I regularly visit Ireland, scouting for places, people, properties and products. I am looking for the very best of Ireland to bring to you. When I find something I love, I usually purchase it for myself or as a gift for a friend and then it is added to my 'Rachel's Favorite Irish Finds'
Recently, while scrolling through my Instagram feed, something caught my eye. It was a bag. A beautiful orange soft leather bag with pink handles. You see, I can be distracted by bright shiny objects, but especially orange objects ! I love orange. It's cheery and bright. Whether it's a wallet, baseball cap or undershirt, I love to add a splash of orange. I purchased this leather bag and waited for it to arrive. I was not disappointed. It is scrumptiously soft and beautifully made. I purchased the 'Saoirse' tote. Some of you may be familiar with the Irish actress Saoirse Ronan. Saoirse is a popular girls name and it means freedom.
I had to reach out to Ana Faye and speak to her to learn more about her craft. And so we chatted. I was so very glad we chatted. Now, more than ever, I want to shout about her from the rooftops.
Nestled along the Coolera Peninsula on the west coast of Ireland, is the town of Strandhill, County Sligo. I urge you to visit Sligo. The landscape is wild and untamed. Strandhill is surrounded by the Knocknarea mountains and the Atlantic ocean. I love it there. I have taken clients to this part of Ireland before to forage for seaweed, walk the expansive beaches and hike. It is an invigorating place. A place not to be missed.
Strandhill native, Ana Faye Vahey had a passion for design. She studied in Ireland and later graduated from Central Saint Martins in London. Ana worked as a succesful fashion designer in London, China and Italy. Now, Ana Faye has returned to this idylic place in Ireland and from here she is designing and making her luxurious leather handbags. Craftsmanship is at the very core of the Ana Faye brand. She explained to me that she sources her leather from Italy, and only the very best leather. I can attest to this as I love my new handbag. Ana works closely with the tanneries in Italy. She does not focus on trends, but quality, classic lines and sophisticated design. Her passion for true craftsmanship and exacting standards are evident from this pieces she makes. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine. You can see that using fabric spray paint is not difficult, it just takes some preparation ahead of time and patience while waiting for the primer to dry before applying your colors!