Support Small, Shop Local- 8 of the best shops to visit outside Belfast
After the amazing response my first post, '5 Shops You Need to Visit in Belfast' received I though it was time I expanded the boundaries and brought to you the best independent shops outside of Belfast, now I know there are still many other independent stores I probably don't know about or have missed out so apologies to all of you! So here is my rundown- support small, shop local!
In Klover, Hillsborough
This place has only been open since the end of October but has nestled in well to the Hillsborough streetscape. Claire and Lucy describe In Klover as an art gallery and gift shop, to me it should be called a design store as it reminds me so much of the design stores in Iceland, with a cool scandi décor all the items for sale are well displayed against the pale interior. They have gone out of their way to carefully select the best of Northern Ireland's makers including striking Kathryn Callaghan prints, colourful Thomas Powell pottery, Flax Fox's Hillsborough teatowel exclusively in In Klover, E&D Workroom's paper illustration, Jane Mathers- a textile artist who's work includes delicate embroidery onto prints and quirky Claire Newell ceramics. The girls are committed to providing a sustainable business dedicated to promoting art and design in Northern Ireland.
This newly opened little gem is located in Banbridge and the atmosphere is welcoming, partly down to the reclaimed shelving and mostly down to Rachel who owns it. On the bespoke shelving you will find just what you need to create an inviting home. There are succulent planters from local girl Zoe Conville, lovely scented candles from Irish company Candella, Rifle Paper Co notebooks (Woven is the only stockist in NI of these), unique art prints from Aly Harte and delicate Rebecca Killen ceramics who went to school with Rachel. There are also beautiful vegetable coloured leather bags from Wolfie and Willow which I have my eye on! And not to forget the Moroccan rugs which is where the shop started from, well worth a visit.
Oscar and Joy, Holywood
This is the shop to go to for well designed kitchen gadgets and home accessories. With brands like Normann Copenhangen, Joseph Joseph, Stelton and Vita lighting. The shop is passionate about coffee, they even have their own hand roasted coffee beans! You will find mugs, coffee presses, grinders and vacuum jugs to serve it in. They have a fantastic selection of kitchen gadgets, my favourite being the Stelton kettle with its simple timber handle and the breadbin of the same make. In a separate room towards the rear of the shop there is a great selection of lighting including Orwell and Goode who are a duo (one half is from Northern Ireland) who make beautiful hand printed lampshades- they also produced the pouffe featured.
Painted Earth, Newcastle
Painted Earth has been one of the staple shops in the Newcastle seafront for the last 16 years but recently Tanya and Ray have taken over and are determined to keep true to the shop's ethos of supporting local makers, artists and craftsmen. Tanya herself is a goldsmith who creates bespoke pieces of jewellery in her studio above the shop and has a range of contemporary, minimal jewellery for sale in the shop. Local brands include fragrant Bog Standard candles and soaps,contemporary Adam Frew ceramics, our favourite candles from The Bearded Candle Makers, and talented artists Chantelle Coombes and Sarah Majury to name a few.
BTS Interiors Concept Store, Coleraine
BTS stands for By The Sea and once you step inside this concept store you can instantly see the coastal influences in the objects for sale. There is a clear Nordic/ Danish influence with clean lines and a pared down colour palette, each object has been carefully chosen for the store creating a strong identity and a very calming atmosphere to shop in. The store has recently reopened following an extensive refurbishment, it now features cleverly designed birch furniture all hand made by Tracy's husband. The focus is clearly on good design and the shop boasts an array of design magazines, many of which BTS is the sole stockist in NI ranging from Darling, Kinfolk, Openhouse and local magazine Freckle. There are cushions and soft furnishing mixed with beautiful ceramics and planters, delicious candles and dining tables all beautifully styled to create a cohesive interior. My favourite pieces are from the selection of lighting including the desk lamp pictured below and the Tom Raffield steam bent wooden pendant. BTS is the only stockist on the North Coast of Sara O'Neill's stunning Éadach range of silk scarves.
The Craft Room, Comber
I've included this shop to show just how big the makers market is in Northern Ireland. This shop has just recently launched in Comber and is owned by 2 local makers- Debbie , owner of Wee YarnDesigns and William, who runs 'The Local' a company producing jams, chutneys and preserves. They both also run the North Down Craft Collective which has a market every second Saturday in Holywood Old School. From the success of this market they have opened the Craft Room which stocks all local products including lovely hand printed textiles from Jupiter Red, beautiful hand painted designs onto wood by Once Upon a Dandelion, colourful placemats and coasters by Kelsey Tyson Design, ceramics from Tea with Jud and intricate designs from Blackbird Papercuts. The shop is situated in its own little courtyard community with other local independents Indie Fude and The Goose Café so there's plenty to explore.
A Broader Picture, Portstewart
This store has been another familiar face on the North Coast for many years run by a local family. You may have seen me mention them before in my post about Icelandic Style as they stock one of the brands I saw over there- Bloomingville. The store is full of beautiful homewares featuring all types of style to create an eclectic interior. From contemporary lighting, lovely glass vases, rugs and textiles to candlesticks and mirrors, the shop has really kept up with modern trends. Again I was a big fan of the lighting on offer from this orange and grey angle lamp to the quirky wooden shapes pendants and these contemporary candle sticks by dutch brand Jansen and Co. with their mix of copper and colour would be a welcome addition to my home.
Linen and Latte, Glengormley
A hidden gem in Glengormley set just behind the main street, this lifestyle and coffee shop have a great selection of carefully chosen homewares and gifts including Dollybirds Art, amazing trays, glass bell jars and wall hangings featuring moths and insects from Biologica ( who was originally from Newcastle), vegan friendly bath and body gifts from Plum and Ashby and Orwell and Goode cushions. Linen and Latte are the only stockists of lovely prints, cosmetic bags and cushions from Sam Wilson in NI! While I was visiting I also overheard great customer service from Brigid and Matthew to an elderly couple who really wanted a sold out mince pie, Matthew conjured some out of nowhere especially for them!
And there we have it, hope you all enjoyed and all these places would be perfect for personal and meaningful Christmas presents!
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