Hearts of Ireland- Adelle Hickey


Founded in 2019, Hearts of Ireland is the brainchild of Adelle Hickey, Irish designer and printmaker. From her studio in Dublin, Adelle creates her unique collection of hand carved and hand printed cards, prints and notebooks.  More recently, Adelle has expanded into the world of linen, creating beautiful pieces from 100% Irish linen.

The inspiration for the series embraces centuries of Irish visual culture – archaeology, mythology, needlework, Celtic symbols, wildlife and flowers are bound together in a visual expression of all that is authentically Irish. All of Adelle Hickey’s products are made sustainably, using recycled materials and zero waste.

                             ADH NOTEBOOKADH CARDSADH PRINT


After graduating from NCAD, Adelle dived into the world of fashion design, working for high end brands such as Lainey Keogh & John Rocha. She also worked as a costume designer and a design tutor before returning to NCAD in 2013 to complete her Masters in Design History and Material Culture, where she explored religious dress and identity.

Becoming Self Employed

In February 2019, Adelle took the plunge and began to work on her own collection of cards, notebooks and prints, which was inspired by her research work of her Master’s degree. Hearts of Ireland was born.

“I started working part time for myself around 2005.  I was teaching at the time and did extra work making pieces for clients.  It slowly grew.”

Different from the Rest

Hearts of Ireland’s products are not just a beautiful sentiment, they are also a gift for life.

“Your design approach has to be unique. A personal signature. The market is saturated, so any defining ingredient or approach is necessary.” explains Adelle.

Challenges & Opportunities

As an Irish company, it was important to Adelle that her products were Made in Ireland, which is more expensive. This was a huge challenge but one that turned into an opportunity. By staying true to her Irish roots, Adelle has created a niche product that is popular with Irish people as well as tourists and those with Irish roots living abroad.

By using the power of social media, Adelle now focuses on making more direct sales to customers.

“Social media plays a huge role in promoting products and leading to sales. Made in Ireland is very expensive so direct sales are the best for income. Wholesale is difficult but you need to sell into the retail market for a wider customer base.” Says Adelle.

Stand Out Moments

For Adelle, each time a customer choses her product as a gift a new stand out moment is created.

“I don’t have any one moment.  Every sale is a stand out moment.”

LEO Supports

Adelle has participated in many LEO training supports such as;

  • Business Advice Clinic
  • Mentoring
  • Brexit Mentoring
  • The Circular Economy
  • Instagram for Business

Adelle has also sucessfully applied for and received financial support from LEO Dublin City, she was awarded the Feasibility Grant, and the Technical Assistance for Micro Exporters Grant (TAME)

“LEO have been a great source of support for me.  I have received two grants from LEO which made all the difference.” 

Future Plans

Adelle is looking forward to expanding Hearts of Ireland in 2023 and beyond.

“I plan to keep on growing the business and keeping it running alongside freelance work.”

Advice for New Entrepreneurs

“Be very clear about what it is you want, but be flexible.”


Email: hello@adellehickey.com

Website: www.adellehickey.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/adellehickey