5 Minutes With: Industry

Industry is a haven of interesting and unique industrial style products on Dublins Drury Street. From homeware for adults and kids to gifts and fashion you really can’t walk out of the shop empty handed. We caught up with founder Vanessa Mac Innes to get behind the scenes of one of Dublins busiest interior stores right now.

1. How did the venture to set up Industry come about?

I opened Industry in 2010 in Temple Bar and it just all happened very quickly. I had been working as an Interior Designer for a number of years and found it really difficult to source products like what we sell here. I was having to go to the US and UK to source things for customers and I just felt there was massive lack of unique design shops in Dublin. So I started to look for where I would source products, then looked for a premises and 2 months later I had the shop open. I was down there for about 2 years before Marcus, my brother, and business partner came on board and that’s when we decided to move to a bigger premises.

2. How would you say being an Interior designer helps you when sourcing products to sell?

It really helps me because I know what the customer is looking for when they’re decorating a house. Buying comes more naturally if you have a design background and I think that gives you a different outlook when looking for something unusual.

3. Where does your love of industrial design come from?

I think my love of design to begin with comes from my Mum. I’ve grown up around the most beautiful antiques and houses so I’ve always grown up with design. Then I suppose it wasn’t until my early 20’s that I started noticing architecture, and factories and working spaces always caught my eye. I’ve travelled a lot especially to cities like Berlin, and I’m always drawn to industrial scenes.

4. Do you find more people in Ireland are breaking away from traditional interiors?

Yes definitely, especially more recently. I suppose people always used to copy what their parents houses looked like and I think that has changed over the last number of years. Especially when we went through the recession that really made people be creative – lack of money made them not be able to move house and think right, what can we do with this. I think people have become more creative in every aspect of their lives, from eating out to the way they dress, and it’s allowed smaller retailers like us to open where as that would never have happened before.

5. How would you describe your typical customer at the shop?

It’s very difficult to pin point actually. We have a range of customers to the shop. I suppose if I was to put my finger on it I would say it’s early 30s to 40s, they understand design and nice things. They like unique things and that’s why they come to us. They’re generally quite creative, whether they work in a creative job or in a bank, it doesn’t matter because they have a creative flair.

6. Why did you decide to move into childrens products? 

We saw a big gap in the market for children’s products in our style – and not necessarily the industrial style as we do more than that in the shop. So we decided to open up the children’s section for Christmas and it had a great reaction. We always had customers coming in asking us to do children’s furniture and gifts for kids, so that’s why they’ve had a great response. We’re going to be moving the kids products to a separate unit soon and have it as it’s own independent store!

7. What’s next?

We have really exciting plans for this building. We are opening a deli in the next couple of months – my business partner Marcus is busy working on the food end of things. It’ll be really good quality healthy food but I won’t give too much away! In the retail side, we’re going to be launching some of our own products this year – we’re working on some prototypes and nice little products and they should be out in the shop by the Summer.

Industry is open 10am – 6pm Monday to Sunday and you can also shop online at industrydesign.ie.

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