Clew Bay, County Mayo
Of all the incredible spots to visit in County Mayo, it’s no surprise that Ireland’s dynamic Wild Atlantic Way is top of the list, having inspired countless people to embark on amazing, creative ventures. The ever-changing colour palettes of its crashing ocean, soaring mountains and secluded sandy beaches have spoken to local people like Gearóid Muldowney, who runs design and homeware company Superfolk with his partner Jo Anne Butler. Both Gearóid and Jo Anne are originally from and currently based in Westport, County Mayo, though they met while studying at art college in Dublin. They enjoyed their time in the city, but Gearóid prefers the relaxed way of life along the west coast; “It’s a different pace here”, he begins. “We have more time to experience the environment we’re in and make conscious decisions around that."
A Dillisk Seaweed Print. Image via Superfolk
The stunning, ever-changing vistas of Ireland's western shores undoubtedly inspire Superfolk’s gorgeous produce, as Gearóid explains; “A lot of our current homewares are focused around food; we have prints based on edible seaweeds, while the botanical stuff is inspired by either edible or medicinal plants. Food is a great place to begin; it’s a commonality between us all."
River Erriff, Co. Mayo
An avid fisherman, Gearóid is constantly exploring his gorgeous surrounds. “We try to discover new places to visit in Mayo all the time,” he says. “We often go to Old Head; it’s a lovely sheltered beach. There are forests and cliffs there too - a really dynamic range of things. Clew Bay is really diverse too; there’s lots happening there. I do a lot of fly-fishing on the Erriff; it’s one of my favourite rivers.”
Snorkelling along the Wild Atlantic Way
Any other scenic recommendations? “We were snorkelling in Achill over the weekend - it was lovely. For us, it’s all about trying to engage with the landscape in those ways. A lot of what we do we document, Instagram is a really great for that. We try to use our location and isolation to our benefit; we showcase Mayo and the landscape as much as we can. It’s a way to show our brand and our values.”
Secluded sandy beaches of Achill, County Mayo
Though he embraces the rugged isolation on offer along the Wild Atlantic Way, Gearóid has the best of both worlds at his fingertips, and says there’s always something happening at local places in Mayo, too. “The great thing about living in Westport is that you don’t have to go very far; there’s something on every weekend. Last week there was a bluegrass festival in the town; it’s an international event with bands playing in local venues and bars. The town was hopping!”
Watch the beautiful Shaped By the Sea video series here to find out more about Superfolk, and the many other craftspeople, musicians and food producers living and working along the Wild Atlantic Way. Check out some of the area’s upcoming events, or if you’re a foodie, find out where to sample some amazing locally-sourced produce.