WHAT WE LOVE: A treasure trove of 100% Irish linens, tweeds and knits. Designed and crafted to present old world skills and traditions in a new light.
WHO: Friends and partners, Sonia Reynolds and Frances Duff, former models with a diverse background in design, marketing and media.
WHERE: Located just off busy Grafton street in the heart of Dublin.
When was STABLE of Ireland established? 2016
What is STABLE of Ireland known for? Irish designed and made accessories and gifts, to wear and for the home that showcase Irish design, textiles and timeless craftsmanship. Customers are surprised and delighted to discover a totally unique collection of exclusive Irish luxury scarves, clothing, bath and table linens, blankets, throws and knitwear. Our aim is to give everyone a truly memorable experience, a real flavour and personal feel for what we believe to be the very best of Ireland. Every one leaves as friends!
Why did you chose the name STABLE of Ireland? We chose STABLE because we love the outdoors, the fresh air and the Irish countryside! It is short and strong and memorable and a great roof over our heads for our thoughts and dreams.
Who designed the shop? Sonia and I designed the shop to be a generous, welcoming, story filled home for all that we do. We want it to be a visually interesting place. A beautiful curated backdrop for our exclusive Irish textiles and accessories. The shop is a constant moving showcase and the design of the shop reflects the need to change and create new colour and texture themes on a weekly basis. The exquisite old display cabinets and units were sourced from a family haberdashery store in Wexford and the modern tables and units complement our focus on presenting our scarves and accessories for the way we live and wear today.
What is STABLE of Ireland best known for? We are most famous for our great range of Irish Linen scarves. We are passionate about Irish Linen and our scarves are our most coveted ranges. We have six styles for men and women and over 25 different colour ways. We design and make our Irish linen scarves working with the three remaining Irish Linen weavers.. Everyone looks so great in linen and it is always a really popular gift choice.
What are the must have items in your shop? A Stable Irish Linen Scarf. Our Stable Handwoven large wrap scarf, made by Eddie who is 82 years old, who has been weaving since he was 17. Each and every scarf is unique and of the most beautiful quality. Our STABLE Aran Jumper. It is the perfect Aran, designed and made exclusively for us, with locally spun and dyed yarn and knitted in Donegal.
Where are STABLE of Ireland’s products made? We design our collections in Dublin and then our priority is to source and make our collections only on the island of Ireland.
What makes STABLE of Ireland so unique? It offers a totally unique collection of Irish Linen, Wool and Cashmere not to be found anywhere else in Ireland or the world.
Who are your customers? International travellers and Irish folks and friends who love to find interesting, slow sustainable Irish timeless craftsmanship. People who are proud to wear, gift and champion Irish made.
How has the internet impacted your business? It has impacted our business in a positive way. Foreign travellers go home and continue to source and buy from us which is truly wonderful.
Have you adapted your business to the coronavirus pandemic?
As we had to close our store for over 3 months and our foreign customers are not travelling to Ireland, we have had to adapt in many ways. We went from a physical store to an online business overnight. We were the first to design and introduce the Irish Linen reusable face mask in March which we supply all over the world now. We also have become involved in give back campaigns during this pandemic and run an ongoing campaign donating masks to local not for profit businesses and charities. We are living with fact that that running a shop in the time of COVID is going to be an enormous challenge with the loss of over 80% of our footfall. We are deeply committed to what we do and to the 30 + weavers, knitters and producers who we work with. We will stay positive and survive!
Sonia Reynolds and Frances Duff, shopkeepers at STABLE of Ireland
Who inspires you? Our friends. Our weavers. Our customers. People with strong independent style and values rooted in the welfare of the earth and humanity.
What inspires you? Road trips to the Irish mountains, coasts and countrysides north and south where we always see new and fresh sights and views of the landscapes, meet new friends and spark up new collaborations and ideas. We love nothing more than a road trip!
Before we were shopkeepers… we were both working in fashion, brand development and marketing, events and promotions for many years. Sonia and I met when we were modelling many years ago. Our Irish look meant we often were working with Irish Linen and tweed brands and so it was an early introduction to what we do now. Sonia went on to become one of Ireland’s most celebrated fashion management consultants, launching many Irish brands and working with government bodies to promote Irish craft and design. I worked in television, interior and graphic design in London and returned to Ireland to work in the marketing sector in Dublin for many years. We joined forces and worked together for a number of years on brand, design and craft marketing and events.
Why did you open STABLE of Ireland? We wanted to present our edit, what we believed to be the best of Irish style, design and craft. We started as a pop up with a small collection. The success of that gave us the confidence to take on a lease to open a shop.
Did you have prior retail experience? Francie had experience in health store retailing for a number of years.
Your favorite thing about owning an independent shop? Is the extraordinary people you meet, sharing the things you love, the stories told and experiences that happen in the space everyday.
Your advice for anyone wanting to open a shop? You have to be passionate about what you sell and love what you do and genuinely like meeting people!
If you weren’t a shopkeeper you would be..? Running a small hotel with a great restaurant by the sea!
What are your favourite local independent businesses? Fumbally Cafe, Tweed Project, Article, Susan Hunter Lingerie, Costume, Scout, The Garden, Coffee Angel, Blazing Salads, ESL Jewellery, Paula Rowan Gloves, La Perfumeria, Stone Chat Jewellery.
I wish I could… travel abroad!
ON THE FUTURE OF RETAIL
“The future of retail is online certainly. However, small independent shops will always be relevant and an important part of life and living in communities. People need people and experiences that are real, tangible and create associations and memories of a place and time. Nothing can replace the magic of chance discovery of a unique independent shop, a space where you can immerse yourself in a world of beautiful curated things with texture and tales to be told. Independent shops tend to be owned and run by people who are passionate about what they sell. It’s more than a profit making enterprise. It is a celebration of an eye or an edit, the people involved the products/collections for sale their,makers and the stories shared and to be created into the future.”
2 Westbury Mall, Balfe Street, Dublin