Making it Work

Dundalk’s Vida Living designs a bright future in B2B business

Furniture design and wholesale business is expanding its operations with hotels and apartments sector

Ronan Wogan, Alan Wogan and David Caffrey of Vida Living

Vida Living, a Dundalk, Co Louth based furniture design and wholesale business, is expanding its operations with the hotels and apartments sector as it seeks to build on its long-standing business-to-business operation.

Founded in 1983 by John Wogan, the company was originally set-up in Dunleer, Co Louth. Now based in Dundalk, it is led by co-chief executives David Caffrey and Alan Wogan along with Ronan Wogan as executive director. The company has over 100 staff – with the bulk being based in Ireland, the remainder in Britain – and has invested €500,000 in the last 12 months.

Founded by: John Wogan in 1983

Staff: Over 100

Investment: €500,000 in the last 12 months

“We have an in-house design team in Dundalk and we have the products made in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. We sell into the retail markets across Ireland and the UK. We have also heavily invested in the contract space, such as student accommodation, build-to-rent schemes and hotels,” Caffrey told the Business Post.

“It’s a similar product to retailers but it’s sold in a different way. The specifications are different, as that product needs to have a higher degree of durability. We’ve really started pushing that aspect over the last three years.”

Caffrey joined the company in 2019. He said the success built by John Wogan helped attract him to Vida Living.

“It started with John in Dunleer and now we’ve a purpose built 180,000 square foot site in Dundalk, with a distribution centre, offices and showrooms.

“The family is always looking to the future. It wants to maintain that family connection to the business but to evolve to bring in people with different types of expertise. They want to expand what they do and push the company on to the next level.”

Vida Living is supported by Enterprise Ireland and Caffrey said the agency had aided the business in making that transition.

“Enterprise Ireland helped the business to step back and identify where the priorities are in terms of key improvement areas. A key element of that was digitisation of the business. We appointed a digital manager at the start of the year and we’re pushing that side of things,” Caffrey said.

“They’re great to deal with and an excellent sounding board. They provide a lot of guidance and that has been really good for us.”

The business is developing a solution that ensures a full digital journey is mapped for a product from when it enters the warehouse to deliver with the customer. In addition, Vida Living has developed its website considerably to provide an experience comparable that expected from a consumer facing business.

Caffrey is keen to keep pushing the growth of both the core business and its newer contract operation.

“For us it’s about steady, incremental growth at a pace that allows us to continue to provide top quality product and service to our customers,” he said.

This Making it Work article is produced in partnership with Enterprise Ireland