Buy Local – Support Local Businesses
While we are decorating our homes, watching Christmas movies, or looking forward to cozy Christmas nights with our families, we can’t help but reflect on the year behind us. And what a year it was!
Our little town, together with the rest of the world, faced challenging times during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all trying to figure out how we and our town will respond post COVID-19 but we can take strength from the compassion, kindness, adaptability and the strong will to prevail that was evident during this challenging year.
It is now essential that we keep our Christmas spirit alive and support our local small business community. What better way to bring smiles to the faces of our loved ones than a special Christmas gifts brought locally?
This month we had great pleasure in talking to local businesses in Dun Laoghaire about their Christmas offerings and we can’t wait for you to see what they have in store for you. Let’s get your Christmas gifts sorted!
Gifts For Him
Frewen & Alyward is a leading Ireland menswear retailer and a bastion of exclusive tailored suits for over 50 years. We had a great conversation with Frewen’s Joe Waters to find out more about what’s available this Christmas. Frewen & Alyward provides your “old school” kind of service and attention to detail. Everyone can buy brands in department stores, but Frewen & Alyward pride themselves in personal approach to each customer that’s comes to their store. Imagine coming to a shop where a staff member knows your name and is always happy to find the best fit for you whether it’s a jumper or a new suit. Joe told us that thanks to this approach young people like buying from them as well and that they have a loyal base of the customers who are always coming back.
If you wish to buy a high quality, perfectly tailored, exclusive and unique men suite, then Frewen & Alyward is a great option.
Marty O’Byrne, owner Frewen & Aylward
Frewen & Aylward Collections
Find your new look for any season, whether you need something formal or causal, they have lots of options available.
Browse through their collections which include a wide range of casual/formal wear including top names like Zegna, Fynch Hatton, Scotch Soda and Bugatti.
Frewen & Alyward also supports high quality Irish made products. Pick one of the beautiful Irish products from Edmund Mc Nulty, Fisherman out of Ireland, Weaver & Wilde, Hanna Hats, STÓR, DE BRUIR, John Greene
Christmas Best Sellers
One of the best sellers is a brand California and then another brand Zegna. It is a high end kind of a brand, very exclusive, that only three retailers in Ireland are carrying. It would be one that would be attractive to people looking for a high quality cut. These brands create beautifully tailored jackets, and really smart coats and outerwear.
Joe told us that they replaced Blanco with a much more casual, younger brand that will be of interest to younger generations. The range includes jeans, jackets, and casual shirts.
Frewen & Alyward also carry a couple of Irish collections. Their customers especially like Edmund Mc Nulty. As the shop is back open they are increasing their range from this designer.
How to Buy From Frewen & Aylward
While the shop has an online sales option over an application, a lot of their customers prefer to contact them by phone or email and complete an order that way.
The shop also has a collection option in the shop and if the customers are local, then the shop staff are happy to deliver all purchased clothes.
Here’s where you can find Frewen & Aylward shop:
44 George’s Street Lower, Dún Laoghaire
(01) 280 3127
Love them or hate them, screens are an unavoidable part of our lives and if there’s someone who knows gadgets in Dun Laoghaire that’s Jiawei Tan from New Paddy Electronics.
New Paddy Electronics is located in Dun Laoghaire since 2008. In the last twelve years, they’ve built a good reputation as a professional electronics repair shop where you can bring your PC, laptop, mobile, or tablet if you need to fix them up.
New Paddy Electronics also sells new and used gadgets and accessories and after customers come to buy for themselves, they often come back to buy more for their family and friends.
Jiawei Tan, owner New Paddy Electronics
New Paddy Electronic Products and Services
If anything goes wrong with your gadgets this Christmas Jiawei can help, here is an outline of what New Paddy provides:
Services: Smartphone repair, PC/Laptop repair, iPad/Tablet repair, Game console repair, system service, mobile network unlocking
Products: PC, Laptop, mobile, PC components, Smart Phone Accessories
Best Christmas Sellers
Jiawei told us that their customers love good headphones, gaming mouse and keyboard for kids as a gift.
