ThunderSolas | Leather Designs, 2 Cow’s Lane, Old City Temple Bar, Dublin 8
ThunderSolas started trading with a few designs at the Cow’s Lane Designer Mart, which is held every Saturday (apart from winter months), back in 2010. The story goes that on the first Saturday they traded David, who makes the leather designs brought about 10 pieces to sell and they all sold out. The following week he brought double the amount and again it was a sell-out. Growing from strength to strength and in need of more trading hours than a Saturday each week, this husband and wife team, David and Danielle grabbed the bull by the horns and the ThunderSolas shop was born in September 2012 … funnily enough also on Cow’s Lane.
When you enter the shop, you are immediately welcomed by the smell of real leather. I like this smell as it reminds me of a new leather bag or boots purchase. For me it’s also the smell of quality. The shop itself has, as they describe an ‘Industrial’ feel to it, with large metal tables, black rubber coverings and a large ThunderSolas logo on a plain grey painted wall. It could feel cold but it doesn’t. This is due to the mix of neutral and coloured leather belts and bags that adorn the walls from animal shaped hooks and the bright, soft leather purses and phone covers that are displayed on the tables. All of which are finished to the highest of standards, all of which I want to possess and all ranging from the very reasonable price of €25.00. The jewellery designs are also right up my street and I could have bought the lot. I especially loved the Hoops, Hook and T-Bar necklaces and bracelets, €10.00 each. I adored the Custom Cuffs, €20.00.
The cow hide used for all the items on sale comes from Italy and if you start getting the heebie jeebies about leather and animal cruelty, rest your worried head as the cattle are not killed for their leather, they are killed for their meat. So it is actually a good thing that their leather is being put to good use. Well that’s the way I see it and it eases the guilt if you thought entered your head in the first place. On chatting to David the other day, he advised that his wife is actually a vegetarian and they have vegetarian customers. David makes everything by hand and his wife, Danielle who runs the store also plays a big part with design concepts. They have a workshop in the store so you can get a peek at the leather they have in stock, the tools that are used and sometimes the designs that are beginning to come to life.
I think it’s a credit to them. They took an idea, a craft and talent to transform a once a week market stall into a full-time business.
The store is open Tuesday – Friday 11:00 – 17:00, Saturday 10:00 – 17:30 and Sunday 13:30 – 17:00. For more information and their online shop which includes international shipping, visit thundersolas.com