Upon entering the new Lynbrook Irish Shop, you may feel like being in a fairytale with the unique displays, decorations, and almost picturesque decor. And lately, many visitors can now see the shop owner’s daughter, Kiera Derrig, displaying her compassion with a fundraiser for Bella Tucker, the 9-year-old girl who underwent quadruple amputation surgery in April.
“I think it is sad that [Bella] cannot draw pictures with her mom,” said 8-year-old Kiera. “I want to be her friend.”
Kiera, a third grade student at West End Elementary School, spends a lot of time selling bracelets in front of the shop to raise money to donate to Bella. After reading about her story in the Herald, Keira was moved to help someone who she believes is a very special and brave young girl. “It makes me feel happy [to raise donations] because you can do something to help people who cannot help themselves,” she said.
Kiera said that many community members are coming into the shop to purchased bracelets and support this good cause. So far, Kiera has raised around a total of $90. As Kiera’s mother and the owner of the Irish Shop, Jennifer Derrig couldn’t be happier about her daughter’s act of kindness. “We are all very proud of her,” Derrig said. “She read the Herald article and took it upon herself to do the fundraiser.”
Derrig is all smiles when it comes to her daughter and the shop, which officially opened its door on Aug. 23. The family-owned business sells many specialty and one-of-a-kind items, such as tye-die shamrock T-shirts, wool blankets, organic Keltic soy candles, Irish dancing shoes, handmade paintings, Irish milk glasses and coffee mugs, and even her own exclusive line of Irish jewelry.
“We are the next generation coming in,” Derrig said. “We have tried to go out of our way to not have the typical Irish shop.” Derrig, an Irish American mother of two, came up with the idea to open the shop in 2005. For her, the idea was another way to connect her children to their Irish heritage. “It was a cathartic move to buy the shop,” Derrig said. “My kids don’t know my husband’s family. They can get some of the Irish culture back.”
Though Derrig is a jewelry designer by trade and already owns the Irish Jewelry Company, an online business, this shop is another source of joy. “This business is the icing on the cake,” she said. And after renting the store in March, they will be celebrating a grand opening on Sept. 18.
And many community members are already supportive including a group of neighborhood mothers who work in the shop. Tricia Murphy, a Lynbrook resident, enjoys working with Derrig. “Jennifer is the sweetest person,” Murphy said. “It is convenient to work here because I live in the neighborhood. It is a great opportunity.”
Derrig is thankful for all the support. “People come in and love the store,” she said. “Everyone who walks in wishes us luck and are very friendly. It is a nice community and everyone is tight-knit.” She added that the Lynbrook Chamber of Commerce has been fabulous with their support as well.
“I think people are happy to have a store that is nice and respectful,” she said. It is her hope that the shop remains a neighborhood spot where people can feel at home. And the many kids, who love the crunch bars and irish soda, hang out in the shop like it is a home away from home. “I hope to expand the shop in the future,” Derrig said in reference to this growing fan club. “We could put tables and chairs in here and serve Irish tea, scones and cookies, which I think we be successful.”