People also like to buy new phones and cases for phones during the Christmas season. When we are out and about we all like to show off with our new gadgets. 🙂
How to Buy From New Paddy Electronics
You can buy their products via phone and collect in the shop or use their services directly in the shop subject to social distancing as they are creating their online ordering facility at the moment.
Here’s where you can find New Paddy Electronics shop:
67 Convent Rd, Dún Laoghaire
(01) 230 3852
Gifts For Her
If you are looking for something Oriental that will soothe your body and soul during this season, the Saffron & Sapphire shop is a perfect place for you. We were delighted to chat with Antonella and find out more about the business that she is owning and running with her husband.
Saffron & Sapphire was opened in 2007 in the Black Rock market, but the shop you know today in Patrick’s Street was opened in 2010. Antonella is Italian and her husband is Indian and she was always interested in Eastern spirituality and cultures. Little by little they introduced products for meditation, health, and wellbeing to the Dun Laoghaire’s market. We didn’t stay immune and on the wings of positive feedback from our local community Saffron & Sapphire continued to expand their offer. That’s why besides the products, they offer meditation classes and organize trips to India. Pre Covid-19 a lot of people found it an extremely powerful, lifetime experience.
Antonella and her husband always try to source unique items for their shop that are not readily available elsewhere. They are also mindful of fair trade and they try to source organic products whenever possible. Above everything, their approach to their customers is something that’s appreciated the most. Besides buying their products, you can come to the shop for advice or sometimes just to feel the quiet and relaxing atmosphere. Many times they received feedback that just coming to the shop to wander is an experience itself.
The husband and wife team of Antonella and Bhola behind Saffron & Sapphire
Saffron & Sapphire Products available this Christmas
The shop have a huge range of interesting gift options, here is a summary for you.
Incense and Accessories: Incense Sticks & Cones, Bruners & Ash Catchers
Meditation & Relaxation: Singing Bowls & Tibetan Items, Meditation Accessories, Sacred Statues, Books, Tarot & CDs, Hangings & Paintings
Health & Wellness: Soaps & Skincare, hair care, oral ear & health care, special salts, salt lamps, tea & supplements, books & cards
Oils, Fragrances & Accessories: Essential oils, Carrier Oils, & Fragrance Oils, Oil Burners, Waters, Perfumes
Crystals: Thumbled Stones, other crystals, jewellery, pendulums, crystal hangings
Clothes and fashion accessories: trousers, skirts and dresses, tops, scarves, accessories
Home Decor: candles & holders, boxes, handcarved animals, home textiles, stationery & traditional handcrafts
Angels & fairies: angel crystals jewellery, angel statues, books & cards
Classes & workshops: meditation classes
Travels to India: Spiritual trip, Kerala, Other retreats
Best Christmas Sellers
With so many great products, it’s sometimes hard to choose, but Antonella gave us a few items that are selling well during the Christmas season. Himalayan salt lamps are on the top of this list and then Tibetan thinking balls. Candles and essential oils are also a perfect choice and Saffron and Sapphire offer a wide range of both products.
Finally, pashmina type of scarves are a total hit and always a good and easy gift for all ladies from 15 to 85 years old. Whenever in doubt what to buy for ladies in your family or friends circle, these scarves are an excellent choice.
How to Buy From Saffron & Sapphire
Most of the items that they sell could be found and ordered from their website. Antonella admitted that keeping the articles that are currently available up to date on their website is sometimes difficult, so if you don’t see something on their website, feel free to message them over WhatsApp, or their Facebook and Instagram pages.
Now you can also buy products in their local shop. Antonella promised to be opened seven days a week and longer hours, so all new and regular customers are welcome to come to the shop.
Here’s where you can find Saffron & Sapphire shop:
8 Patrick St, Dún Laoghaire
086 402 2597
Meet Steve Bradbury, a Dun Laoghaire’s artist. Steve’s story is quite extraordinary as his way to art is not really what you would have expected. He started off as an engineer. Then after 16 years he switched to management consultancy where he was involved in various different projects. He was running England’s NHS National Adventure Program for people’s mental health. Steve moved with his family from England to Ireland in 2015 where he started working as a general manager at Black Rock clinic for two years.
