For the husband and wife team behind Boru Jewelry, their work means everything to them, just like they hope precious Irish jewelry pieces mean everything to their customers.
Across the country, local Irish and Celtic shops and their suppliers represent the heartbeat of Irish culture in their communities. Places and products that connect Irish Americans with their roots and a chance for the larger community to learn more about everything Ireland has to offer. During this unprecedented time, IrishCentral is shining a light on local Irish stores and their suppliers, as well as those who pour their hearts and souls into providing the best possible experiences for their customers.
Boru Jewelry, creators and suppliers of Dublin-made jewelry was founded in 2003 but its origins date back to the mid-1980s when the Irish company produced coat of arms jewelry. Their passion for Ireland has been at the company's center from the start.
Lisa O'Neill, Boru's Managing Director told IrishCentral "We pride ourselves in being authentic. We put so much effort into how the pieces will be made, into superior quality and finish."
Fittingly the company is named after Brian Boru, the last High King of Ireland, a patron of the arts and learning, who presided over a period of great craftsmanship of jewelry, manuscripts, and stone masonry.
Boru Jeweler is now a household name in Irish jewelry and had designed high-profile pieces for big names such as president Barack Obama and Whoopi Goldberg, as well as being used in the hit series Vikings.
While Boru Jewelry is available across the globe, at stores in the United States to Australia, its roots are very firmly set in Ireland. Lisa, the Managing Director, and her husband Paul, the Creative Director, are the engine that drives this global brand.
"Both Paul and I are Irish born and reared," explained Lisa. "We are both originally from Dublin and this is where we chose to bring up our family. We live on one side of the Dublin Mountains and our workshop is on the other side."
Boru Jewelry's 2020 collection was launched at Showcase, a trade fair held every January in Dublin, attended by buyers from all over the world who purchase Irish made products. The Dublin jewelry brand launched its new Arian collection, named for Arianhod the goddess of the moon and stars, and the Solstice collection.
"However, under the current circumstances (COVID-19) many of our customers have yet to experience how successful these new designs are, so hopefully things change soon, added Lisa.
The Arian collection encompasses a number of various Irish symbols (trinity knot, and the Celtic knot, for example) with mother of pearl. The Solstice collection compasses the same Irish symbols but this time with an 18-karat yellow gold bead.
Boru Jewelry supplies stores and museum shops with their products throughout Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, mainland Europe, and Australia.
"Most of our business customers are Irish themed stores or tourist destinations," Lisa added.
"The majority of our customers have Irish heritage, mostly located in North American and Canada."
For Boru their customers mean everything, that's why Paul makes a point to be on-site at trade fairs and in stores across the United States.
"Paul travels to North America three times a year attending trade shows and calling on some stores. This is an area we would love to increase as it is important to see our customers and see how our products are represented in-store.
"You can have the best product and merchandise, however, if it is not displayed correctly, it impacts sales drastically."
Boru Jewelers can be found at Showcase Ireland (Jan), Celtic Showcase Secaucus (April), ICGE Trade Shows (Feb and Sept), and also at wedding fairs (currently only in Ireland).
The love of the Irish and history is clearly in the air for Boru Jewelry.
"Our most popular products are our wedding rings. Many customers buy these not necessarily as wedding rings, but simply like the Celtic anecdotes associated with the pieces.
"Other popular ranges are our Ogham and heraldry product pieces. The Ogham (Celtic alphabet) pendants are personalized so the customer appreciates the custom work involved.
"Likewise, we produce family coat of arms rings, pendants and cufflinks bearing their family name or even club or association, anything can be incorporated in sterling silver or gold."
Meet your local Irish supplier: Boru Jewelry
Handmade in Dublin, the family-run jewelry business Boru Jewelry creates special pieces of jewelry for its worldwide customers. Find out more here: https://bit.ly/3dV2VnOPubliée par IrishCentral.com sur Mercredi 1 juillet 2020
While the ancient symbols and history of this jewelry clearly appeal to Boru's global fanbase, the Dublin jewelers are always innovating and creating new exciting collections.
"There are many various ways we create new collections," Lisa explains. "Basically, once we have a theme or inspiration, the design process will dictate the ’how’ we will create, as it will determine whether we use CAD or direct handcrafting to create the prototype.
"There is always a combination of modern and old school techniques used to create our designs, as some things have to be done by hand! Once we agree on the prototypes, we create molds or produce special tooling to reproduce the pieces. Each piece is hand finished and goes through a very stringent quality control process in-house."
Even, companies like Boru, with a global reach and decades of experience, have been feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and they're very aware of the need for the community to support one another as communities reopen and recover.
"We supply a lot of tourist shops in Ireland so with having no visitors most likely for most of the year this will have a follow-on effect with all Irish crafters who supply these stores," said Lisa.
"Also, we rely heavily on the Irish stores in North American and Canada and we are hoping they recover so they need customers to shop locally and support them to survive. We know these stores very well and most are like family at this stage, so we feel we are all in this together and we will all come out the other side stronger."
We asked Lisa what was Boru's busiest time of year. She said "All year!...hopefully we can say that again soon."
Looking for your local Irish store in the United States? Visit IrishCentral's NACTA Irish store locator here
* Originally published on June 30, 2020.