26 December 2015

The Annie Sloan Family


For me, and for many of us, the holidays are all about family: spending time together, squabbles and all! So I wanted to talk a little about my ‘other’ families. My company, Annie Sloan Interiors, is a family business in every sense of the word. I’m thrilled each day to be working with my lovely son, Felix and his wonderful partner, Lizzy. And, of course, my husband David is the lynchpin holding us all together. But, it’s not just my actual family members that make HQ a family – it is all the fabulous people that work here.


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,
Annie

11 comments:

  1. Merry Christmas to you and your family Annie. Thank you for your Chalk paint and very informative blog. I have old 70's kitchen cupboards painted in Old White and waxed, I have many beautiful pieces of furniture in old white and dark wax, I have a leather club chair done in French Linen and many other pieces here and there in a few of your other colours. I don't know what I did before your paint came along! Well, yes, actually I do! I stripped, scraped and sanded and still didn't get the look I was after! Have a great 2016. Cheers Lynne

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Annie for all you do! I love this very relaxed photo of you and your "real" family. And I love that you all are so very "real". No pretenses. Just working hard, doing what you love, and spreading the joy! You are awesome! Merry Christmas and I look forward to all that you will share with us in the new year to come! Cheers ~ Jill Xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you Annie Sloan for your wonderful paint!
    It just reached us in South Africa at my rural area that we are in and man we are painting furniture like crazy. Hope your Christmas was great and Happy New year to you all!
    Lots of love
    Tamzin van Heerden

    ReplyDelete
  4. Truly a pleasure to know you and to be apart of your family. Happy New Year to all. See you in 2016 looking forward to more training and Annie Sloan family time...
    Much Love Bahia and the On the Purple Couch family (DC Metro area)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you all for your kind words. Best wishes to you all and a very Happy New Year.

    ReplyDelete
  6. We LOVE being part of this creative, fun, inspirational and (who would have it any other way) occasionally 'dysfunctional' family. What a privilege! Thanks Annie, David, Felix and Lizzy for your unfailing support. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lovely post. I need to find my nearest stockist :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Lovely post. I need to find my nearest stockist :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I need some help here please, could anyone tell me what varnish I must use to put on the cupboards that I have painted with Annie Sloan paints, I don't want to use wax ??? thaks

    ReplyDelete