The average Irish person spends €300 on Black Friday.
We get it; there are some excellent big brand bargains to be had.
Seeing as every tenner spent on local Irish products generates more than €40 of benefit to the local community in terms of employment however, it’s well worth considering if a Cork business has the gift you’re looking for before you hit the high street
They might not have the advertising budgets of global beauty and lifestyle brands, but many Cork businesses are producing luxury, artisan and handmade goods that you’d be hard pressed to find in the most exclusive department stores.
Here are six beautiful Cork brands to shop this week:
1. Sómas Studio Luxury Candles
The name is inspired by the Irish word meaning ‘comfort’ and Sómas candles are one of few candles brands that truly live up to their ethos. Made in Cork by Margaret Urbanowicz, Sómas small batch candles are made using high quality natural soy wax and boast cotton wicks for a cleaner burn.
The scents are inspired by the Irish landscape (we can’t get enough of the ‘Honey & Smoked Beech’ fragrance and ‘Woods’ – a rich herbal scent inspired by Cork’s own Farran Woods, both €26.95 for the large candle with 50 hours burn time).
Shop the latest Sómas candles and gift sets here.
2. Jayney Mac jewellery
A unique and fun stocking filler, Jayney Mac’s colourful range of jewellery and accessories is also supremely affordable. That means you can order a pair of Sloth earrings (€8.46) for your best pal, then add an Alpaca pin (€8.76) to your cart for yourself.
Handmade by designer Jane Mac Carthy in her Cork studio, all of the pieces are made using shrink plastic. She’ll even personalise a Christmas tree ornament for your cat
Shop Jayney Mac jewellery here.
3. Mr Kite Designs
Handmade in Cork by Jo Slevin, Mr Kite Designs are well known for their colourful lampshades, but these cute organic cotton coin purses (€15) make a brilliant stocking filler. The bright and fun little bags are ideal for carrying your phone, keys sunglasses and essentials – and they’re just as cute on the inside as they are on the outside.
Shop Mr Kite Designs here.
4. Leanún Designs stationery
You know what they say; fail to prepare, prepare to fail. That’s why a proper diary for list making and note taking is an essential, particularly at the beginning of a brand new year.
We love the clever layout and design of Cork company Leanún Designs’ chic Six Month Daily Planner (€28.50). Every day gets a full page and there are dedicated Goals & Goal Action List, Needs & Treats, Things to Download, Books to Read, People to Meet, Things to Try, and Important Dates sections too.
Shop Leanún Designs planners and diaries here.
5. Cork Boy utensils
Designed and made by Kinsale chef Martin Horgan, who is part of the Craftek co-op on the Tramore Road, Cork Boy kitchen utensils combine the feeling of traditional wooden cookware with a contemporary functionary design.
Created for use with non stick pans, home cooks will love them because the cork gives the utensils a warm feeling in the hand while keeping the weight down.
Shop the Cork Boy Spatula and Butter Knife, €60 here.
6. Codex Bia Soaps
One of the biggest Cork business success stories of the year, Tracey Ryan’s Cork company Bia Beauty was acquired by American bio-technologist Barbra Paldus during the summer. Now Master Formulator and Managing Director of Codex Beauty Europe, Tracey has unveiled Bia, a new class of clean skin care that harnesses the untapped power of indigenous Irish botanicals and cutting-edge, green technology, under the Codex brand.
The new soaps are the ultimate in luxury and the Bia Balancing Soap is one that should be in everybody’s shower during the hectic festive season. An herbaceous blend of cedarwood, bergamot, marjoram, and mint, it’s enriched with moisturising shea butter, French green clay and comfrey, nettle, and wheatgrass.
Shop Codex Bia Soaps (€20) here.