Aren’t there times you wish you could just pop into one of those postcard-perfect village markets in Ireland to pick up something unique, vintage and handmade for that special occasion? I buy Irish craft these days to remind myself of my roots and share a little bit of Ireland when gift-giving. The good news is a new e-commerce portal is aiming to make it easier for those of us who can’t afford that plane ticket or extended vacation time back to the ‘ol sod to source Irish made gifts.

Contemporary Irish designer–makers are now making their presence felt online, with a new wave of design-led giftware ranges in interiors, fashion, and jewelry. Those of us sourcing Irish handmade, crafted, vintage or recycled ethnic products may now find them in a one-stop location via a new Craft Council of Ireland registered site called Craftbay Marketplace.

It’s an opportunity for designer-makers seeking to replicate hyper-local craft market and outdoor festival-trading through an online trading experience for global shoppers. It also helps Irish consumers and emigrants around the world looking to support ‘home-grown' talent and the Irish economy.

Home-wares Designer Grainne Lyons drives home the point:

“Supporting local designers and makers is very important in a time of recession when things are particularly tough. Buying Irish made products – where materials have been sourced and manufactured in Ireland – means supporting Irish jobs through a range of sectors.”

Sourcing these products at Craftbay promises to be a different experience from portals like Etsy or EBay. It has curated a strong niche range of 250 Irish-only sellers focused on the quality and authenticity of its handmade goods rather than presenting a massive army of vendors. The clean, crisp user-friendly experience is also free from distractions with categories and sub categories to choose from. From a seller’s point of view, their commission fee also compares well to other Irish craft sites.

Designer makers welcome the opportunity to get a foothold online. As Naiomi Gill of IVBN puts it:

“Craftbay has developed the apps, SEO and digital marketing expertise, and an easy to use interface on the back end, so the designer has more time for designing & manufacturing. It is important for designers/artists/crafters that want a presence online but cannot invest the time or money developing a website.”

It’s an exciting time for what seems to be a rapidly evolving scene and a new wave of contemporary Irish design.