During that time he decided that he wanted to follow his passion which has been art. He never really had the time to do it as much as he wanted. A few paintings here and there, but more as a hobby. As his art was always complemented, he decided to do something about it and became a full-time artist in 2017.
Steve absolutely loves painting. There’s so much natural local scenery that it is reflected in his work. He finds great satisfaction in the fact that his paintings can brighten up someone’s day and home.
What makes Steve unique is that he is not afraid to try different techniques which allows him to always produce something different. He has a keen eye for colors, enhancing them in different shapes which helps the paintings to stand out.
Steve Bradbury can make Christmas special for the loved one in your life
Commissions: Why not to personalize your art? Create something and personal with Steve.
Originals: arrange a studio or home visit with Steve to by originals.
Gift cards: €100, €250, €500, €750, €1000, Other amount
Limited Edition Prints: Dublin Bay, Cityscapes, Wildlife, Life & Portraits, Planes & boats
Workshops: Free Online Workshops on Facebook.
Best Christmas Sellers
This year Steve is doing a series of watercolors as a more affordable option than oils, but oils are still selling well. Usually, when people buy oil paintings they come back for more. Among his clients commissions are popular as well.
Another novelty that Steve has this year is gift cards. This is particularly handy for the people who want to buy his art as a present but want to let the person who is getting the gift to choose. The gift card could be used for any of Steve’s products, whether it is a limited edition print, original, or a commission, the person who gets the present can choose exactly what she wants. Steve’s attention to detail is something to admire as the gift cards come in a nice little box, not just a handover card, so that will make a nice Christmas gift for someone who loves art.
How to Buy From Steve Bradbury
You can order Steve’s art from his website. Pick the product you like and complete the order on the purchase page. He offers free shipping but also click and collect service.
You can also contact Steve over his Facebook and Instagram pages. If you’d like to visit him in person, he available in his studio, and he’ll have a pop-up shop at the Street Mall on Upper George’s Street from December 14th to 20th.
Here’s where you can find Steve Bradbury Art:
York, Tivoli Rd, Dún Laoghaire
083 800 1736
Gifts For Kids
Opening Minds is a well-known Irish brand when it comes to school books, they are with us for more than 35 years. In 2010 they introduced a new range of educational toys and games and they proudly call themselves one of the largest specialists in educational toys in Ireland. The goal is to offer children something different to screen time, so they have toys and games to suit all ages and budgets and experienced staff are always there to help to choose a special gift for your little ones.
We had a great pleasure to speak to Eoin Murphy, owner of the Dun Laoghaire shop, and learn more about his motivation to be in the business of educating our kids. He was always interested in business and was involved in gardening, decoration, and handyman work, interested in books and education generally. He is proud of a very good customer service in Opening Minds and carefully chosen range of educational toys. True to their mission, they don’t sell any digital screens in their toy range.
He told us that people like wooden toys and retro items, but basically it’s all about children and fueling their imagination. It’s about thinking about toys as opposed to toys that will do all the talk for them.
Roisin Taylor of the Dún Laoghaire branch of Opening Minds
Opening Minds Christmas Ideas
Type: Children’s Books, Games, Jigsaws, Wooden Toys, Activity Toys, Arts +Crafts, Bath toys, card games, clearance, dolls , doll houses, educational, model kits, musical toys, outdoor toys, play food, playsets and figures, puzzles, role playing, S.T.E.M., soft toys, toy cars, trains
Brands: Bigjigs Toys Ltd, Brainstorm, Eurekakids, Melissa And Doug, Orchard Toys, Revensburger, and more
Skills that Opening Minds can help kids with: Co-ordination, Cognitive, Creativity, Imagination, Language Arts, Learn to Think, Life Skills, Motor Skills, Social Skills
Best Christmas Sellers
Every year Opening minds is making a big effort to provide a good range of Christmas toys. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles can pick up something for a competitive price. The toys are in a range between €10 and €40 euros.
