The Art and Craft of Ireland - How to find one of a kind Irish gifts


The Art and Craft of Ireland - how to find one of a kind Irish gifts

Shopping for Art in Ireland


I am a fervent and enthusiastic supporter of Creativity and work really hard to promote artists and their work both here in Ireland and abroad. My dream has been to establish a marketplace where folks who share my love of Irish artwork can choose from some of the top artists and crafters across the country.

A longtime dream of mine has finally come true.

At the Biscuit Factory, we have created a place for Irish art and craft that is handcrafted here in Ireland and represents the immense talents of Irish artists.

The time has come and The Biscuit Factory Marketplace is now open.

So we say to you...


“You can’t buy happiness but you can buy local, and that’s kind of the same” – Unknown




Buying Irish Gifts online and at Craft Shows

Imagine not having to slog through the crowds at the shopping centers.

Being able to buy unique one of a kind handmade Irish gifts from local artisans. Not only that but when was the last time you saw something so unique so unusual that you had to have it.

Say no more to shopping with all the other lemmings.

Say no to the same old same old.

Say no to cardboard cutout gifts.

Say no to chain stores that rake in your cash, pollute the planet and get rich off the backs of those who are paid barely enough to eat.


A brilliant way to support your local community or even on a broader scale support Irish artists is to shop at craft fairs, pop up shops or simply online through places like The Biscuit Factory Marketplace.


Shopping this way means that your money is going to work in your community and if you attend craft shows or pop-ups you get to meet the makers and talk with them about their art.


You get to hear their stories on how they crafted their products.

Think about this - someone made that gift with their very own hands and imbued it with all the love and talent they have. That gorgeous piece that you have coveted or wanted to buy for someone else has all the love and care embedded in its making, it was created by someone who is passing on their gift to another.

An Irish gift will make someone's Christmas, anniversary, birthday or special occasion.

Here in Ireland, the biggest craft show is the National Crafts and Design Fair, which opens at the RDS Main Hall in Dublin around the first week of December.

Over 600 stands will offer everything from textiles, ceramics, and woodcraft, to leatherwork, jewelry, paintings, and photography. 

From Cork to Letterkenny, Belfast, and Derry, virtually every town and village across Ireland will have a Christmas Craft Fair. You can find listings online at sites like CollectIreland and then follow these tips for a successful craft show safari.




Our favourite 9 tips for shopping for Irish gifts at craft shows 

1. Make a list of who's naughty and nice.

It's critical that you have a list before you go or you'll end up like me buying all the things that catch my eye. I'm a magpie when it comes to shopping craft shows so I have to remember to keep my eye on who I'm buying for.

2. Make a budget.
Beside each person's name put an amount that you are willing to spend and stick to it.

3. Now the hardest part... what does the person you are buying for love

What will make their Christmas or give them that warm glow of a gift that you? Put careful thought into this. Is it a scented candle that reminds them of the Wild      Atlantic Way? Is it a beautiful print of waves crashing n the shore?       

Alternatively, perhaps it's a vase or a piece of pottery to add to their collection. Maybe they love handmade jewelry.


See that's why you need a list!

4. Take cash

Many craft vendors don't have the ability to take credit or debit cards so always take cash and make sure there's an ATM nearby in case you run out. This trend is changing though as vendors get more tech-savvy and the tech provides the solutions.

5. Go early in the morning

When all the good stuff is being put out and there are fewer crowds.

7. Be prepared

With the necessary shopping bags to fill with all your gifts.

8. Have a good breakfast before you go.

Many of the shows in halls have food available but it can be expensive so why waste your spending money on a bad sandwich and coffee. With that in mind, perhaps take your own bottle of water or a flask of tea or coffee. Save the pennies for shopping

9. Check out the parking before you go.

Do you have to pay and display or is the parking free. Where is the parking in relation to the show? You don't want to be carrying your fabulous gift haul miles to get to your car.

10. Go with someone you know has good taste

...and will help your decision-making options. Don't drag around a husband, kids, wife; friends who detest shopping it will make the experience just awful.




 9 Tips on how to shop online for Irish Arts and Crafts

1. If shopping online, make sure you check the Biscuit Factory Marketplace first. 

    2. Make sure you don't have to sign up and hand over your credit or debit card information until you are ready to buy.
      3. Don't rely on a simple email address or post office box, make sure you check that the trader is legitimate.
        4. Always check the vendor's reviews and see if there is any negative feedback. Be very careful with new websites set up for single traders as they could be fraudulent. Remember if it sounds too good to be true.   
          5. Make sure the website is secure. Check in the box with the website address that it is green with a padlock and not red. Google these days will show you that a website is secure using ‘https://’. If you click on the security icon you will be able to tell if the retailer has the proper encryption. You will also have to click on things like "accept cookies" and double-check that the website retailer is following the GDPR guidelines for securing your personal data.
            6. Use a credit or debit card that offers you buyer protection. Don't forget to check your statements to make sure the correct amount was charged or debited. Another option is to use Paypal or Stripe which have built-in protection guarantees for purchasers.  
              7. When shopping online double and triple check the shipping options. If they are local then you won't get stuck paying excessive customs, duties or taxes on the goods you buy.  

                8. Check the fine print and understand exactly what the retailer's return and cancellation policies are before you buy. You want to know if the gift doesn't fit or suit that you can return it and get a full refund.

                9. You should also check how to return the goods. Do you pay to ship back to the retailer or do they have a courier pick it up?

                    So now I've given you all these amazing and incredibly helpful tips it's time for you to share them with the world and encourage everyone you know to get to the Biscuit Factory Marketplace and start shopping whooop!


                    On that note, you need to tell me what you bought, what you want to buy and how you shared the website to encourage others to buy local.


                    Hit me in the comments below...yup I answer every one! 


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                      • Thanks so much Toni.
                        The Marketplace is a work in progress and excited to see it evolve!

                        Tara Prendergast on

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