2020 has been one rollercoaster of a year, that’s for sure! Now that we’re almost month out from the Big Day, I think it’s finally time to start sharing some Christmas related content. For me, it was always going to be really important to support local businesses this year more so than any other. Without the support of a number of local businesses, my blog wouldn’t be where it is today. They have been hit so hard with lockdowns and restrictions, and endeavoured to remain so resilient through it all. I am delighted to share some wonderful gift ideas from businesses in County Wexford in this blog. So pen and paper at the ready; here is your Wexford Gift Guide 2020.
Arts and Design Gifts
Precious Pebbles is such a lovely and unique idea by Verna. She hand-makes pebble art frames and cards for any occasion. Verna has an amazing collection to view on her Facebook page, click here. I was really blown away by this talent, I think they’re so unique and really beautiful gifts for someone special this Christmas.
Sarah Cogley is an amazingly talented visual artist based in Wexford. Sarah Cogley Art is sold in numerous locations across Wexford and commissions bespoke pieces for her customers. This could be a house portrait, pet portrait or children’s keepsake shoe illustration. Prices start at €45 with various sizes available. Illustrations can be framed and postage is available around Ireland and to the U.K. You can see more examples of her work here.
Handmade Crafts by Chloe is a lovely little business run by Chloe Keeling. Chloe creates bespoke frames for a variety of occasions. Each frame can be tailored to the person it’s being made for, including their name, favourite colours, dates of birth, wedding dates, etc. You can check out all the designs Chloe offers on her Facebook page, here.
There are some memories we wish could last forever and thanks to This and That Design, you can capture the memory of what someone special said with one of their bespoke designs. You simply email them the video or sound recording when placing your order and they transform it in to a custom piece of sound wave art. It could be a baby’s heartbeat, a loved ones laugh, a special song or a dogs bark. Especially this year, when we’ve been asked to stay apart from our loved ones for so long, I think they make gorgeous gifts. They also create Ogham writing art and wax melt Christmas gifts. You can see their full range on This and That Design’s website.
Over the last 9 months, businesses across the world have had to adapt to the Coronavirus. One such success story is that of Grace’s Favours. Simmi is an embroidery artist that creates handmade decorations. There are a wide variety of designs on Grace’s Favours etsy shop or you can contact her about customised pieces. You will now also find a collection or reusable cotton face masks available – the accessory none of us could have predicted would become so essential last Christmas! The cut-off date for Christmas orders is November 30th 2020 and you can view the full shop here.
Sew Fun Studios are a sewing and design studio in Wexford town. They offer courses and workshops for adults and children of all ages and have downloadable gift vouchers available to purchase online. They would be fantastic Christmas gifts as sewing is such a practical skill to have and you get to design something beautiful in the process. Sew Fun Studios also have Sip ‘n’ Sew nights throughout December; a brilliant Christmas party alternative, where you BYOB and enjoy the experience of sewing together with your pals! You can find more information on their website www.sewfunstudios.ie
If there is someone on your Christmas list that absolutely loves to be snug and cosy, maybe curled up on the couch with a festive film, then Angela’s Quillos are a great gifts! A Quillo is a unique craft gift, that is a pillow that expands out into a fleece quilt. Take a look at this video on Angela’s Quillos Facebook page for the full idea but I just think they’re so cute! There are lots of designs and colours to choose from, whether it’s a cute children’s Quillo, neutral designs or funky patterns. You can contact Angela through her Facebook page here.
Hair and Beauty Gifts
We are blessed in county Wexford with an abundance of incredible hairdressers, salons and makeup artists. And who doesn’t love a bit of pampering, especially after the hectic festive period. First up, we have the award winning Zen Beauty and Hair Bar in Wexford town. Their experienced therapists offer a range of beauty services in salon and virtual skin consults online. They also retail some great gifts, such as their Zen Signature Collection of candles and wax melts for just €30, CND Nail Polish & Care Products, Dermalogica skincare and He-Shi tanning products to name but a few. View their online shop at www.zenbeautyandhairbar.ie
SalonDiva is a well-known and loved salon in Wexford town and their talented stylists are happy to advise on the range of haircare products they retail, including the Alfaparf Milano and Colour Wow ranges. I’ve used products from both of those ranges before and they’re incredible! More recently, SalonDiva has grown to include nails by Nail Lounge and eyelash and eyebrow services by Lash Envy so it really is a one stop shop for your beauty needs. You can view the full list of treatments and contact details on www.salondivawexford.ie
Over the years, we learn more and more about how to care for our hair better. We know that heat damages our hair so the SteamPod is a revolutionary styling tool that uses steam as opposed to direct heat. Luckily, Aideen Vonno Hair in Enniscorthy stock the SteamPod and are now taking deposits for Christmas. They also retail the Milkshake Christmas Gift Sets for just €44, that’s a saving of €16! Contact them through Facebook here.
