A family business promoting Irish Design

Since 2011, brothers Mark and John Haybyrne have been showcasing the best of contemporary Irish art and design in their store – Jam Art Factory.

Stocking a range of Irish art and design, they give independent artists – such as illustrator Fuchsia Macaree, Arty Smarty Jewellery and KaroArt Ceramics – a platform to exhibit and sell their work.

Mark Haybyrne, Jam Art Factory

Having started in The Liberties, they now have another thriving store in Temple Bar and their website ships internationally too.

Dublin.ie talks to Mark Haybyrne of Jam Art Factory to find out what motivated him to start the business and discuss what’s next for Dublin’s art and design scene.

In conversation with Mark Haybyrne

I was working in a retail job that I wasn’t mad about and John was looking for something to do as well. So, somehow, we decided to do this.

Jam Art Factory, Temple Bar

It started as an art gallery, displaying people’s work, but then we saw a trend and it’s evolved naturally from there.

Design was growing in Dublin. It’s a bit of design and art together. Rather than just being a gallery, we started to sell things that are pleasing to the eye that you can bring home and hang on your wall.

We now sell jewellery, ceramics, gifts and prints – which are our main product.

Growing the business

In 2011, we opened the Patrick Street store. Then, [in 2013], we opened the second shop to bring the business to a different audience. [Patrick Street] is a touristy area. Dublin people might not come up here too often, so we decided to open in Temple Bar too.

We also have a website. We get a lot of orders – not just from Ireland, but from overseas: America, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia and even Hong Kong. I don’t know how they found out about us; they must have come into the shop when they visited Dublin.

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Since the recession, people want to shop local a lot more – rather than buying from chain stores. There is a demand for handmade products; people have gotten sick of mass-produced products.

Nurturing and supporting local artists

There are so many people out there with talent and, now, I think there is a desire to help people out who might be struggling – especially artists and designers whose funding was cut.

We aim to support artists and designers that are trying to start out and don’t know how to go about it. They need experience to get a job, but how can you get experience without having a job? A lot of people have started selling their work with us here and gone on to get jobs in their fields or gone on to sell their work full-time.

There is a demand for handmade products; people have gotten sick of mass-produced products.

I think Irish design is just going to grow bigger and bigger as people see how many talented people there are here.

I think you’ll see more independent craft fairs and initiatives – all supporting local artists. We’re happy to do our bit to help artists and designers to make a living out of what they love doing.

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So, next time you’re buying a gift for someone, Dublin.ie says consider giving Mark and John a hand with their mission to support Irish artists. Instead of a voucher or novelty socks, give someone the gift of craft from Jam Art Factory.

You can check out their range of contemporary Irish art prints on its webstore.

Amy Sergison works in the advertising industry, creating social and digital content for brands in Ireland and the UK. The child of inner-city parents, Dublin is in her blood. When not writing you can find Amy screaming at a rugby match, Instagramming her dinner, or searching for solace in the quiet spots of the city.

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