Dispatches from Dublin: Designist

Contributor post by Emily Westbrooks of From China Village

Hello, Poppytalk readers! I'm so excited to start off my Dispatches from Dublin today. I'm a writer, blogger and generally creative soul who grew up in Maine. I moved to Dublin after marrying my Irish husband a little over three years ago. We thought we'd only stay a year, but now I think it might be another 10 before we get this wild and wonderful city out of our systems!

Ireland is known around the world for green pastures, woolly sweaters and all things Guinness. We have those, but we have so much more. The Ireland I know is modern, edgy, and seriously clever. I'm here to share all things crafty and creative and change your view of Ireland altogether.

Designist is one of my favorite shops in Dublin. It's the kind of store where you'll have a hard time deciding what to pick, because everything is equally clever.

The lovely ladies behind Designist, friends Barbara Nolan and Jennie Flynn, opened Designist in 2010 and it's been a welcome addition to Dublin's design scene. They source neatly designed products with a purpose, all with a price tag of less than 100 euro - not too common! Jennie and Barbara also source products from as many Irish designers as they can - in fact, 10 of their 25 current designers are Irish. That's no small feat in such a tiny

When you stroll through Designist, you'll quickly notice that each of the products they sell is accompanied by a small tag that explains what the product is, who created it, and where it's made. Jennie explained that the decision to include such detailed tags was intentional because both Jennie and Barbara wanted customers to understand the story behind each product. Reading each tag, I completely agree. I love understanding the story behind each design and it made me feel a connection with the designer to hear a little about their thought process.

I first heard of Designist a few months ago when they started a little buzz around Twitter. Ireland hasn't had an easy ride in this recession, falling hard from the days of the Celtic Tiger to persistent cuts in programmes, budgets, pensions, you name it. So, the Designist ladies asked the Twitter world for ideas with the hashtag #lovedublin and it took off. They got an onslaught of witty suggestions: traditional ones and the ones you might only appreciate if you've lived in Dublin. Loving what they saw, the ladies teamed up with Le Cool Dublin (http://lecool.com/dublin/en/today), a new online
magazine, to create a set of mugs and totes that show the Love Dublin pride. Designed in cool blues (Dublin's colors!), the Love Dublin line is so sweet. The mugs and totes make great gifts or souvenirs for both Dubliners or tourists.

Barbara and Jennie's love of collaboration with local designers will hopefully continue in 2012 - they're rumoured to be planning a postcard selection that's not so traditional. I can't wait!

One little piece of Designist trivia? Barbara and Jennie report that Designist seems to be a popular first date spot! Since the shop is surrounded by great restaurants, couples go to dinner and then often check out Designist - and then sometimes share a kiss outside. It must be so fun to know your shop is a part of budding romance!

68 South Great Georges Street
Dublin 2
+353 1 475 8534

Until next time, slan abhaile!


Emily Westbrooks is a Dublin-based creative and travel writer, artist and blogger. Raised and educated in Maine, Emily married an Irishman and moved to Dublin in 2008. She lives with her husband, Michael, on the northside of Dublin. Originally planning only to stay for a year, she now calls Dublin home. She loves exploring Dublin, adventuring through the hills of Ireland, and traveling around Europe,. And she really loves to write about her adventures, which she shares over on From China Village. She's passionate about design, and can't wait to change your perception of Irish craft and design. 

Jan Halvarson


Hannah said...

This store looks great! I am long overdue a return visit to Dublin- it's a fab city.

Alex - The Interior DIYer said...

Ahhh, I bought the Cake Cafe's pink and brown tea towel at their opening night back in December. I have it framed in my hallway. It's so adorable.

Well done, Emily!