The wait is over, we can finally reveal the talented makers who are the winners of this year’s Irish Made Awards!
After intense judging to determine our shortlist and over 54,000 votes by the public, we are so excited to reveal the winners and runners up of the Irish Made Awards 2020. Each of these businesses stand out for their vision, craftsmanship, and determination to produce incredible products here on Irish soil. The value of creating local employment cannot be underestimated, particularly in a year like this. Each of these businesses exemplifies the strength and drive it takes to create a luxurious product that can sit proudly on shelf alongside competitors from around the globe. They are ambassadors for the Irish craft and design industries, and it is our honour to celebrate them.
Overall Winner: Foxford Woollen Mills
Foxford Woollen Mills has been weaving traditional throws in Co Mayo since 1892. Local man Joe Queenan took on the brand in the 80s, developing the business into the modern facility and homewares shop it is today, while still celebrating the tradition and craftsmanship Foxford is known for. Today the mill creates a contemporary and affordable range of throws, scarves and baby blankets, still produced in the same weaving and finishing sheds since the business began. Renowned Irish designer Helen McAlinden works with the team at Foxford on their collections, drawing inspiration from the colours of the rugged West of Ireland. Foxford is a brand that has stayed true to its roots, with daily interactive tours running at the mill, putting its factory on the map as a must-visit destination in Mayo with a café and homewares store.
Winner: Brooke & Shoals
Brooke & Shoals fragrances are a blend of floral, citrus and woody notes, to design beautiful scented candles and diffusers that can add a wonderful ambience to any home. Based in the pretty seaside town of Greystones, Co Wicklow, founder and fragrance designer Alison Banton started the business in 2010. The product range has grown to include over 14 fragrances and 50 products, with candles made using natural wax and essential oils and diffusers using a glycerine base from a renewable source.
Winner: Criostal na Rinne
Criostal na Rinne is a hand-cut crystal studio workshop situated in Ireland’s Ancient East, in the picturesque Irish-speaking area of An Rinn. Eamonn Terry, a master craftsman glass cutter of over 45 years’ experience, started his career with Waterford Crystal, before establishing Criostal na Rinne in 1987. At the small family-run workshop, the team crafts precise hand cut crystal products for discerning customers around the world. In January 2020, they launched the latest collection Tonn, meaning wave or sea swell. The collection includes white wine, red wine and gin glasses, each hand cut with gentle lines conjuring the ever moving swells along the Irish coastline.
Winner: Foxford Woollen Mills
The weavers at Foxford Woollen Mills create luxurious throws and scarves at the factory in Co Mayo, employing 30 craftspeople locally. It is in the weaving that the pattern of the cloth emerges, the combination of the colours, as determined by Foxford’s designers. Once the cloth has been woven, it will feel rough, and so water from the River Moy is used to scour the fabric, to restore its natural, super soft texture. The expansive range comes in a stunning array of colours, and each piece is made to last.
Winner: Coolree Design
Coolree Design studio and workshop is nestled in the protected bogs of Kildare, next to Ballynafagh Lake and the Bog of Allen. The natural tones and textures of this serene environment inspire the refined styles and clean lines across Coolree Design’s expansive collection of high-end furnishings and accessories for the home. Established in 2018 by woodworker and furniture designer Warren Hayes, each handcrafted piece adheres to an ethically-minded ethos, rooted in only using sustainably sourced timber.
Winner: Dublin City Gin
Dublin City Gin is a premium handcrafted gin founded by husband and wife team Jim O’Connor and Sheila Cooney in 2016. The recipe is prepared by hand, including ripe rhubarb grown organically in an allotment garden along the Grand Canal in Dublin. Other botanicals in the recipe include zesty grapefruit and warm, spicy cinnamon. Irish milk spirit created from whey provides a silky base to the recipe, which is distilled in a small batch of just 600 bottles at Blackwater Distillery in Co Waterford.
Winner: Grá Chocolates
Gráinne Mullins, Eurotoques Young Chef of the Year, is the founder of Grá Chocolates, a luxury gift box of individually hand painted chocolates. The finest quality chocolate is used and the fillings are created using the best of local produce from Sliabh Aughty Honey to Kylemore Farmhouse Raw Cream. All ingredients are chosen for their flavour and quality, but also to represent Co Galway. Presented in a box of 10, fillings include Bee My Honey, Ex-STRAW-dinary, Lil’ bit Salty and more. Grá is the Irish word for love, and these chocolates are made to be shared with love.
Juvi was founded by husband and wife team Julie Danz and Vincent Tynan, the couple combine their respective skills in design and silversmithing to create their collections in their Foxrock studio. Every piece is made with forever in mind, as something to be treasured, and is inspired by travel and the beauty found in nature. With sustainability in mind, all the sterling silver and gold used in Juvi jewellery is recycled from the jewellery, giftware and electronic industries. Hand cut gemstones are sourced from Jaipur in India, from gemstone workers known as world leaders in their craft, so each piece is unique.
Winner: Bellamianta Luxury Tanning
Bellamianta is a premium self-tanning brand made in Co Mayo, with a skincare-first focus. All their product formulas are enriched with shea butter and aloe vera, to soothe and restore skin elasticity, and Pentavitin which helps to hydrate the skin from within. Products include the Rapid Self Tanning Mousse, Tinted Lotion, Triple Action Glycolic Body Scrub and Flawless Filter Body Makeup, and more. While the tan dries in 60 seconds, the light formulas continue to hydrate the skin ensuring that the tan wears off evenly.
Winner: Úna Burke
After 10 years of business in London, designer Úna and her partner Emmett brought the brand back to Co Roscommon this year. Úna Burke Leather products are timeless, considered and sculptural. Each piece such as the hunchback jacket and strapped bodice, is crafted entirely by hand using traditional hand tools. Cut from top quality full grain vegetable tanned bovine hides, joined with solid brass hardware coated in gold, silver or rhodium. The brand has a cult following, following support from performers such as Janet Jackson, Rihanna and Lady Gaga, and Úna was also commissioned to create costumes for Star Trek and The Hunger Games.
Winner: Aoife Mullane Design
Aoife Mullane Design focuses on creating unique, luxurious fabrics for lifestyle products. When faced with the adversity of Covid-19, Aoife developed a range of luxury accessories, including hairbands, scrunchies and clutch bags. All fabrics are designed and hand-printed by Aoife in her Dublin studio, using a traditional, specialised technique of hand-applied metallics, to adorn the vibrant velvets and silks with golds, aluminium, copper and quartz. Aoife works with a team of skilled craftspeople in Ireland to create the products, which are proudly labelled ‘Made in Ireland’.