Describing herself as an “entrepreneur with a passion for interiors, 80’s movies, gin, and Marty Whelan”, we chat to Siobhan Lam of Irish interiors and lifestyle store April and the Bear about their new bricks and mortar store on Cow’s Lane.
How important has it been to you to set up a physical store to support the online shop?
To be honest, opening a permanent retail store was not in our business plan but a fantastic opportunity arose in a stellar location and we just had to take it. It really feels like the right step and I do think that having a permanent space in a central location that our customers can pop into will benefit the online store.
What inspired you to set up April and the Bear?
April and the Bear came into existence when my husband and I bought our first home together and were really struggling to find cool, non-generic and affordable homewares for it. There seemed to be a huge gulf between designer homeware brands which were too expensive and high street which, at the time wasn’t too exciting. I knew there were great lifestyle and interior brands out there – I just couldn’t find them in Ireland, which is why I set up April and the Bear.
April and the Bear on Cow’s Lane
Will there be any new brands that you are stocking in store that you haven’t been able to feature online?
We’re introducing a huge array of new brands this season that we’re incredibly excited about, including exclusive lighting brands Frama and Nook London, Danish lifestyle brand Bloomingville, a stunning collection of illustrated ceramic plates from Jimbobart and a really gorgeous collection of luxe wallpapers from Mind the Gap, a Transylvania design company! We also have plans for lots of in-house Irish collaborations throughout the year.
What excites you about the Cows Lane area of town in terms of interiors shops, creative spaces and food spots?
One of the main reasons we opened this store is the wonderful area its in – Cow’s Lane is such a creative and beautiful space within Dublin with incredibly cool independent stores like Scout and Find. You can tell everyone in the area really cares about what they do and we are so excited to neighbour with similar minded, inspirational Irish businesses.
What fears have you faced in making the store become a reality?
All the usual fears I would imagine! I think when you commit to opening a business like this, the reality of having constant monthly out-goings and staff is quite daunting but it’ll all be worth it!
April and the Bear is open every day on Cow’s Lane, Temple Bar.