Irish LGBTQ+ businesses and organisations we can all support right now

#Adoptashop and #shoplocal are proving invaluable for small businesses to survive. We’ve compiled a list of LGBTQ+ companies and queer faves for you to consider supporting in the run-up to the festive season.

A split screen image of different products from LGBTQ+ businesses

The pandemic has thrown all our lives into disarray and is causing seismic changes to the way we live right now. If we want to see smaller, local businesses and organisations weather the storm, there has never been a better time to consider supporting Irish LGBTQ+ businesses, they need it right now and frankly, there are lots of nice ways to treat ourselves and our faves while we make our way through this next lockdown. 

We also know that for some people, any spending will be tricky in the next while but you can still support small Irish LGBTQ+ businesses and organisations you like and would like to see stick around in non-monetary ways.

These include telling your pals about them, writing a positive review, following them on social media and engaging with their posts. 

Here’s a list of just some of our favourites that we think you should know about.

FOOD

Two Boys Brew 

A smash hit of a spot in darling Phibsborough; Tauren, Kevin and the team have been keeping the locals fed and caffeinated through all of the lockdowns. They have gift vouchers and, more immediately, do a delightful click and collect service – so if it’s in your 5k, get in! 

Slice Stoneybatter & Cake Cafe 

The man, the myth, the legend: Ray O’Neill runs two of the most beloved spots in their respective hoods. Slice in Stoneybatter has been a port of deliciousness in the COVID storm with the Panda-demic cookies and treats galore to keep you going. Ray was one of the first people to participate in GCN’s In and Out festival showing us all how to make cookies at home. You can watch that here

At Cake Cafe, you can order Afternoon Tea at home. I mean, the glamour!

Daddy’s Dublin 

Daddy’s Dublin is another queer-run local gem in Rialto. With the dream team of Colm Keane at the front of house and Vickey Curtis in the kitchen, these two (and the rest of the crew) have worked around the clock to keep the gorgeous food and drink flowing. They also have merch and, dear readers, it’s very good merch. Check it here

Daddy’s also stock beautiful bouquets from our friends at The Garden. You can find the Garden online here too. 

PS. Huge thanks to both Vickey and Colm for participating in the In and Out festival and sharing their gastronomic knowledge with us all! 

Extra Rialto shout out to The Cupcake Bloke. Super extra bonus yums.

Harry’s Nut Butter 

Harry Colley was working as a chef in the mighty Fumbally Cafe (Hi Guys!)  when his delightful new project was born. Harry started selling the jars of his delicious nut butter in Fumbally, they became an instant hit, and now you can buy direct from their site or in 100 shops across Ireland. 

The eye-catching jars are designed by the talented Sarah Moloney and as for the nut butter itself, well, dear reader, you have been warned, once you try, you’ll be hooked! 

Vegan Sandwich Co

Vegan Sandwich Co has experienced a whirlwind first year of business. What began as a tiny travelling market stall, now see them open their first store in Smithfield.  The space is cute, Sam and the team are all aces and the vegan sandwiches are DELICIOUS! Their famous chick*n fillet roll is not to be missed. Also, check out this local Halloween cuteness!

 

FASHION AND VISUAL ART

Jill & Gill

This gorgeously creative multidisciplinary studio is made up of creative duo Jill Deering ‘illustrator’ and Gillian Henderson ‘printmaker’. Jill and Gill are longtime friends of GCN having designed an exclusive tee as part of their Boss Lady series to celebrate our 30th Birthday. More recently, they launched Jill & Gill Apparel, a wonderful range of clothing made sustainably, and are currently resident in a pop-up retail space on Stephen’s Green. 

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Although we had to close our doors yesterday for the next 6 weeks, we wanted to reach out to all our customers and those who follow and support us to say that we are still going strong and open for business. As much as the last 6 weeks of trade as a bricks and mortar store has been an incredible learning experience we like so many will be trading "as normal" online. Browse our full collections of clothing and fine art prints via our website, we are delivering world wide and we will also be offering click and collect Monday – Wednesday 11-2pm for those within 5k of the store at Stephens Green. Any questions all you have to do is DM us or drop us an email at [email protected] Whatever we can do to make your online shopping experience easier, we're here to help. To those of you that have visited us in the last 6 weeks thank you, to everyone for shopping Irish and supporting small businesses through these uncertain times know that we are all doing that happy dance when you choose to shop local. Hopefully we will be back open again come the 1st of December for more chats, laughs and colour but in the meantime, stay safe – we will get through this together. Jill & Gill x x

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Pearl Reddington 

A rising star in the Irish fashion landscape, Pearl is known for her instantly recognisable graphic knitwear, and a penchant for neon yellow. Pearl is a multi-award-winning contemporary knitwear and clothing designer based in Ireland. 

