Erase and Design: Interview with Vanessa MacInnes of Industry

Posted December 5, 2013 in Arts & Culture Features

Words: Niamh McNeela

Finding the right pieces when furnishing your home can seem like quite a chore, especially when four others will claim to have spotted that Ikea shelving unit first. Industry is an independent home wares store, stocking vintage, upcycled and new products with everything from lighting to textiles and stationary. Located in Temple Bar you can now find their pop-up store on Drury Street; ideal for those finicky friends and family members this Christmas.

So you started out as an interior designer, what made you set up shop with Industry in 2010?

I worked as a designer with my sister, at a company called Fuse, then after a number of years we just went our separate ways. While I was working as a designer in Dublin I found that there was a real lack of interesting shops to buy home ware in. There was nothing unique, quirky or interesting; it was all the same brands and products. We had to source a lot of products from abroad; from the UK, Paris, from all over really. That was why I started looking into the possibility of a shop. To be honest it all started very quickly, I started looking at different brands and suppliers and researched where I could find industrial metal furniture. I started looking at premises and before I knew it I was opening a shop! I’ve always had an interest in retail and all of our family are quite creative; my mum renovated houses, my dad’s a photographer, both of my two brothers are software architects and my eldest brother Marcus now works as part of the company.

You favour quite a distinctive industrial aesthetic. As a designer, where would your inspiration come from?

Well I travel a lot; I go to London, Paris, New York and to Italy. I do research in different cities and countries and I think New York in particular is really inspiring to me, just walking the streets and meeting people. They have quite a relaxed vibe towards design, with incredibly designed buildings which are heavily industrial with a factory/warehouse style; that’s really my thing. They also have quite a laid back approach in the way they design products and how they display in shops. Sibella Court is an Australian interior designer I really admire, she has an incredible style.

You source your products from all over the world, would there be any particular designers you enjoy working with? Are there any up and coming Irish designers worth keeping an eye on?

At the moment we’re looking at a number of different Japanese companies making everything from ceramics to linen. We’ve brought in a great company called Fog Linen and they do really beautiful pieces. In terms of Irish design we recently ran a competition called “Design for Industry”, which was a Dublin-themed poster competition for designers and closet creatives. We got some absolutely incredible entries. In the end we chose three winners that are being printed this week and which go on sale in the shop next week. This is hopefully the first of many competitions that we’re going to run. In the future it could be anything from designing textiles to chairs and lighting, or other themed artwork. The winning poster was of the Poolbeg chimneys and was designed by graphic designer Halley Anne Kennedy. She produced a beautiful poster that we’re proud to sell(pictured below). We’ve taken on a number of Irish designers in the past couple of weeks and early next year we’re hoping to do a lot of collaborations with new up-and-coming designers in textiles and posters and other bits and pieces.

Poolbeg ChimneysEvidently the shop in Temple Bar has been very successful, how did the pop-up opportunity come about?

When I opened Industry I was young and hadn’t ran a business before so it was a really good learning curve and it was great to get the support of other businesses down there. After about a year, the goal was to find a bigger premises and a better location and so for the last year and a half my brother Marcus and I have been looking for the right spot. We found the space in Drury Street, and we’re really happy with the building. The Industry pop-up we have here is the first phase in what is a much larger project that will start next year. At the moment Industry is open in only a small part of the building but we’re going to be renovating and expanding into the entire building. So it is a permanent home for us but we will be closing while we do the renovations and before we move into the rest of the building.

With two successful shops on the go, do you still get the chance to do any interior design work?

At the moment I don’t, no. To be honest, I just don’t have the time to do it! But I’m not going to rule out working as a designer again. We have a number of interior designers who actually work with us in the shop. We supply a huge amount of the restaurants, cafés and bars opening in Dublin with products already, with lighting, furniture and other bits and pieces. So we already work with a lot of the architects and a lot of the business owners directly on commercial projects. We’re not currently providing a service but it may be something we’ll look into doing next year.

Industry stock a unique range of eclectic products, any recommendations for Christmas gift ideas?

I’m really in love with all of the blankets in the shop at the moment. We have a huge array of blankets we bring in from Donegal and Wales. Some are made with recycled wool and some with new wool. We have such a great collection, every day I’m thinking about a different one to take home! I’d also recommend our great range of kitchenware which make for great gifts, and we have lots of little bits of quirky stationary, great as stocking-fillers!


Industry will be open until the end of January at 41 Drury Street and continues to operate from 5 Essex Street West, Temple Bar. For more info and to shop online see


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