Growth October 17, 2013 113 Reads share

Lighting & Interiors Product Designer: Gráinne Lyons On Running Her Business – #TYBspotlight

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Gráinne Lyons is an up and coming furniture and lighting designer from Dublin, Ireland who creates contemporary and innovative interior products with a distinct interest in form and texture. In this #TYBspotlight I ask her about her inspiration, running her business and her plans for the future.

Gráinne Lyons Combines 3 Dimensional Design & Geometric Form With Running A Business – #TYBspotlightPlease tell us about yourself and your business?

After graduating from Dublin Institute of Technology in 2011 with a First Class Honors BA Degree in Design, I set up my own studio where I now work on my collection of Lighting and Homeware products. My aim is to create contemporary and innovative interior products with a distinct interest in form and consumer interaction.

All my products are made using materials sourced and manufactured in Ireland and in addition to my retail products I offer a bespoke service where customers can come to my studio, discuss their requirements and I’ll design a one-off piece for their home.

Describe your collection and the inspiration behind your products?

I like to create contemporary and innovative products which are inspired by form, construction and modular systems. I have always had a keen interest in 3 dimensional design and geometric form – the geodesic domes of Buckminster Fuller and the geometric sculptures of George. A. Hart are the basis of my lighting collections. I’m interested in how the construction techniques and form combine to create structures which in essence are quite simple but make the most of visual form.

All my lighting products are flat pack and have been designed around the principles of 3 dimensional forms. The flat 2D modules produce forms that appear complex, yet have a basic underlying principle – the fabrication of my design is just as important to me as the end result. My aim is to evoke a certain unity and to show that each individual module is as important to the structure of piece as the whole.

Where can I buy a Gráinne Lyons product and what would I pay?

All Gráinne Lyons Design products are available to buy direct from my website and are priced from €19.95 to €79.95. A number of my products are stocked by some great Irish retailers and these you can also find on the website.

Where and how do you source your materials?

My materials are sourced in Ireland. The Crafts Council of Ireland offers some great information on making contact with Irish suppliers. Other designers are also a great help – many of whom I now know from networking at shows and workshops.

You’ve received lots of media attention – where have you appeared and how has this helped?

Media coverage has played a vital role in getting my products noticed. It’s great recognition and over the last year I’ve featured in some of Ireland’s most read magazines and newspapers, as well as appearing in some great Irish and International design blogs and websites. I’m lucky to have made contact with some wonderful editors and writers who are always willing to support Irish designers and Irish businesses. I also have my own design blog which I set up after finishing college.

How have you found the challenge of balancing design with other aspects of running your business?

I am constantly learning new things about running a business. Coming up with new products is the easier part for me while growing and marketing my business I find more difficult – and this now takes up far more of my time than the design. I’ve not studied business or marketing so I have to learn as I go. I’m getting lots of advice and support from the Crafts Council. They run regular workshops and I find that talking with the other designers and business owners really helps.

As a designer, how would you compare retail with selling online?

Retail has many benefits. It offers recognition for your work, products and business and usually your products get seen by a wider and more diverse audience. However, it is more difficult to make a profit when selling wholesale. Selling direct on my website is easier for the consumer and allows me to make a better margin. All products are shipped direct within 2-3 days by clicking a button.

JOYN Arrangement

Have you used social media and do you find it effective?

Social media is a fantastic marketing tool and it’s free! I have a blog, a Facebook page and a Twitter account. I like to update people about my new designs and news about the business.

What are your future plans and where would you like to see carrying your pieces in the next 12 months?

I’m going to focus on taking part in some of the bigger national and international design fairs to help me reach a wider market and make new contacts with retailers both here and abroad. With the media attention these events attract and the buyers that attend, I’m hoping to to get my work noticed more in both the national and international marketplaces.It would be amazing to see my products selling in the likes of Arnotts and the Kilkenny Shop someday.

Thank you to Gráinne for sharing her story and her insights. 

Related: Don’t Get Stuck Without It: Innovation Culture – #TYBspotlight with Andrew Marshall


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Niall Devitt

Niall Devitt

Digital expert, top 10% influencer with over 10 years’ senior management experience - including managing projects and teams, and growing companies in the Irish, international and online marketplaces. Co-founded one of the largest B2B blogs in the world, helped grow a B2B social media to over 1,000,000 members, created the strategy for one of the most effective SME Facebook pages in the world and have grown 3 business websites (, & to in excess of a 100,000 unique visitors per month. Have consulted and worked with both corporate and SME clients on leveraging digital to drive business KPIs. Speaker at industry events, have authored several industry reports on the Digital Economy and appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Business Insider and other leading online and offline business publications. Specialities include: Entrepreneurship Business Development, Start-ups, Business Planning, Management, Training, Leadership, Sales Management, Sales, Sales Process, Coaching, Online Advertising, Blogging, Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media Strategist, Digital Strategy, Social Media ROI, User Generated Content, Social Customer Care.

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