“Uniqueness is rare.” This is the statement that stood out to me most in our recent interview with leading designer, Annette Tatum. In this industry of children’s bedding designers, it’s hard to find designs that stand out from the rest but that can still be considered timeless. Annette Tatum establishes this balance perfectly in her Annette Tatum and Little House collections of baby, kid’s and even adult bedding as well as children’s furniture. Her designs demonstrate an understanding that the nursery should be a place of comfort and peace as well as simplicity and style. Drawing from her experiences as a Mother of 4, her pieces are both practical and motivated and as you will see below, she seeks out all forms of inspiration. This innate ability to find inspiration in so many different things is a truly special talent that separates the good from the great. Now, I will let Annette do the talking….so enjoy and be inspired!
What inspired you to become a designer and start a business?
I never really had a plan to start a business. I think it grew out of necessity to have some creative outlet for myself while raising young children. I knew that working full time would be difficult and therefore transitioned over time from working for other companies to finally branching out on my own. I had studied industrial design in college so I knew that I wanted to “make” products. My business started out as a simple request from my sister for pajamas and flourished into other products all surrounding textiles.
What is your favorite part of your daily work … when you reflect on the day, what is most rewarding?
A lot of my time these days is spent on management, projections and scheduling product launches. I love it when I have time in the day to work on graphics, new prints, and catalog layouts; really any part of the creative side of the business makes me happy. I have a team that helps me create, and I could not do it without them. The collaboration with my entire team is what makes it all worthwhile.
Do you have any advice for other working moms?
Try to pick something you love because you are going to spend a lot of time doing it. There is so little extra time in a working mom’s life that what you do is very important. I also feel that if you are passionate about what you do it makes the process far easier. Especially when you have to work late hours, take care of your family and find enough time to still take care of you.
What is your most memorable design project?
I would have to say there have been many. I think my most memorable project to date would be the making of the mannequins that are now part of my book. The whole process of producing a book and then a 3D exhibit to further develop the concept of the book was a rewarding creative exercise.
If you could design a room for anyone in the world, who would it be?
I would love to have designed anything with the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen. His over the top style and execution are so inspiring. His collections were and still are like art.
What thing/place/event were you most recently inspired by?
I am still inspired by the movie Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola, the images and the costumes are over the top. I love Paris; there is always inspiration to be found there. I recently was walking around my local flea market when I came across a new vendor with amazing textiles…it was inspiring, anything one of a kind is inspiring these days. I find especially in this world of ever changing ideas it is hard to sometimes find inspiration. Uniqueness is rare.
I enjoy talking about inspiration on my blog Annette Tatum – The Well Dressed Home. I think seeking out inspiration has to be a constant for us creative types.
Where is your favorite place you have traveled to?
I love Mexico. In my youth I spent a lot of time there and fell in love with the simple, slow paced nature of the country. Mexico is probably the first place I fell in love with bold color. The textiles the architecture and the people all embrace bright colors in their lifestyle. I love the interior of Mexico with all its history and charm as well as the beaches and the idyllic seaside lifestyle of small fishing villages and pueblos.
Where in the world are you dying to go next?
I want to go to India. My children are finally old enough that I could afford to take a long trip and not stress. The idea of India and its vast array of inspiration has made India a travel destination for years. I would love to discover all there is about India from textiles to architecture. I think I would love India.
What is your favorite Rosenberry Rooms product(s)?
I love all the selections for wall decals on your site. I like the range you offer and there is something for everyone. From the traditional monogram style logo for the wall, to animals and other themes. Retro rockets… love them for boys.
Do you have any news that you would like to share, perhaps about upcoming events or projects?
Right now we are working on some new items for Annette Tatum Nursery, and we also have two other collections set for launch in 2012. We are developing a signature line of furniture and there will be a lot of new items for the home coming in 2012 too.
Now, just for fun:
Favorite Food: I love dark chocolate with sea salt. I have to have a piece every day.
Favorite TV Show: Anything documentary…
Favorite Movie: Top three: Marie Antoinette. Love Actually and My Life as a Dog and one more, Alice in Wonderland.
Favorite Weekend Activity: Long runs and farmers open market on Sundays.
Favorite Musician/Band: I like all kinds of music. Even country. Hard for me to pick a favorite…