Imagine walking into your favourite crystal store the crystals putting a smile on your face, but with an added bonus, crystals and dogs. Who knew that dogs loved crystals too? The canines of Galway city have seemed to take a liking to Amber Gift Shop on Mary Street, and furry friends both big and small are always welcomed into the incense-filled atmosphere.
Instead of being tied to lampposts outside in the cold while their owner visits the retail stores, Amber welcomes all dogs into the warmth and the constant affection and attention of staff and customers. It has almost become a tradition to add pictures of the dogs that visit on their Instagram stories; dogs being able to bask in the spotlight of lovers of Amber.
Personally, I have been into Amber while a dog stands near the till, wagging its tail and looking around at all the beautiful crystals and dreamcatchers and they do put a smile on everyone’s face. As a dog lover, it was mandatory that I stoop down and say hello.
SIN spoke with the lovely Fiona, Manager of Amber about the importance of businesses supporting local charities. Little did Fiona know that during the interview, she quoted the slogan of my current workplace saying “Every Little Helps” when speaking about the prizes and raffles they hold to fundraise for the charities. Every little does really help these charities and not just the people, but the dogs too.
Q. Do you think it is important for small businesses to support local charities? Do you know of any other shops besides yours that support charities?
I think that it is vital for businesses to support local charities. It allows for funds to be raised in multiple places and helps get the word out. The AWOL Tattoo and Piercing are also great for raising money and helping charities.
Q. What made you want to support MADRA as your chosen charity? Is it because of your love of dogs and their visits to the store?
We wanted to support MADRA because we are all animal lovers here. MADRA is an incredible organisation, I worked previously and the love and care they put in every day there is amazing. One of our staff members has a dog that she adopted from them.
Q. Amber’s Instagram stories hold pictures of the most adorable dogs, not a lot of shops let pets unless they’re working animals; do you think this should be more of a thing to let animals in?
We absolutely love when animals come to visit and people are surprised when we say they are welcome because it isn’t the norm in Galway. Personally, I think there should be more pet friendly places, but obviously, it’s up to the business owners. They never make a mess and they make staff and customers smile, so it’s worth it for us. We have dog treats behind the counter too.
Q. What kind of MADRA merchandise is for sale in Amber?
We currently have res-usable cups and socks. At Christmas time we had calendars too. We always welcome in any new items they have and we have a donation box at the till for MADRA and the Cope charity. We do feel it is important to support charities, they are vital to so many people and animals. We tend to offer prizes for raffles for fundraising to when we can.