wax and scented with vegan and cruelty-free oils. The scent I’m enjoying at the moment is The West – an earthy aroma of fragrances, including Connemara peat, sweet whiskey and cedar wood. The handcrafted containers themselves are as beautiful as the scents.
Encouraged by the sublime weather of the past week, I’ve been browsing the divine collection at Mona Swims, a stunning Irish swimwear brand. The signature dramatic prints and statement silhouettes bring a real freshness and energy to the swimsuits and kaftans, and because they’re made from luxury silk and crushed velvet, they translate beautifully into day and evening wear.
You’ll know by now that I’m a strong advocate of self care, and The Kind is a fantastic resource if you’re looking for sustainable, ethically made wellness products. The brand’s ethos is to offer goods that are kind to individuals and to the planet, so there’s no guilt in treating yourself (not that there should be!). There’s also a brilliant edit of skincare, homewares and stationery on the website.