How to Buy From Opening Minds
You can purchase their products over their website. Their online shop is pretty easy to use. It is optimised for mobile phones, so people are purchasing from their mobiles quite often. Delivery is free of charge.
Now that the shop is open people can choose to collect their items in the shop. It’s quite a popular option because customers don’t have to worry if a courier will find their house or to be in waiting for him.
Here’s where you can find Opening Minds shop:
16 Patrick St, Dún Laoghaire
(01) 230 4675
Moms and dads who read this, pay attention. The little wooden peg is THE place for your kids’ Christmas shopping. Unique, carefully chosen clothing, accessories, toys, and decor for children aged 0-14 is made of natural materials.
Owner Ruth started her online business inspired by her children and in an attempt to provide them with sustainable clothing and toy options. Before she started her business it was very hard to get hands-on with such clothes here, so she knew she had her chance to offer something exclusive to an Irish market that could only be purchased internationally. And that is a driving force behind her business – to offer a product that is not available elsewhere in Ireland, but also to be sustainable and more ethical for the children’s lifestyle sector.
Ruth Anna Coss, owner of Little Wooden Peg
The Little Wooden Peg Ideas for Christmas
Baby: Bibs & Accessories, All-in-Ones, Bottoms, Tops, Dresses, Knitwear, Scarves, Hats & Gloves, Socks & Tights, Footwear, Outerwear
Girls: Accessories, All-in-Ones, Bottoms, Tops, Dresses, Knitwear, Socks & Tights, Scarves, Hats & Gloves, Footwear, Swimwear, Outerwear
Boys: Accessories, All-in-Ones, Bottoms, Tops, Knitwear, Socks, Scarves, Hats & Gloves, Footwear, Swimwear, Outerwear
Mama: womenswear and accessories, baby carriers, toiletry bags, coffee mugs, water bottles, baskets and more
Brands: Papoose, Natural Erath Plant, Coco D’En Haut, Konges Slojd, Olli Ella, Beadie Bug Play, Haps Nordic, Nosy Crow, Gluckskafer and more
Create + Books
Brands: Nosy Crow, Crayon Rocks, Konges Slojd, Cotton Clara, Create, Beadie Bug Play, Natural Earth Paint
Bathtime, Bedding, Decor, Mealtime, Personal Care, Storage
Bibs, Muslin Cloths, Pacifiers & Clips, Teethers
Best Christmas Sellers
Ruth noticed in the last couple of months the growth in popularity of the Olli Ella brand. They are an Australian brand. Parents purchase a lot of wicker pieces that are hand made in Vietnam, they also have other pieces so the company is expanding their product, as well, but they’re definitely a very popular Christmas gift.
How to Buy From The Little Wooden Peg
You can order the products online over their website and it will be delivered to you. The Little Wooden Peg also offers click and collect service. The most important thing is that the new products are coming in and that the website is regularly updated so the shop will be well-stocked for the Christmas season.
Here’s where you can find The Little Wooden Peg shop:
55 George’s Street Upper, Dún Laoghaire
(01) 663 7582
Welcome to The Art & Hobby Shop, stationary heaven, and the best place for art and hobbies. Let us know how many of you feel like spending hours in this shop 🙂
Although there are many products that are dedicated to our children, the truth is this is a perfect shop for everyone. Even if you are not craft orientated, you can find something that you actually need here. The Art & Hobby shop is one of the best-known Irish retailers that sells art materials, craft supplies, hobby, and educational products, and they also carry a wide range of toys and gifts. An emphasis is on fun and creativity and this is a perfect shop to buy something that will make this Christmas a bit more magical for our kids.
Dave Hennessy, a branch manager in Dun Laoghaire, told us that his biggest satisfaction comes from interacting with their customers. Many of them come to the shop with questions rather than just to buy and go. So it makes him and all their stuff feel good when they can help with the projects people are working on. All employees in the Art & Hobby shop have a knowledge of art or do it themselves which builds a nice collection of a unique skill set that can provide quality guidance for a wide range of art projects. Many customers are coming back to the shop so he also has a chance to get to know them and he believes that’s a nice aspect of his job as well. It makes for a better atmosphere in the shop and an in-depth approach rather than just handing out the product.
