Thursday, January 22, 2015

Feature Friday // Anna Atkinson of Anna-Louise Sleepwear

Helloooo - You are looking at the first installment of FEATURE FRIDAY! 

I will be featuring upcoming self starters, photographers, designers, entrepreneurs and game changers -  all looking to make a name for themselves and inspiring those around them at the same time. 

My first Feature Friday is showcasing Durban talent Anna Louise Atkinson of Anna-Louise Sleepwear, a luxury sleepwear collection which provides stylish and comfortable designs for both men and women locally designed and made in South Africa.
How stunning is her sleepwear? Shop the range now!
Where do you come from?

I live in Durban.  I grew up here but after matriculating I decided to move to the Western Cape and study at Elizabeth Galloway Fashion Academy in Stellenbosch. I ended up living in Cape Town for 7years before moving back to Natal.  

When did you decide to launch your own business?

Growing up, my mum owned her own retail stores selling luxury bed linen and gifts.  I always knew I wanted to follow in her foot steps and one day own my own business. So after working in the magazine industry for two years, I went onto work for a PR company and then onto working for a big retail company and then knew it was time to launch Anna-Louise.

What advice would you give women wanting to open their own business?

If you can dream it, you can do it.  There’s a quote I love by Steve Jobs – “If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed, the vision pulls you.”  I think this quote is so powerful, If you really passionate about something and love what you do, you will make it a success.

Why sleepwear?

After finishing at Elizabeth Galloway Fashion Academy in Stellenbosch my dream was to become a designer, so I gained experience in retail, media and styling before focusing on my designer dream.  While gaining experience with big retail companies and media houses, I saw how people’s lives were becoming faster, more demanding and leaving less time for luxury and relaxing. Anna-Louise was born for my love for sleepwear and the frustration over the lack of sophisticated product available in the market.  Anna-Louise Sleepwear creates a calm in the evenings, a balance in the chaos of life that helps leave the stresses of your day behind. My vision was to create sleepwear without teddy bears, cartoon characters or corny sayings that anyone would be proud to wear all day, every day.

 Your branding is beautiful! How did you decide on your brand's aesthetic?

When I launched Anna-Louise, the branding was pink and girly.  As Anna-Louise has grown and after we launched our men’s collection I thought it needed a little something stronger.  So I decided to keep it classic and go for something timeless.

What does your typical work day entail?

Every day is different.  Being the perfectionist that I am, I wish it was more structured but a phone call can change the whole day’s routine.  I spend the mornings responding to mails, sorting out online orders – wrapping and packing them up and the afternoons are spent in my car sourcing fabrics, choosing new threads and buttons and making sure orders are completed in time.

Today was a perfect example of how a phone call can change the day – I had a bride call me, who is getting married tomorrow. She asked if she could place a personal embroidery order, luckily I had the stock she was needing but spent most of the day making sure the embroidery could get done and the delivery could take place before her wedding tomorrow.  I hate to let people down and try my best to get their orders done, especially when it comes to bridal orders.

What do you love doing on the weekend?

My fiancé and I have recently moved house, we actually in the middle of renovations so our weekends are spent house shopping, choosing paint colours or sorting out things for the wedding. I am loving every minute of all of it.

What is the best advice you've ever received?

“A river cuts through rock not because of its power but because of its persistence.”

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I always knew I wanted to be involved in fashion and design.  From pre school days, I was dressing my dad, mum and older sister and always telling them what to wear and what to buy.

1. Anna is an avid traveller and recently jetted to Seychelles with her fiance
2. Must read this! "Girl Boss" by Sophie Amoruso
3. She has amazing taste in cushions - these puppies are available from Emeline Designs.
4. She also posts awesome foodie pics. What can this girl not do?

What inspires you?
My mum’s always been an inspiration to me.   She’s always lead by example, so I would say she is my main inspiration.  I have and always will inspire to be like her.

“Success in life comes when you simply refuse to give up, with goals so strong that obstacles, failure, and loss only act as motivation”.

Some more casual (beautiful) travel pics 

Thank you so much Anna for agreeing to be featured! What’s really sweet is that Anna featured me on her blog way back in 2011 – so incredible to see everything that you have accomplished in such a short time!

Follow Anna on Instagram (all of her pics featured here are from her beautiful Instagram account) ; Twitter ; Pinterest and Facebook


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