Irish design makes you happy.

Dublin.ie talks to Mark Haybyrne of Jam Art Factory about his family business and the future of Irish art and 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 Claudine O’Sullivan, Arty Smarty Jewellery and KaroArt Ceramics – a platform to exhibit and sell their work. Having started in the Liberties, they now have another thriving store in Temple Bar and ship internationally from jamartfactory.com.

Mark Haybyrne, Jam Art Factory

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

“My brother and I set up Jam Art Factory five years ago. 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.

In 2011 we opened the Patrick Street store. Then, three and a half years ago we opened the second shop to bring the business to a different audience. This (Patrick Street) is a touristy area. Dublin people might not come up here too often, so we decided to open in Temple Bar.

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.

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 during the recession.

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 getting jobs in their fields or gone on to sell their work full time.

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 as we head into the Christmas shopping season, 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.

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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