Makers and Brothers

It is so very seldom that I walk into any sort of retail space and think to myself wow this is just so right. But I did when I went to see Makers & Brothers pop-up shop the weekend before last. Makers & Brothers is such a good name because it so perfectly describes the enterprise. Mark and Jonathan Legge are the brothers: the makers are a selection of craftspeople and designers whose products the brothers sell.

As I was driving to the shop I became like Alice curious and curiouser because all I knew about the shop was that it was in a ‘shed’ in the garden of a house in suburban Dublin. Once through the looking-glass, aka the gates of Fairholm, I discovered that the wonderland of a shed is a large, well-designed, high-ceilinged structure in the rather lovely grounds of a very beautiful old stone house which belongs to Jonathan and Mark’s parents.

Makers & Brothers

Jonathan and Mark choose different career paths which happily have given them complimentary skill-sets. Jonathan has a design background (he worked as a designer in Ilse Crawford’s Studioilse after he completed his masters at the RCA): Mark has a marketing and business background.

Nicholas Mosse pottery, Makers & Brothers

Their website describes what Makers & Brothers do as ‘a curation of everyday design and craft’. They retail a number of pieces designed by friends who live in other countries but there is a bias towards Irish craft with about about sixty per cent of their stock coming from Irish makers.

Makers & Brothers

The brothers tested the concept in 2009 when they briefly opened a pop-up shop on Dublin’s South William Street. The shop was a resounding sell out success. As it was not their intention to be tethered to a retail space they took time out to research e-commerce and properly launched Makers & Brothers eight months ago. The main selling vehicle is the beautifully designed (by Archive Design) website. They opened The Shed as a pop-up shop at weekends for the month of December in 2011, it was open when I visited and there are plans to open it again for a few days in October and at weekends this coming December.

Makers & Brothers

They travelled to New York in May where they showcased Makers & Brothers as part of New York Design Week. One of the makers, James Carroll, travelled with them. James was beavering away at his craft in the courtyard in front of The Shed when I was there – that’s him in the top image. He was splitting wood into pieces to use as legs for the stools he makes using hand tools. He explained that he uses fresh wood as it is easier to work with than dried wood but that he dries the cut pieces in a domestic oven before final assembly.

Markers & Brothers

Everything Makers & Brothers sell is well made and beautifully designed and as a bonus the prices are very accessible. I think anyone would find it difficult to visit the Makers & Brothers website or the pop-up shop and not want to buy something. I know I wanted to buy shedloads of stuff from The Shed!

Markers & Brothers

Jonathan and Mark Legge have managed to meld the very best of our heritage craft traditions with a selection of beautifully designed pieces by some of their friends into a contemporary design-led business and in so doing have created employment and economic activity. I wish them every conceivable success.

Note: you can check out Makers & Brothers at – James Carroll’s web address is


Filed under Craft, Designers, Ireland, Shops/Shopping

14 responses to “Makers and Brothers

  1. What beautiful things! My father, both grandfathers, uncles and brothers are, or were great carpenters. My Finnish grandfather whistled (tunelessly) while he worked making wooden toys for us.

    • How lovely that must have been to have a grandfather who made wooden toys for you – I hope you still have some of them. And lovely also to have so many in your family who were able to turn (bad pun) their hand to crafting things from wood.

  2. There were some of my grandfather’s toys around for a long time, but I think they have disappeared now…not to worry, I will never forget them, or him whistling while he made them. I do have some of the things my father made and treasure them.

    • It must feel good to have happy memories of the toys and of your grandfather whistling while he was making them. And it is special to have some of the things that your father made – I wager they are beautiful.

  3. So lovely. You find the best places to introduce us to, and you tell us about them in such an interesting way. Thank you.

    • Thank you for your very kind comment. I came away from Markers & Brothers feeling uplifted and hopeful. I loved looking at the beautiful items in a equally beautiful setting and I was please to hear the brothers are bringing Irish craft to a wider international audience.

  4. Their pop-up shop is so interesting, it must have been fun browsing through the beautiful items they had displayed! It sounds like they’re going to be very successful, too…

  5. Wonderful space and beautiful locally made crafts. I admire craftspeople who can make a living from what they love.

  6. What a lovely shop…it must have been fun browsing through everything.

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