When you visit Quack & Dirk Boutique in Dublin’s Fairview, it’s like stepping into a little bit of heaven. From the lane way adorned with pretty bunting leading to the brightly coloured signage above the red door, you know you’re entering some place special.
I head inside and the walls are filled with colour. Vintage bags, one off dresses, earrings, skirts, shorts and silky scarfs fill this small neat boutique. This place has soul. And there is always a friendly face to greet you.
Today I’m met by the beautiful owner, Deirdre Mahon. She is a ray of sunshine on this wet Dublin day. The bright yellow creation she is wearing is one of her handmade dresses. Some of the pieces she makes herself, some crochet pieces her mother makes and the rest is a mixture of finds found across the globe from fabulous places like Vienna and Paris.
While I’m chatting with Deirdre customers come and go. They all seem to be friends, but she tells me some have only just been in for the first time. This is what makes this boutique so special, Deirdre and her staff. If you come in to have a look around or to find something for a special occasion it is like shopping with a really good friend. A friend who will tell you when something is beautiful on you or let you know that perhaps what you’ve just tried on isn’t right for you. It’s this honesty which builds up trust and has customers returning regularly to Q&D.
Deirdre tells me that while she’s away shopping for the store she will think of her customers and actually buy specific items that she knows individuals will love. She is like a personal shopper! She knows what her customers like and aims to please by bringing back marvelous pieces from her trips abroad.
I try something on and it’s a little big and Deirdre quips ”not to worry, I’ll take it in.” What a service! You come, you see something you like and you can have it altered by the actual boutique owner so it fits you perfect. You just couldn’t get this service on the high street or in a lot of stores for that matter. This is customer service at its finest. Deirdre has her sewing machine right there in her boutique working on alterations and her latest deigns.
Something else you wouldn’t find on the high street is all the one off pieces. Fabulous accessories and clothes that other people wouldn’t have.
There is a nice mix of new pieces and vintage in the shop but also just a lot of gosh darn pretty items.
”A lot of the clothes I sell are for those days when you want to look nice but don’t want to be too dressy. I do pieces that would be suitable for special occasions too .” We chat about those days when you want to look well but not ott that a lot of women, myself included, will stick on a pair of jeans.
”I think it’s nice to get dressed up in a pretty dress. It makes you feel good.”
And she’s right. As soon as I slip into one of her handmade creations I instantly feel elegant, feminine and dare I say sexy! I’m always sticking on jeans on days when I’m not trying to look too fancy but I end up looking way too casual! After chatting with Deirdre I’m determined to wear dresses more regularly. And actually why not look a little fancy! We’re always ‘saving’ things for ‘special occasions’ but surely every day we’re here should be considered a special occasion!
What’s also nice about Q&D is it’s not trend driven. Deirdre explains on shopping trips throughout Europe there’s no getting away from trends but she’s careful when selecting items for her boutique.
”I want the pieces that people buy from Quack & Dirk to still look good next year and the year after and even 20 years down the line. I want them to be timeless.”
And that’s exactly it. I suddenly notice that all the pieces I’m fondling all afternoon are individual, pretty and timeless. I can imagine everything being in the shop 40 years from now and looking as good and being as appreciated then as it is now. And isn’t that what we all want? A little bit of timeless beauty?