Q&A – Geri O’Toole Glynn, Creative Director, Browsers interior design agency
Geri O’Toole Glynn is lead designer and creative director at Browsers, a family business in Limerick City that she has transformed from a furniture showroom into a stunning one-stop interior design agency. Geri spoke to AGENT about her love of design, and the influence of her parents in forging the skills and drive that have propelled Browsers to success.
Geri O’Toole Glynn is the lead designer and creative director at Browsers, one of the most unique interior designers Limerick has produced. Geri has run the family business since 2010, transforming it from a traditional furniture showroom into a stunning one-stop interior design agency in the heart of Limerick city.
“I have lived and loved interiors all my life.”
Browsers is fuelled by a blend of Geri’s passion for and expertise in interior design, and the acumen and insights she gleaned from helping her parents to run the business in earlier years. Geri’s design vision emanates from every corner of the landmark 12,000 sq ft stone-built warehouse that is the Browsers premises, and underscores the distinctiveness of this interior design agency.
No longer a standard furniture showroom, but also a unique interior designers Limerick agency, Browsers is a fluid, ever evolving creative space of the latest trends in interior design, curated and constantly updated by Geri and her team. Customers are struck by the sheer beauty and quality of showpieces such as the dedicated ‘Neptune by Browsers’ showroom, and by the design studio on the top floor of the premises, which boasts two bespoke kitchens that were designed by Geri herself.
Geri introduced the interior design service as she was facing ever increasing demand for her expert opinion from Browsers customers. She now cares for each client throughout the entire process, from initial consultation, home visits, planning, design and project management.
In a bid to give Browsers an edge for bespoke, truly personalised interior design, Geri also travels throughout Europe to find the best suppliers as well as working closely with her network of skilled furniture makers in Ireland. It is this dedication that has helped make Browsers one of the most notable interior designers Limerick or the broader Mid-West region has produced.
16 Questions for Geri O’Toole Glynn, Browsers interior designers Limerick
Geri spoke to AGENT about her business story and the crucial influence of her parents in forging her blend of business drive and creative passion that has made Browsers interior designers Limerick one of Ireland’s most distinctive and successful interior design agencies.
1. Briefly tell us what you business is all about, and about your team.
We have a lot going on in this shop! Although it was primarily always a retail store, we are managing lots of interior design projects, and kitchen design is also a huge part of our business. My team are incredible. I love working alongside like-minded people: I work with an Italian designer who’s incredibly passionate, and I also work closely with artists. I always give employment to people who graduate from the Limerick School of Art and Design — they are always very hard-working and very creative.
2. What inspired you go for a career in interior design & furnishings?
My mother was very creative. She did interior design, way back when. My father is a fine art and antiques dealer, as was the generation before him. Retail was on my mother’s side, and they set up Browsers 20-odd years ago. My mother passed away a long time ago, but she and my father definitely passed on their combination of business drive and creative passion. When I started in Browsers six years ago, it was a furniture retailer. I needed something to keep my creative mind engaged, so my interior design training has become a huge part of the day to day business at Browsers.
3. What gives you the most satisfaction in business?
Bottom line I would say it is happy clients and happy colleagues. It’s incredibly satisfying to have a creative environment where we are always excited about working on the next thing. We all inspire each other daily, because we all really love what we do!
4. What are the most notable current trends in interior design?
Well, Pantone has named Green as its colour of the year. There is an obsession currently for anything with a ‘punch’ of colour. Metal is also being used a lot more. The general movement is towards sleeker design that is less fussy.
5. What is your business background?
Business was always something I wanted to be involved in from a young age. When I was growing up, my parents set up and ran several businesses together. I guess watching them do that instilled business interest in me.
6. What was your earliest experience in business?
I grew up around business meetings where my parents were always creating something, looking for different business angles, or trying to better something that they had already created.
7. What has been your biggest challenge in business to date?
There have been many. When I started here, the shop was a general furniture store, and had an older, more traditional feel. I wasn’t passionate about furniture, and I couldn’t sit around here all day waiting for customers to come in and buy something that I didn’t absolutely love. So, little by little, I changed the furniture styles and the interior of the shop to suit my own taste. I don’t think I will ever be in a place where I will be 100 percent happy with the showroom, but that is good. I think the nature of the beast in interior design is to be open to new things. I am always looking for new and different trends, so I think that will always be reflected here in the Browsers showroom.
8. How do you stay motivated and focused?
I am very driven. I must admit that I actually don’t know where I get that drive from, but I feel extremely lucky. It’s great, being able to focus that energy into being creative. I just love what I do, and I love the team I work. They’re amazing, no two days are the same, and that really excites me.
9. What person do you admire, or are most inspired by, in business or life?
I spent some time in London training in interiors and I think my inspiration would have to be Rose Uniacke. Her style, her showroom, her furniture designs are all so chic and timeless. So she has definitely made an impact. She has an amazing showroom and retail business, but a great interior design portfolio also.
10. Which smartphone app can you not live without for business?
11. Which social media platform(s) do you use in business and personally?
For my line of business, I think Instagram is great, because it is so visual. Pinterest is very good too. Overall, for personal use as well, it has to be Instagram.
12. What item do you never leave the house without?
My laptop. I would be lost without it.
13. What screen-saver picture is currently on your phone?
A picture of my husband and my 2-year-old son.
14. How much do you sleep?
Sleep is so important to me, I need 8hours and don’t function well on any less!
15. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Drink tea and get my son and me ready and out the door.
16. What one piece of advice would you give your younger self, starting out in business today?
Just go for it. Do what you’re passionate about, no matter what anyone says. If you do something that you love, no matter what that is, you will always be happy.