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The Short Version: The Irish Store has been selling authentic products to lovers of Ireland for more than 30 years. Proprietor Lulu O’Sullivan recognized that people with Irish roots — and Ireland admirers — lived around the world and wanted mementos of their connection to the country. So, she launched The Irish Store, an online shop where individuals, couples, and families can buy traditional products, including Claddagh rings, Galway crystal, and merino wool Aran sweaters. Over the last three decades, The Irish Store grew from a small operation to a large-scale company that serves countries around the world. The Irish Store is offering DatingAdvice.com readers a 15% discount when they use the code DA15.
The Claddagh ring is one of the most iconic symbols of romantic love in the world. The ring depicts two hands holding a heart and topped with a crown. The hands represent friendship, the heart represents love, and the crown represents loyalty.
Tradition holds that, if you’re single, you wear the ring on your right hand with the point of the heart facing toward your fingertip. If you’re in a relationship, you should wear it on your right hand with the point of the heart facing your wrist. If you’re engaged, wear the point facing your fingertip on your left hand. If you’re married, the heart should point to your left wrist.
The ring has remained popular for centuries both because of its symbolism and the mythical lore surrounding it. In one version of its origin story, a goldsmith who was taken hostage by a group of pirates stole flecks of gold to make the ring for his lost love when he returned to Ireland.
In another version, a woman devoted her entire inheritance to charity and good works. As a reward for those deeds, an eagle dropped the ring into her lap.
Claddagh rings are one of the most popular items at The Irish Store, an online retailer that sells authentic gifts from Ireland. Plenty of customers visit the store to buy Claddagh rings for their romantic partners, and the store also offers the symbol on necklaces and earrings.
“We have beautiful jewelry, and the quality is really important to us,” said Lulu O’Sullivan, who founded The Irish Store more than 30 years ago.
The Irish Store sells many other unique merchandise, including crucifixes, shamrock gifts, and iconic Aran knit sweaters famously worn by fishermen in Ireland.
“People like Irish design, rings, jewelry, and sweaters, and visitors buy our products as gifts for their partners or themselves. Our products make them feel connected to Ireland,” Lulu said.
Use the code DA15 and get a 15% discount.
When Lulu conceived of the store, she knew she wanted to sell products to Irish people or individuals with Irish descendants living around the world. She focused on the United States as her primary international market. While there are only 6 million people in Ireland, more than 35 million Americans have Irish ancestors.
Many other customers of The Irish Store don’t have ties to the country but still appreciate its beauty and history.
“Our clients are Irish people, those with Irish roots, or people who love everything about Ireland. Many of our clients are people who have visited the country — or want to come here,” Lulu told us.
Lulu thinks that so many are interested in buying gifts for their partners because of the country’s rich history. With so many Irish poets and artists, Lulu said that many people around the world find the country intriguing and romantic. And they want to find products that make them and their partners feel connected to that history.
Many shoppers choose jewelry to give to their significant others. The Irish Shop offers engagement and wedding rings, watches, and even cufflinks.
The store also has many other products for any occasion. Visitors can find Ireland-made dishware and crystalware, including Galway Crystal, and striking decanter sets and wine goblets.
In 1920, Lulu’s grandmother Kitty O’Shea opened a shop in Dublin. Working with local farmers and tradespeople, Kitty sold newspapers, eggs, and bread to locals. Over the next 60 years, she opened three more shops, finally retiring when she was 82.
Lulu took her grandmother’s work ethic to heart and carried over two qualities from her business: Great customer service and high-quality products.
“When I started, I only had a little money to set it up. So, I thought the only thing I could do was have excellent customer service. When that phone rang, we had to have the friendliest interactions, and everything had to go perfectly. That has stuck with us through today,” Lulu told us.
Lulu and her team are selective, not only about the products they sell but also about how they are presented. The Irish Store only sells authentic products from Ireland, including Mullingar Pewter, Irish linen, Celtic Knot jewelry, and Tree of Life jewelry. Each product is clearly described to highlight its best qualities.
“We focus a lot on imagery and content. We also work with suppliers to get their stories front and center. There’s a lot of passion that goes into making a product, so we want to make sure we write about it effectively and get the photos right.”
Images often highlight the natural scenery of Ireland, including the beaches, green hills, and cliffs. In some of the photos, models wearing Aran sweaters are seen in the countryside, highlighting the origins of the clothing. Jewelry is often presented on rocks to demonstrate the natural beauty of the pieces.
Those searching for unique gifts for their partners can find a wide selection of romantic options at The Irish Store. Whether it’s a Claddagh ring or an Aran sweater, customers will find a direct connection to the country’s romantic history.
For someone trying to give their partner a taste of Ireland, The Irish Store offers sweet and savory options, as well. The Deluxe Ireland Treat Box is a collection of iconic Irish snack foods, including Keough’s chips, buttery Shamrock shortbread, and Dairy Milk chocolate bars. Whether your partner is missing their Irish home or wants to reminisce about a relaxing vacation, these boxes can offer fond nostalgia.
The Irish Store makes shipping products to the United States both affordable and efficient. Standard shipping to the United States is $9.95, and delivery takes between three and seven days.
Whatever visitors decide to purchase, a gift from The Irish Store will come with a built-in connection to Ireland — which has been Lulu’s mission since the store’s inception.
“We want to connect people to the Irish community through our products. And I often get letters telling me how much people loved getting a product directly from Ireland,” Lulu said.
Note: For a limited time, The Irish Store is offering DatingAdvice.com readers a discount of 15% when they use the code DA15.