Former nurse opens Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe in Leopardstown

By Rachel Cunningham

Deirdre Knight was a qualified midwife and theatre nurse when she ventured into the world of business in 2015, gaining experience as an ISO auditor and collecting vintage pieces in her spare time.

She explained: “In doing that work I got sound business knowledge and a sense of how things should run from start to finish. I’ve always had this side interest in antiques and bric-a-brac and in up-cycling and recycling. When the pandemic hit, it encouraged me to say ‘why not’ and to open up the shop, which was something that I’d always wanted to do.”

Ms Knight, who is originally from Waterford but moved to Dublin at the age of 11, opened her Leopardstown-based shop in July of this year.

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“After looking all over Dublin for a premises, eventually I hit on Leopardstown Road and I’m delighted to say that I already have a couple of regulars who often come in for a look around and a chat. It’s a bit of a unique experience in that it’s very much a candlelit store, with a lantern that hangs outside the door that I’m hoping it will eventually become recognised for. There’s a bit of everything for sale, it’s a combination of new, old and antique items, and they are very affordable, with a few more specialised items that might cost a little more.

“Of course, it felt like an enormous risk to open a new store when online shopping is so popular but people don’t come into a shop like mine just to buy things, they come in to buy memories. You simply can’t get that online and I think that human spirit, being able to swap stories about items, is what I would like to tap into.

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“I would love for the shop to blend in with the local community and to become a little landmark in the area. I think when people find out that your previous career for the last thirty-odd years was nursing, there’s an element of trust and I’d like to be seen as an honest businesswoman. I’m really hoping to hit the ground running with the Christmas market, as we will not only be selling what is in the shop but will be stocking handcrafted items as well”, she concluded.

The Mount Merrion local champions Irish, sourcing the majority of her stock from Newry, Waterford and Wexford. A small shop packed with character, customers can expect to find vintage walking sticks, art prints, old Irish coins, bibles from the 1890s, pottery, vintage jewellery and ornaments, among many other things. You can follow the shop’s new Instagram page @dknightcuriousity to keep an eye on its latest treasures.

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