Speaking of Lash Envy, they are a fabulous local business that specialise in luxury eyelash extensions, among other treatments. I’ve had the pleasure of a treatment by Ashleigh, (which you can read more about here), and I have to say her service is second to none and the results were incredible. Lash Envy retail SpaceMasks and silk pillowcases which are all complimentary to the longevity of lash extensions. Check out their full website here.
Not forgetting the guys when it comes to grooming; Soft Paws Cosmetics have a huge range of beard oils and butters. The family run business handcraft all their vegan products in Rosslare and include hand soaps as well. I just love the quirky names – Hair of the Dog, Hear Me Roar and Flaminglow are some of my faves! You can shop the full collection on www.softpaws.ie
Holos Skincare is a range of nutritious plant-based skincare products that help prevent the signs of ageing. Hand made in County Wexford, Holos use plant ingredients that contain vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and antioxidants. Also, the award winning brand are vegan, cruelty free and eco-friendly. This Christmas they have a wonderful range of gift ideas, from Love Your Skin Queen gift sets to Taster Kits for day and night time where you get miniature products to trial, which is a brilliant introduction to Holos Skincare if you’re new to their products. You can shop the full range of gifts on www.holos.ie
Food and Homewares
A hamper full of yummy local produce is always a winning gift idea and we have so much to choose from in the Model County. Isle of Crackers is an artisan bakery that use locally grown rapeseed oil and flour to create their flaxseed crackers. They can be found in shops across Wexford, Waterford, Wicklow, Kilkenny and Limerick. Or contact Isle of Crackers through Facebook to order and get recipe ideas.
We all love a good catch up with friends over a coffee and where better to indulge than in The House Cafe and Bistro. Located on the top floor of the National Opera House, you can enjoy their stunning menu while taking in the amazing views of Wexford town. Gift vouchers are available and it would be something lovely to look forward to in the New Year. You can contact The House Cafe and Bistro through Facebook, here.
It’s tough enough to open a new business, without a worldwide pandemic thrown in to the mix! But that’s exactly what JUNA have done, opening the doors of their store in Gorey in August. Just one look at their website and you will fall in love with their stunning collection of gifts and homeware. JUNA have a beautiful selection of Christmas gifts and decorations, as well as ornate homeware for all year round. The aesthetic of their items is right up my street! You can shop online at www.juna.ie with free delivery on orders over €100.
As I’m a self-confessed chocoholic, I had to include some yummy treats in my gift guide! Zaeire Arisan Chocolates are handmade in Bridgetown, Wexford using the finest Belguim chocolate and fresh ingredients. Zaeire make boxes of artisan chocolates, chocolate bars with a whole host of fillings, and Hot Chocolate Swizzle Sticks. Stir them in a cup of hot milk and watch the chocolate dissolve – a great idea for Christmas Eve night! You will find Zaeire in lots of local retailers across the South East or the full collection is available to shop online at www.zaeire.com
Health and Wellbeing Gifts
Our own wellbeing is something that we’ve all definitely taken more seriously this year. Between lockdowns and new routines, it’s been a chance to review our overall lifestyle and to make changes where needed. NN Sports Coaching use the four pillars of Nutrition, Exercise, Water and Sleep to help people make sustainable lifestyle changes. Declan is a qualified Health and Nutrition coach and makes personalised plans to suit his client’s needs. Gift vouchers are available on www.nnsportcoaching.ie
Followers of my blog will know my own journey with my skin, developing acne at the age of 25. So, very often I talk about skincare and it’s importance. A gift voucher for Face to Face Skincare Clinic in Gorey would make an amazing gift for someone that wants to take better care of their own skin in 2021. Jenny is an aesthetic skincare nurse practitioner with over 30 years experience and specialises in a range of treatments, including online skin consultations now in these times of social distancing. You can view the full list of services on their website here.
