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Brian & Rosemary McGuigan

Published on 17 Jul 2020

An insight into the founders and the home that they live in.

If you want an insight into the beliefs and traditions that Orior continues to practice after 41 years in business, then look no further. As the founders, Brian and Rosie are the epitome of Orior. Injecting their Irish stamina and turning clients into friends shows the genuine and hard working foundation Orior was built on.

After finishing school and wanting to get away from the troubles in Ireland, Brian and Rosie found themselves in Denmark where their love for furniture was elevated with the inspiration that surrounded them. They returned to Ireland in 1979 with a new ideation around furniture design. Brian followed his dream by establishing Orior, which was named after the street that he grew up on (Orior road). With a modest start, Brian was designing and making his furniture from his brother, Sean's, shed. Followed shortly he hired his first two employees: Pedar who helped with upholstery and his other brother Pete, both still work at Orior 40 years later, staying true to the idea of a family run business.

After all the years, Brian and Rosie continue to push Orior alongside their son, Ciaran. Brian with his skilled craftsmanship and design skills and Rosie leading the line from the admins office, the foundations of Orior are still echoed throughout the whole company.

Q: What is the most noticeable thing that has changed with Orior since starting in 1979?

Rosie: The new boss structure! (She says laughing). No to be honest the most noticeable thing is the fact that we are now more of an international company and working with amazing clients and designers globally.

Q: What is your favourite piece that you’ve designed?

Brian: "Scout (Dog) what do you think?" I like the Pop chair, and I like the Shanog.

Ciaran (interviewing): what about the Andre?

Brian: No I don’t like the Andre (He says laughing).

Q: Rosie, what is your favourite piece that Brian has designed?

Rosie: There was a piece called the Bahai which was Brians first contemporary piece but my favourite of the current collection has to be the Shanog, it’s just gorgeous. I love that it was his first piece, the big and chunky texture, and also the fact that it’s still popular 40 years later and one of the best sellers.

Q: During the growth at Orior, did you always believe that it would get passed on to the next generation?

Rosie: No. Initially I didn't want that because I wanted them to do their own thing. However, we are delighted now because it has made the past 40 years very worthwhile, knowing that it is going to continue and that our kids are interested in the design and management of the business. I also love seeing how Katie and Ciaran work together. They inspire, support and push each other.

Q: What’s your favourite thing about working with family?

Rosie: The best part is that everything is very honest and everyone pulls together. Especially in times like this (During Covid-19), we are all working collaboratively as a team with an unwavering work ethic.

Q: Do you prefer designing or making the furniture?

Brian: Both!

Ciaran (Interviewing): Which one are you better at?

Brian: Both (laughing)!

Q: Did you ever have another job apart from Orior?

Brian: No I couldn't get anyone to hire us so that’s why I started my own furniture company.

Rosie: Stop, we both worked at a restaurant and a hotel in Denmark! When we returned to Ireland I started off selling office equipment. But soon as Brian asked me to join the furniture business I said no bother and joined him.

Q: What is your ideal weekend at home?

Rosie: We love taking a walk up the Cooley mountain with Scout (the family dog and first smiling face to greet any guest at the factory in Newry). We sometimes take the bikes up to gather some ferns and plants for the house. I love baking so making some banana bread and a Sunday roast with some fresh lamb.

Brian: Windsurfing, surfing, snowboarding. I used to play footy (soccer) and I was miles better player than our Ciaran (laughing).