Dave Hennessy, manager Dún Laoghaire branch
Art & Hobby Ideas for your Children this Christmas
Art: art sets, accessories, books, brushes, calligraphy, canvas & boards, colouring books, drawings & sketching, easels, face paint, inks, Lino, oils, mediums, varnishes, paint, paper & pads, pens & markers, portfolios & storage, scratch art, spray paint
Craft: adhesives, books, candles & wax, clay & moddeling, craft kits, craft paints, craft tools, craft banks & bases, decorations, decoupage, die cutting, fabric dye, embossing, felt & foam, glitter, jewellery, mod podge, occasions, card making, paper & card, quilling, ribbon, string & twine, scrapbooking, sewing & kitting, stamping, stickers, storage, soap
Outdoors: garden games, kites, soccer goals, swings, play houses
Stationery: Crayola, Bags & pencil cases, boards, bunting & flags, calendar tabs, chalk, Contigo, copy books, crayons, general stationery, notebooks & diaries, pencils, pens & markers, posters & wall charts, printer ink, top model stationery, storing & archiving, fancy stationery, Faber castell
Toys: Art & Craft Toys, Construction & modelling, crazy bird letters, cretivity for kids, splat planet, clockwork solder, creative toys, educational toys, electronics, elf on the shelf, fairy doors, Galt toys, great gizmos, Halloween customs and decorations, Lottie dolls, Magformers, Marvins magic, nebulous stars, pocket money toys, outdoor toys, play-doh, playmobile, ty plush toys, and more.
Jigsaws: 6000 PC, 1000 PC, 1500 PC, 2000 PC, 3000 PC, 3D, 500 PC, accessories, under 500 PC, Clementoni Jigsaw, I am Jigsaw
Lego: architecture, art, baseplates, Batman, city, Brickheads, advent calendars, Christmas, classic, creator, DC comics, Disney, Dots, Duplo, Elves, Friends, Hero Factory, Hidden side, Harry Potter, Juniors, Marvel, Ninjago, Super Hero Girls, Star Wards, Super Mario, Toy Story, Trolls, and more.
Christmas Best Sellers
“Elf on the Shelf” seems to be particularly popular this year. The same is with Lego advent calendars, they are already gone. They are very popular and they go quickly. And then we have the old favorites like jigsaws, which are always popular, but especially this year because of the pandemic. People are looking for something to do at home more than ever before.
Hand puppets are also selling well this year, probably because of the Late late show. Board games, fairy doors, Lego.
They also have something very special this year, a T-shirt with a packet of fabric markers. What happens is that kids can color in the t-shirt and design it themselves, once you wash it they can do it all over again. This product is quite popular in the Art & Hobby Dun Laoghaire shop.
How to Buy From Art & Hobby
People can order their products online over The Art & Hobby website. Both home delivery and click and collect service are available.
Here’s where you can find Art & Hobby:
Dún Laoghaire Town Shopping Centre
There’s no celebration without music and there’s no Christmas without good movies to watch together with your family. Golden Discs shop has its door open for all music lovers all over the country with one of their branches in our Dun Laoghaire town. Golden Discs has been Ireland’s largest and most popular music store chain since, well, records began. Established in 1962 under the name TARA, today it caters to a global customer base across more than 40 countries and operates in 21 store locations all over Ireland.
We spoke to Trevor Carey to find out more about the Dun Laoghaire branch and what makes it special. The Dun Laoghaire shop was opened in the late 70s, early 80s. Trevor loves music, and movies, but also the customers who are coming to the shop. Everyone’s pretty friendly and, as he lives in the area, he knows the people who are coming to the shop pretty well. That also makes meeting the customers’ expectations even more important, a number one priority as Trevor likes to say. In our local branch, the staff are very good at making special orders possible. If they don’t have something in stock they are trying to get the item as soon as possible.
