A RETAIL gem heretofore hidden in Horseleap close to the Offaly/Westmeath county boundary is now being discovered by an eager buying public.
Olimar Gifts & Garden has been established by local couple Olivia and Philip Payne and the new store is located literally in their front garden on the Clara road just a stone’s throw from the centre of Horseleap village.
The village of Horseleap, well known for its landmark Ferrari prancing horse sculpture, is something of a curiosity in itself, and Olimar Gifts & Garden also has much to excite the curious browser.
The retail outlet – only open last week when the lockdown was partially lifted – carries an astonishing range of quality stock.
Step onto the property and you are greeted by impressive garden furniture, handmade and imported from Thailand, and attractive bedding plants for the summer.
Cross the threshold into the store itself, a quaint building fashioned by the skilled hand of Philip Payne himself, and a cornucopia of options opens up.
Olivia has deftly employed her enviable eye for fashion to put together an offering encompassing everything from jewellery and fashion handbags to handmade Turkish rugs and milestone mementoes, and much much more. The store even has the rights to an exclusive range of umbrellas.
Olivia, a native of Kinnegad, met Clara man Philip Payne when they were both working in Kilroy’s, Mullingar.
Both have lifelong experience in retail and it shows in how they have positioned Olimar Gifts & Garden.
“Olimar Gifts & Garden is the realisation of a dream that I held for many years to open my own retail shop to stock many varied and exciting items to delight my customers,” says Olivia.
“I have a passion for sourcing beautiful and desirable products at a reasonable price, to bring pleasure to my many existing loyal customers and also to potential new ones. I have years of experience in the fashion, jewellery and gift business, I believe in excellence in every aspect of my business, from carefully selecting suppliers and products, to displaying beautiful and exclusive items for my customers to choose from and to ensure that the customer is truly delighted with their purchase and the service provided by Olimar Gifts.”
Prior to the onset of Covid-19, Olivia and Philip brought a pop-up shop around the country to major events such as shows in the RDS, the Punchestown and Galway races, and closer to home, the Tullamore Show.
The lockdown put an end to that business and with no sign of the restrictions on such events being ended last year, the couple decided to make the pop-up shop more permanent.
They would have been ready to go before the end of 2020 but the extended restrictions meant the doors can only now be opened.
“We haven’t even got the word out yet but we have been getting great support locally,” says Philip.
“We try to be different, we try to do exclusive products and we try to give value for money. Both of us have been in retail for a long time and we spent our lives dealing with customers so we believe service to be a key part of the business. We want people to come back because they have had a nice retail experience and feel that they’ve got value for money.”
The personal touch abounds on the Olimar Gifts shop shelves, from Olivia’s selections of quality jewellery and fashion scarves, to the homemade giftware that Philip can handcraft and personalise for each customer.
The couple are also committed to Fairtrade and among the many must-sees are tiny feltware ornamental houses which have been made by Tibetan craftspeople who are paid a fair wage for their work.
Their pledge to support Irish suppliers is borne out by the range of candleware displayed in-store.
For customers who cannot make it to Horseleap to enjoy the unique retail experience which Olivia and Philip have created, there is the option to shop on the website, olimargifts.com, which has been rebuilt recently and is tailored for the click-and-buy generation.
“The local LEO (Local Enterprise Office Offaly) have been extremely supportive and they’ve given us support to get the website updated and operating,” said Philip.
Olimar Gifts & Garden is currently open seven days a week
10am to 5pm and 2-5pm on Sundays – and can be contacted at 086 870 3018.