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I hope everyone is ok x

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Dublin Vintage Factory 

Don’t even get us started on the glam squad that is Terry and the team! Dublin Vintage Factory is the original kilo store based in 11 Fownes Street Upper and 1 Merchant Arch, Temple Bar.

For Level 5, the physical stores will be closed but fret not, you can get your vintage fix by shopping online. 

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SHOP ONLINE NOW

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Nine Crows

Nine Crows, so named after their first physical premises, has grown in leaps and bounds since their first space opened in 2010 and now boast two stores in Dublin (Mary St and Pembroke Row) and concessions in four different Topshop stores. They have been dressing us in fabulous and sustainable fashion ever since and we love them. 

Level 5 will affect their physical stores but Praise, Dolly, they have a deadly online store for all your sartorial needs. 

Indigo & Cloth 

Indigo & Cloth keeps the team at GCN caffeinated on the daily and we are so grateful for that especially in these past few months. (Hi Scott and Andy!) As well as a delish cafe, Indigo is also a beautiful independent menswear store in the heart of Temple Bar. 

They will be open through the next six weeks serving takeaway coffee, retail goods and treats from the café space. Monday – Sunday, 11-4 pm.

For the store, they have everything available online. Free next-day shipping on all orders over €50. Collect in-store/curbside pick-up if you’re around the city.

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We’re staying open for the next 6 weeks, serving takeaway coffee, retail goods and treats from our café space. Monday – Sunday, 11-4pm. For the store, we’ve got everything available online. Free next day shipping on all orders over €50. Collect in-store/curbside pick-up if you’re around the city. We’ve got some very exciting news to share next week – originally for an in-store pop-up space set for the end of this month, which has naturally been pushed back for 6 weeks time. We’ll be sharing it online as a result. We wanted to say thank you to everyone who’s supported us over the last few days. We have really felt the love and care out there. Look after one another and we’ll see you soon ✌️🤞 — & — #indigoandcloth #menswear #lifestyle #design #cafe #templebar #dublin

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Industry

Industry is an interiors shop on Drury Street that stocks items that are vintage, upcycled and new and that have been hand-picked by the owner- interior designer Vanessa Mac Innes. They also have a delightful cafe in store but they deserve our support and our love for recently refusing to serve a maskless Gemma O’Doherty! 

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From tomorrow (Thursday) our opening hours and Drury Street store offering will change. Our customer service, beautiful product range and team of employees will, however, remain the very same. A small section of our store will be open for essential products – our retail food range, eco-friendly household products, masks and sanitiser. The remainder of our store will be transformed into an area where we will carefully wrap, pack and ship online orders to our incredibly supportive customers or their loved ones. Under the level five restrictions we, like so many of our independant retailer friends, will be able to offer a click + collect service. To safely hand over orders to some of you in person will be a delight during the next six weeks of necessary lockdown. Our deli will remain open for take away. Whilst we will serve a reduced menu to ensure the safety of our team and our customers, we will have delicious, freshly prepared coffee, breakfast pastries and lunch for anyone within a 5km radius. There will, of course, be our sea salt brownies. Hopefully we will see some of you in person at our 'Industry Essentials' store, take away deli or as you collect your online orders . To those we won't see for a while – we miss you already. Thank you to everyone for your continued support – most of all our fantastic team ❤

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Hens Teeth Store 

Hens Teeth are a store, gallery, diner and wine bar on Blackpitts, Dublin 8, and we love them. They have been putting smiles on faces through art, food and music since 2015. They work with artists from around the globe to create original artworks, adding colour to your life.

They are still open for click and collect, so, if it’s in your 5k, get in. If not, you can treat yourself to their gorge art in the online store.

PHOTOGRAPHY

We here in GCN towers LOVE us some good photography and we’re so lucky that we get to work with some of the best in the biz! If there’s a photographer you really like, check out their site and see if they have prints for sale or consider buying a gift voucher for yourself or someone else for a shoot (when we can again!). 

Some of our absolute faves include Babs Daly, Hazel Coonagh, Brian Teeling and Steven Peice.

