Six Local Irish Businesses to Support This St. Patrick's Day

Photo 15-03-2020, 17 10 50 Happy St. Patrick’s Day, new friends! I’m Alex from The Full Shilling, a space where I celebrate all things local to Ireland whether it be the people, landscapes or traditions that make this wee island such a special place to live. I was thrilled when Rebecca asked me to share my favourite local businesses and creatives in honour of Paddy’s Day (not Patty’s, I beg you) because for a land that’s known for its myths and legends, a fact that can’t be disproven is the sheer abundance of talent we have crammed within our shores.
Celebrations will undoubtedly be subdued this year but I think now is the perfect time to shine a light on the local businesses who are likely to suffer the most during this strange and scary time. I’ve put together a list of my favourites who are leading the way in Irish design and craft, without a shamrock keying in sight! Photo 15-03-2020, 17 02 10The Bearded Candle Makers: Michael is the owner and chief chandler at The Bearded Candle Makers with a passion for usingscents to tell stories and evoke memories of life growing up in Ireland. His most popular would have to be ‘Turf Fire’ from the Irish collection, a smell that brings me back to summers spent in Donegal, when the smoke from a turf fire would be billowing from the cottage chimney as we kids would be out playing until the sun went down, the smell from the fire still clinging to our clothes even weeks after coming home. Photo 15-03-2020, 17 06 28 Lines & Current: A minimal jewelry and accessories line, Lines & Current was created by Rebekah, the definitive cool-girl who wanted to create jewelry for normal women who 'work hard to keep it simple’. Her designs use clean lines to promote that ethos of simplicity with her vintage eyewear range being the perfect accessory for the contemporary consumer. Rebekah designs each piece herself from her studio in Belfast and if you order online between now and Mother’s Day in the UK (22nd March), you’ll get a free A6 print included with your package too - it’s the little touches, right? Photo 15-03-2020, 16 16 03 Born & Bred: Created by Linzi back in 2014, Born & Bred started as an arts studio with the goal of championing and promoting local creative talent in Belfast. These days it’s not only a beautiful store set across three floors in the city centre (and recommended as one of the best shops in Belfast by New York Times), Born & Bred are now a fully-fledged brand that make beautiful products with the aim of changing attitudes and perspectives on what it means to be ‘born and bred’ in Belfast. Photo 15-03-2020, 16 27 54-side Bramble Green: Based in Co. Antrim close to the famous Dark Hedges, Bramble Green began after Claire, the family’s matriarch, wanted to bring traditional Irish knitwear into the modern era. All their products are made by local women using wool from Donegal yarn on a centuries old spinning mill but each design feels fresh and new. We’ve been wearing our gifted beanies all winter and even though we’re slowly moving into Spring, the cosy jumpers and cardigans are the perfect staple for those chilly evenings once the sun goes down.

NearyNógs Chocolate: With their very own chocolate factory nestled between the Mourne mountains and the Irish Sea, NearyNógs are Ireland’s first bean to bar craft chocolate makers who use only the finest, ethically sourced, single-origin cocoa beans. The family of chocolatiers has worked hard to create unique products like their Dúlamán chocolate bar (made with locally harvested gorse flower and Carlingford seaweed), white drinking chocolate (yum!) and even Easter eggs too (filled with Irish sea salted caramel!). You can order directly from their website or if you’re based locally, you can visit the factory for a tour or take part in a workshop. They also stock their products in some of the most beautiful shops in Ireland, a list of which you can find here.
Photo 15-03-2020, 17 02 57 (1) Kindred Collective: Another Co. Down favourite, Kindred Collective is a new kid on the Irish design block having just started back in 2018. Each garment is designed by Amy, using locally-sourced Irish linen, in an attempt to revive an industry that was once thriving in Northern Ireland (in the late 18th century, Belfast was the biggest producer of linen in the world). Her understated designs are made to last, each piece crafted with the intention of it being treasured and made to the highest quality. Amy has also worked hard at making Kindred a socially conscious enterprise with 10 percent of each purchase funding sewing classes for survivors of human trafficking making her designs that bit more special. Photo 15-03-2020, 17 09 46 **Big thank you to Alex for writing this guest post for me. Please check out Alex's blog The Full Shilling or her Instagram for more local adventures, know-how, and all around class posts! She also created the instagram tag #thelocalwayfarer celebrating adventures right on your doorstep.**


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