We were first introduced to Anna earlier this year and immediately fell for her enthusiasm for all things home and interiors. The founder of independent online homeware brand, ALSO Home, Anna has just celebrated 10 years in the business and we recently had the pleasure of collaborating on a dining-scene photoshoot with a selection of her chic tableware and beautifully handcrafted ceramics (more to be revealed soon). Much like our very own founder and MD Kally Ellis, Anna is an inspiring entrepreneur with the passion and enthusiasm to follow her dreams, and it was with pleasure that we sat down to find out a little more about Anna and her inspirational brand.
Tell us your story, Anna. What led you to start a homeware brand?
I have always loved designing and creating and after working for a few companies, really wanted to design and create products for my own range/brand. I initially started thinking about my own collection in my mid-twenties, but the timing wasn’t right. It was in my early thirties that I finally took the leap. The desire to start my own business wouldn’t leave me, so I decided to go for it.
What three words would you use to describe ALSO Home and why?
Simple, refined and stylish. We don’t design overly fussy, complicated or ‘loud’ products, we might start with inspiration that has more to it, but by the time we finalise a season’s collection we have often pared it back. Personally, I like simple, stylish clothes and products in my home and I know this has a big impact on what we design.
We understand that your first collection was influenced by Japanese and Scandinavian design. Tell us more…
I spent three months in Norway during my textile degree and I can see how much their way of life and their simple style had a huge impact on me. Between Scandinavian and Japanese design, the simple, stylish way that they live and the products that they create is exactly the style that I love and this continues to influence our collections.
What inspires you?
So much inspires me. I can be walking down the street and see a pattern that inspires me or feel a piece of fabric. Most of the time I listen to my instinct and design and create products that I love. I try to silence the noise of other brands, designs, style and focus on designing for us. We work with a number of larger retailers on their own branded products and it can be quite hard not to follow the season’s trends that we work on and get distracted by their brands. However, when we focus on ALSO Home and do our own thing, that’s often when we create our best products.
Who are your designs for?
They are for anyone! However, nothing makes it into our collection that I wouldn’t consider having in my home!
Do you have a favourite piece?
I love our Kibo benches and stools. They are our first furniture products and took longer than we had hoped to develop and design, but they are totally worth the process. We are so pleased that we designed them. We were inspired in India by some antique woven chairs that we saw in a flea market and this became the inspirational starting point.
Last but not least, what is your favourite flower and why?
My favourite flowers are ranunculus – I loved their delicateness and the number of petals/layers in every flower.