HALFTONE is an initiative by PhotoIreland, hosted every year at The Library Project, bringing together a large selection of works by established and emerging artists, showcasing Ireland’s exciting art scene. Artworks start at €20, the Print Fair has a print for every taste, wall, space, and pocket!

Artworks include screenprint, stencil, risography, lithography, etching, and photography amongst many others. All selected works will be on display during HALFTONE from Thursday 29 October 2020, when they will go on sale.

ART, CULTURE AND GIFTING

Okay, if you’re anything like me, part of the joy of visiting your local arts institutions is the gift store. For the next while, that’s not going to be possible so here are some ways to still support those businesses and treat yourself or someone else with these gems. 

Project Arts Centre 

Our fabulous neighbours have had to close the big, blue building again for the lockdown but fear not, they have a gorgeous online store where you can buy a range of awesome items, from branded face masks and gift vouchers to art prints. There are A LOT of deadly items.

IMMA 

IMMA is closed to the public right now but they also have a super fun online store with lots of terrific options to suit all budgets.

One Strong Arm 

One Strong Arm is a creative tour-de-force making beautiful work, both analogue and digital for years. The man with the aforementioned arm is the art director of GCN, Dave Darcy, and when he’s not making our magazine, website and events look beautiful, he’s busy in his letterpress studio making prints, books and projects. 

West Queer Art 

West Queer Art was founded by the totally awesome Sharon Nolan in 2020. Sharon is an activist and queer artist based in Galway, and explain on their site that “While they were always interested in art and being creative, they didn’t always have the time and confidence to create pieces to share with the world.” Well, Sharon, we’re glad you have shared your art with the world. Check it out. 

Áine Macken Art 

Long time member of the GCN fams and (full disclosure), one of my fave human people! Áine Macken is a fiercely talented artist who paints wonderful watercolours and you can commission her to paint your dog, baby, pal or hero! So fun. 

Bonus fact: Áine and her wife Ashley wrote an excellent piece for GCN earlier this year about how to be more than an ally in the fight against racism, and if you haven’t read it, you really should. 

Dirtbird 

We love us some Dirt Bird. Sarah Devereux, the creative force behind Dirtbird is an accomplished performer and artist, notably, one half of the beloved queer cabaret duo, Spicebag. Sarah’s art as Dirtbird is super fun and colourful and we love all her creations. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGueehmnmGg/

Beanantees 

Empowering apparel and gifts celebrating Wild Irish Women and An Ghaeilge. Designed, embroidered and printed in the hills of Donegal. Need we say more? 

IFI 

Now, I may be showing my age but the IFI is so connected to my access point into my queerness. As a baby gay, before I worked for GCN, I used to get my monthly copy of GCN from the IFI. I know I’m not alone in my adoration of this beloved city centre arty cinema. There was always the best queer movies at IFI and most recently GAZE 2020 used the great IFI @ home to provide its festival this year. 

They have had to close again but please do consider supporting them right now so we’ve a great location to go back to when we can. They have lots of ways you can support. 

Tropical Popical 

The absolute babes at Trop Pop are just our faves. We were going to recommend that you buy vouchers to support them during this lockdown and then we spotted on their Instagram that if you buy a voucher during this time they’ll be donating 10% of its value to Women’s Aid or the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. You can also donate directly to both @Womens.Aid and the @dublinrapecrisis Centre on their websites.

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As we head into lockdown, we know ppl are soundly doing their best to support local and we were so appreciative of the support we got from ppl buying vouchers during the last lockdown. And as much as we'll need the support, we're also cognizant of those who are going to have a much more difficult time during this period. People in abusive relationships and victims of sexual abuse are now facing into a heightened period with the restrictions. So for the duration of lockdown you can choose to buy a voucher that we'll be donating 10% of the value to your choice of Women's Aid or the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. Calls to Women’s Aid went up by 43 per cent between March and June, and visits to its website rose by 71 per cent. Anecdotally, Noeline Blackwell from the DRCC said, helpline volunteers are reporting calls “from people saying that people at home with them are angrier. They’re drinking more, they’re more frustrated. And where is it easiest to offload that anger? If you’re abusive, the easiest target is somebody in the home”. You can read the rest of this article from last week's Irish Times for more information, just search 'I saved myself. I saved my children.' You can donate directly to both @Womens.Aid and the @dublinrapecrisis Centre on their websites.

