Lúnasa was opened on the 1st of August 2012 by me, Rosaleen. The idea came when I first moved back to Co Mayo and wanted to send a new baby gift to my friend in the UK and I couldn't find any locally made gifts. A love of Irish craft, making things and community, prompted me to start dreaming of a place which offered these. Lúnasa promotes the makers in the area and encourages others to get making themselves.
We landed in Belmullet in early 2012 and even though we got married here in 2011 and had no plans to move on a permanent basis. However, a few twists of fate and we were moving to Belmullet the week of their 1st anniversary. The connection to the area is my wonderful dad who sadly died in 2010 leaving a huge gap in all his 6 girls' lives. I come from a family of shopkeepers and a walk along the main street in Belmullet you will see my cousins shop 'McAndrews' often referred to as Billy's, my late uncle. Opposite is the site of the shoe shop that my grandfather and his father had and still is the 'family' home.
I went in the family business working for Boots the Chemists for 15 years and nurtured my crafty side in my 'free time' always doing a class at night school to learn a new skill such as sewing, pottery, photography and writing. These classes also included French, Italian and Arabic and hopefully these will help in the pursuit of learning Irish.
In rural Ireland we know the huge positive impact buying local can have for our producers, their families and the local community. Lúnasa is a vision of mine that is always work in progress. So what is that vision….well it's quite simply to support local, handmade crafts that give people that little piece of happiness, no matter where in the world they are.
In our store you will find a carefully curated collection of our favourite brands that give a personal touch in gifts in a creative, mindful space. We strive to offer everything we do in our online store as most of our products are limited or handcrafted this can be a big challenge but we like to be kept busy.
If you want to spoil yourself then come and visit us in our cosy, welcoming shop with the pieces that you find hugely from Mayo and Ireland, a few vintage things as well as a small collection of Fair Trade handmade goods for parts of the world I have travelled to. We love to meet new people for a friendly chat!
My story wouldn't be complete without my wonderful husband and out 3 gorgeous children. Tom is a Essex boy who was lulled to Mayo by the golfing and fishing. He started as the muscles of the business, painting, laying floors and knocking out old counters and it's by no means finished. However, since opening he is getting more and more crafty and has a particular flare for pottery. Our daughter, Francesca is already learning how to serve behind the counter and I'm sure in time the twins will soon as well.
My family & friends give me emmese moral and physical support to set up and keep going to make being a self employed, working mammy possible.