Áine Breen, creator of Liwu Jewellery, is opening her first retail outlet in Gorey in County Wexford.
The store, a treasure trove of unusual and locally sourced gift items, will be called Lu & Mol, after the designer’s two young daughters.
Pride of place in the new jewellery and gifts outlet will be Áine Breen’s own Liwu brand of handcrafted silver and gold necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.
Featuring meaningful symbols from Celtic lore and other ancient traditions, Liwu Jewellery is elegant and understated.
The personal message behind these symbolic pieces, from the Trinity Knot to the Tree of Life, make them a popular special occasion gift.
The Lu & Mol store opened recently, with the gift shop adding to the appeal of Gorey’s well-known shopping hot-spot, Esmonde Street.
The wide range of accessories, from fine jewellery to spectacular costume pieces, is suited to all tastes and ages.
As well as featuring classic initials, birthstones and Liwu’s cultural symbols, other Irish brands such as Inner Island, Aria-V, and Naoi jewellery are also on sale.
International brands include elegant Cluse watches and jewellery, Nilai jewellery, made famous by the Netflix hit, Emily in Paris, and the colourful Couer de Leon collection.
A curated selection of giftware includes candles, journals, jewellery caskets and gift-cards, among an eclectic selection of unusual pieces.
Uniquely, the Gorey gifts outlet can also design and make bespoke jewellery, and jewellery repairs, engraving and piercing will be available too.
Originally a chartered accountant, Áine Breen turned to jewellery design while living in Beijing, ten years ago, where she studied both Chinese calligraphy and silversmithing.
Having successfully made her jewellery from her workshop in Ballymoney, selling online at www.liwujewellery.com, the move from ‘retail clicks to retail bricks’ is down to the designer’s love of meeting people in person.
“Over the years, people have come to my studio to look at jewellery, and commission pieces. We also had a pop-up shop at home in Ballymoney at Christmas, and I always find the feedback and ideas inspiring,” the designer admits.
From age 15, Áine Breen enjoyed retailing, working at the local general store in her small village. On a student VISA in Vancouver, she worked in an uber-cool beach-front gift shop selling homewares, jewellery, and handbags, and also enjoyed a stint in fashion retail in Ireland after she had graduated.
Ironically, while training as a chartered accountant, Áine met her future husband when working together on an audit of the largest jewellery business in Ireland and the UK.
Liwu is the Chinese word for gift, and the success of Liwu Jewellery has gifted the talented designer her latest opportunity to immerse herself in the world of boutique retail in Wexford.