26 December 2015
The Annie Sloan Family
And I’m lucky – I have more ‘families’ – nearly 1,500 Annie Sloan Stockists and, of course, you! Over the years, since I first started with my own small shop here in Oxford I’ve made some tremendous friends – people who’ve popped in for a browse, or with a question, and who are still popping in all these years later. In fact, some of them even work with me now, either here at HQ or as shop-owners themselves!
Every few weeks I run training sessions here for my Stockists, which gives me the chance to spend time with each of them in person – the world over. They come here to brush up on their techniques – and for lots of chatting, questions and laughter! I always start by stressing that I’m in exactly the same business as them – I run a small shop and it was my whole world. I want to get to know each and every Annie Sloan Stockist, to help and support them, and to encourage them to help and support each other – it’s so important, and we all need help at different times – I’m no exception!!
Each of my Stockists is fully trained in my techniques – I strip it right back to the basics: from how to hold a brush (near the head, with a firm grip) and apply paint (wide, irregular strokes of the brush using your whole arm, not just the wrist!) to some easy but impressive tricks (try applying heat from a hairdryer to make cracks on the surface of your – liberally applied – paint to add interest and age to a new piece). This means all Annie Sloan customers are getting the exact same level of expert advice from their local shops – despite our different design styles, we’re all the same. That’s what makes it all so fun, and always so exciting.
My own taste may lean towards a fusion of neo-classical (architectural, masculine forms and lots of symmetry) mixed up with Boho (seven years at Art School make this arty, slightly surreal clash of colours, patterns and cultures endlessly appealing to me) and a dash of Folk (Eastern European use of pattern and colour), but my paints can just as easily create light, classical Swedish interiors, distress haughtily glamourous Rococo boudoirs or to produce Modern Retro-style bold, flat blocks of colour.
So, embrace the differences, and whatever you’re doing over the Christmas break, and whether it’s with your ‘real’ family, or your chosen family, have a wonderful one!
Lots of love,