It has been some journey. The site you’re looking at came to life from our own personal needs. With the start of the first COVID lockdown, we wondered: Where can we order this or that? Can we buy from smaller Irish companies and support them in this challenging time? And so JustBuyIrish.com was born: a side-project, built over a weekend, was created to highlight some of the superb Irish producers around the country.
We did not expect the project to attract over 90 thousand visitors and grow over time to a directory of over 850 stores. JustBuyIrish.com contributed 270,000 visits to Irish online stores and many of those resulted in sales for small local businesses.
Response and going (sort of) viral
During the past year, we received a tonne of support and encouragement from people who loved what Just Buy Irish had to offer and discovered sellers and makers through it. Simon and I were happy and humbled to see so many people who recommended Just Buy Irish as a place to find independent Irish shops that deliver to the door.
Encouraged by the responses, week after week I put hours into updating the site with new stores and sending out our newsletter (over 60 issues!) Just Buy Irish never took any paid advertising or made any money. It was purely a project to showcase the best local producers.
When we’ve launched Just Buy Irish there were no projects similar to it and the idea of shopping locally was new to the public.
A year has passed and we’ve seen a shift in shopping behaviour with over half of the Irish population planning to switch their shopping to local businesses. There is now significant support from the government and private sector with campaigns like Made Local, Champion Green, and a multitude of projects and websites to encourage local shopping.
We hope that Just Buy Irish played a role in this process and happy that there is growing attention to the topic.
We won’t be adding to the directory
As with all the journeys, this one is coming to an end. From April 19th 2021 we are not going to include additional stores within the JustBuyIrish.com directory.
The site will remain up and running!
After 12 months of weekly updates we think it’s a good time to move on to other things.
While the project is very dear to our hearts, both of us have different priorities and we need to make time for those.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank:
- Our friends and family for their support and contributions to the project. In particular to Inna Shchepanska for her stellar work on our social media accounts.
- All the business owners who approached us and shared what they do. We hope your businesses flourish.
- To our dear followers and supporters that we might not know in person. Huge thank you for being with us, visiting JustBuyIrish.com and choosing to shop local!
Take care, stay safe, and keep supporting local businesses!
Darya and Simon