Trevor Carey, manager Golden Discs Dun Laoghaire
Golden Discs Christmas Gifts
CD: Pre-Order, Chart CD, Irish Artists, 2 for €22, 3 for €13, 3 for €20
Vinyl: Pre-Order, Coloured Vinyl, 2 for €40, Record Store Day 2020, Previous RSD titles, Record Accessories
DVD: Pre-Order, Chart DVD, 3 for €20 (Disney, Marvel, Lucas), 2 for €22, 2 for €10 (Kids), Kids DVD, Boxsets, Irish Film
Blue-Ray: Pre-Order, Chart Blue-Ray, 3 for €20
Other Formats: Box Sets, 3D, 4K UHD
Hardware: Turntables, Headphones, Earphones, Speakers, Record Accessories
The Loot Vault: Board Games, Console Games, Books, T-Shirts, Funko Pops!, Gift Vauchers
Best Christmas Sellers
When it comes to the best sellers in the Christmas season Andrea Bocelli is on the top together with Andre Ryu. As for the movies, Tenet will be big this year because it was the only proper cinema release we got this year. The Crown season 3 was just released and it’s very popular. And on vinyl, pretty much everything is popular. At Christmas people buy all kinds of different vinyl.
How to Buy From Golden Discs
Customers can order their music, movies and other products over the website. Dun Laoghaire also provides call and collect service for the customers to come and collect the items in the shop.
Here’s where you can find Golden Discs:
Dún Laoghaire Town Shopping Centre
(01) 280 5759
Even when the times are difficult, we can find joy and appreciate moments that make us happy. We want to be able to capture them and save those precious memories. MyImages is the place to turn your digital photos into personalised prints, calendars, gifts and so much more. We were delighted to catch up with Donal to tell us a bit more about his Dun Laoghaire’s shop.
MyImages have been in the shopping center for 24 years. Besides the photo framing and prints, they provide passports and visa photo services as well. Picture framing is what makes them stand out and there’s no other such service in the shopping centre, but it’s also a personalised service as they are helping customers to frame the photo exactly as they want it to look.
Donal, owner MyImages.ie
MyImages personalised gift ideas for Christmas
Digital Prints: Standard Sizes, Enlargements, Square Sizes
Photo Books: 8″x8″ Photobook by Fujifilm
Gifts: Mugs, Photo Blocks, Face Masks, Baby/Kids Gifts, Clothing, Home Gifts
Canvas: Landscape, Portrait, Square, and Panoramic Canvas Prints
Calendars: 8″x10″ single page, 8″x12″ single page, 8″x4″ desk calendar, 6″x8″ calendar, 8″x10″ calendar
Posters: Landscape, Portrait, Banners
Best Christmas Sellers
During the Christmas season, everyone is bringing photographs for framing. Also, businesses are coming who want to change their displays. This year the gift that is going very well are personalised mugs. They are putting pictures on the mugs with the message “Merry Christmas” or something similar. Calendars are popular this time of the year because people are changing them for the next year.
How to Buy From MyImages
At the moment they don’t have their own website. It’s in the making and there’s only one page with business details. But if you go to this page there’s a Fuji film link to click on so you can order online and choose between click and collect or delivery. As the nature of the framing is a bit different and personal input is necessary to get the results you want, it needs to be done in the shop.
Here’s where you can find MyImages:
Dún Laoghaire Town Shopping Centre
(01) 280 6542
Excited about shopping in Dun Laoghaire?
We hope we gave you a good few Christmas shopping options and ideas for presents. We’d say that our Dun Laoghaire businesses are well stocked to accommodate everyone’s taste. As the shops are open again and we rush to buy something special for everyone, we’d just like to remind you to be mindful of everyone around you and keep your distance. And of course, BUY LOCAL.
Thank you for supporting our Dun Laoghaire business community!
Please note that all participants in the above photos kindly temporarily removed their face masks to pose for the photos for this feature.
For a list of all the retail outlets in our town please see our Dún Laoghaire Town business directory.
Would you like us to include your business in future Love Dún Laoghaire features?
We would be delighted to, please send an email to [email protected] with details of your location in Dún Laoghaire and we will be in touch.