A fantastic local business that has launched in recent years is The Mum Gym. Owned by Steph, who is a mum to 3 boys under the age of 3, The Mum Gym is your one stop shop for fitness both before and after baby is born. Steph’s gym is based in Clonard but during 2020, classes have gone virtual which makes it accessible from anywhere in the world. This Christmas, you can buy gift vouchers for Online Training for 1 month or 3 months. For any queries, contact Steph on www.themumgym.com
Jaymee’s Health and Beauty are based in Zamora Hair Salon in Wexford. From here, Jaymee offers a range of treatments and therapies. She specialises in Sports Massage, Physical Therapy and Dry Needling which helps release tension and trigger points in the muscles. A voucher for Jaymee’s Health and Beauty would be an amazing gift – who wouldn’t be looking forward to some R&R after Christmas, right?! Contact through Facebook here.
There are so many fabulous Christmas gift sets to choose from every year but one that I find is always well received is a skin care one. The Skin Cellar in Wexford Town have plenty to choose from. Their Skin Box’s are a range of gift sets, the products in which can be personalised to suit a person’s skin type. You can choose from products that are Vegan and Organic to Medical and Paramedical, skincare for the face, hands or feet to body care and soy wax candles. You can browse the full range on www.theskincellar.com
Fashion and Accessories
The Clothes Line Boutique are in both New Ross and Wexford town and have lots of gift inspiration in stock. They cater for sizes 8-26 and stock labels such as Vero Moda, Pieces and Saloos. They also have a fabulous range of designer inspired accessories to complete the look. You can order online or over the phone and delivery is free nationwide! Visit their Facebook page here.
Jewellery is always a welcome Christmas gift and even more so, a bespoke piece. Julie Gill-Frisby is a jewellery designer who creates unique pieces from her studio in Wexford. You can commission a piece and allow Julie to design a one-of-a-kind piece for someone special. Julie uses carefully sourced materials such as Freshwater Pearls, Swarovski Crystals, Gems and Sterling Silver. You can see more on her Etsy store here and to be sure you have a gift in time for Christmas, order before December 18th.
Panache Boutique is a well-known boutique in the heart of Wexford Town. The boutique offers high quality ladies fashion and offers a Click and Collect service throughout lockdown. They also have a fantastic website where you can shop online at www.panacheboutique.ie with nationwide delivery. Of course, if you’re unsure of sizing, etc. before you buy online, you can pick up the phone and talk to one of the experienced assistants in store.
Inkdot Print are a fantastic local business, based in Enniscorthy. They make customised apparel and digitally printed products for businesses across Ireland. This year, they took the initiative to adapt their business and now sell direct to the customer with a great range of products. Every year there is always a mad dash to find a Christmas jumper but Inkdot have one of the best selections I’ve seen in recent years, at incredible prices! They stock Christmas jumpers for men, women and children, as well as personalised Christmas gift sacks. I think they would be so lovely on Christmas morning, to present the gifts in a personalised sack. It would be a brilliant keepsake, you would use year after year. You can shop the full range on www.inkdot.ie
KYMAÏA is a luxury womenswear fashion label defined by effortless elegance. Designed by Kabira Allain the label includes timeless, modern and minimalist pieces. You will recognise her stunning designs from the likes of the Dublin Fashion Festival and Wexford Style, as well as countless Irish fashion shows and magazines. Thinking about Christmas gift ideas, KYMAÏA have an elegant collection of capes and collars. I think they would make the perfect gift for someone special who loves fashion and style, something unique and that they would take out of the wardrobe year after year. You can shop the collection of capes and collars online here.
If this year has reminded me of anything, it’s that I love nothing more than getting glam for an occasion and the whole process of putting an outfit together. Hopefully 2021 will be filled with reasons to do so and we can all safely come together to celebrate special occasions again. A beautiful head piece is the perfect finishing touch for a wedding or race day and Millinery by Melody have an incredible collection. Melody offers Gift Vouchers for bespoke pieces or hat hire as an ideal Christmas gift. This Christmas she is also selling a gorgeous range of silk turban headbands and beaded collars, pieces that you don’t need a big occasion to don. Millinery by Melody’s Facebook page has more photos and contact details here.
…I want to say a huge thank you to the businesses above for reaching out via the fantastic Support Wexford 2020 group on Facebook to take part in my Gift Guide. With over 11,000 members, the group was set up to allow Wexford business owners to advertise their businesses and for locals to buy from them during the lockdown. A brilliant initiative and display of support for one another in the county. You can find the Support Wexford 2020 group on Facebook here.