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Modern Botany 

Modern Botany is an Irish LGBTQ+ owned and run business that started with a simple belief – it’s time to do better. Modern Botany creates personal care products that are kind to our bodies and our planet.

On their site they explain, “Harnessing the potent powers of the finest quality natural ingredients, our high-performance formulations are based on the principles of botanical science. The range of clean, multi-tasking essentials has been designed to transform your daily routine, simply and without fuss.”

Top Tip: Their multipurpose oil is mega and a skin and hair care game-changer. 

Sex Siopa 

Since 2012 Sex Siopa has been a multi-award winning health and design-focused sex toy shop in Ireland. Owner Shawna Scott, an out and proud bi person, is a total badass and we love that she curates a selection of the best quality sex toys. They even have a newbies range, so what are you waiting for? 

H&G Creations 

Our pals at H&G Creations have a new lifestyle brand. They are earth-conscious, homemade with love in Ireland and encourage beautiful moments of reflection and self-care at home. 

Get a sneak peek at their capsule collection before anyone else (before they even launch!) here.

MUSIC

Bandcamp Fridays 

Bandcamp’s mission is to create the best possible service for artists and labels to share and earn money from their music, and for fans to discover and enjoy it. They started Bandcamp Fridays back in March to support artists impacted by the pandemic, and in the past few months the music community has come together in a huge way: in just four days, fans put more than $20 million directly into the pockets of artists and labels.

Bandcamp Fridays 2020 Calendar: November 6, 2020, and December 4, 2020. This is an ideal way to support queer faves like Ailbhe Reddy, Pillow Queens, Denise Chalia and Evvol to name but a few. 

Also, top tip, lots of LGBTQ+ acts have merch stores along with their records so if you already own their music then buy a tee or a tote and rep them through the winter months! 

BOOKS

Gutterbookshop 

Another of our fabulous neighbours in the Temple Bar area, Gutterbookshop is a firm favourite in the city. The wonderful Bob and team have worked tirelessly all year to keep us all stocked up with the latest releases, best new books and classics you’ve had on the to-read list for an age. 

Twilight Together by Ruth Medjber 

The super talented Ruth Medjber has put us all to shame by turning a lockdown project into a shiny, beautiful book. Ruth explains on her Instagram the book “evolved over Instagram and social media posts through some very dark days.” This is the one that includes 499 gorgeous Irish people from Clifden to Cabra and everywhere in between and it’s been nominated for an An Post Irish Book Award.

You can vote for it here!

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My 1st book, the one that pretty much evolved over instagram and social media posts through some very dark days. The one that includes 499 gorgeous Irish people from Clifden to Cabra and everywhere in between is nominated for an @anpost_irishbookawards !🤯 The category is stuffed with successful authors, so really I'm just delighted to be nommed (a cliché, I know) and don't expect at all to win. BUT, if you could spare a quick min and throw me a vote, that would be AMAZING. The feckin thing isn't even out yet, so I'm totally asking you to vote blindly which is slightly cruel of me.😬 I still can't believe I got a book deal, let alone an award nomination. MADNESS!! Oh and c'mere, I totally begged the photographer (@patrickbolger) to let me climb the books. Legit begged, like a spoiled child. 👶 Yis can vote using the links in my bio or here:https://irishbookawards.irish/vote2020/ THANKS THANKS THANKS

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Dublin InQuirer 

Dublin’s independent local newspaper, Dublin InQuirer has been publishing since June 2015. It’s a fantastic local resource. It’s 100% reader-funded and reports both online and monthly in print. They do in-depth reporting on the issues that shape our capital city.

GCN

Subscribe to GCN print or support our digital endeavours. As Ireland’s national LGBTQ+ press, we’ve been reflecting queer life in Ireland since 1988.

 

COMMUNITY

We couldn’t possibly finish a list like this without mentioning some of the excellent LGBTQ+ charities and community organisations working tirelessly despite all the COVID uncertainty. 

A donation to your fave queer org makes a great gift and is a really vital way to show your support. Here are just a few in no particular order that we think you should consider: 

PaveeBlack Pride IrelandShout OutTENI, Belong To, LGBT Ireland, Gay Project Cork, Origins Eile, NXF, Outhouse, Dublin Lesbian Line, LINC, HIV Ireland, Equality for Children.

Check out the hashtags #Adoptashop, #shoplocal and #championGreen for more and check out the awesome GO shop Irish for a plethora of small Irish creatives. 

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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