Annabel Kern28 February 2017, posted by Rue des Petits
London, 27th February 2017
Meet Annabel, founder of Annabel Kern.
I wasn't born in Provence, and yet, its light, its colours, its old stone villages and terraces whith olive trees where you drink the best of Rose wines and eat the best of food.... This is basically what makes me the happiest.
Landing in Marseille airport, listening to the sound of the cicadas and getting this pinch by the sun... this is for me what Annabel Kern creations brings. A smile. A release. And the feel that nature and beauty is around you, everywhere.
I met Annabel Kern at one of those Paris fairs and loved how is was just like her creations. Modern, simple, natural and unique. She is a passionate, bubbly and chatty women, you could think that she was born in Marseille but she wasnt. She had a life pre Annnabel Kern creations, in marketing, she has 2 adorable little sons and I think she has the most to-kill-for sunny terrace on IG! To me she has not just created a brand.... but a lifestyle. And I just love everything about it!
She is just back from skiing holidays with her family and as adorable as she is, took a bit of her precious time to tell me about her brand, her dreams, her new projects, her family... Thanks Annabel ;-)
>> What is the story behind your brand?
My children were my first inspiration. I started by sewing a rattle in the shape of an ice cream and a musical apple. At the beginning I was sewing everything myself but as orders started to increase, I looked for people around me who could help me. Everything is now produced in South of France where I live, by a local and historical workshop as well as by another workshop that employs handicaped people.
I have also been taking part to international fairs such as Maison & Objet and Playtime in Paris for the last 4 years and I am very excited to be now presenting a whole collection of home decor accessories as well as household linen. This season we have developed a collection of pretty accessories for the whole family and that can be use at home and while traveling. Everything is done with love, using beautiful fabrics… and with attention to those little unique details that make all the difference.
>> What are you the most proud of?
To have managed to fulfill my ‘creative’ dream and to be independent. It is also linked to the birth of my second son which was born with malformations and needed various chirurgical operations. He still needs to be followed by a doctor regularly and his journey is still a bit atypical… But I sometimes think that the birth of my brand is intimately linked to his own story. He was my key to success as we both fought hard together. It is only now that I manage to step back and talk about it.
>> How do you find the balance between work and family?
Frontiers are fragiles. Launching your own business is such an investment, especially in terms of time, that it is hard to say Stop. Social networks have even made it worst and harder…. I try to live without constantly thinking of taking and sharing photos… but everything can be a source of inspiration. So it’s hard…as so tempting !
>> What are your future challenges and dreams for Annabel Kern.
I wish for the brand to shine… in France and internationally. I would like to make Annabel Kern a brand for the whole family, a lifestyle brand, from birth presents to decor accessories. I was looking for new fabrics to launch my home range, in a simple, clean style. I think I have found it .. I hope you will love it !
>> You in a few words.
I was born in South Brittany (Charente Maritime), studied in a Bordeaux business school and worked for 10 years in Paris in industrial marketing. Our move to Marseille and the birth of my two sons, Oscar, 14 and Ulysse, 9 are largely behind my decision to embark on this new adventure… But I think that this was something I had deep inside, from childhood, coming from a family of entrepreneurs and having always been into creative arts…
>> 3 things that you like/don't like?
Travels, improvised dinners with friends and interior decor.
>> Your typical mumpreneur day?
We alternate for the morning school runs with my husband. When it is my turn, I go to my workshop in Marseille, twice a week, to follow the production and the logistic. I have a quick lunch at 2pm… And then, time flies, only two hours left before I need to pick up my second son at school ! Other days, I work from home at my desk (well my dining table). I love working there, imagining the next collections and responding to customers. And when the sun comes out, I take some photos to share on Instagram.
I have a snack with the kids after school and then I go back to work. Unless I go to the doctor for Ulysse’s reeducation. I usually keep Wednesday afternoons off (kids dont go to school in France on Wednesday pm) to spend time with them…. But they will probably tell you that their mum works all the time ;-)
One of the main advantages of being a mumpreneur is to have this flexibility and to be around for the children when I need to. I also make the most of the summer holidays and take a good break with them… Even if that means working evenings instead !
>> The UK for you in 3 words?
Excentric, Cosmopolite and Tea time !
>> Favourite places in London?
Hampstead (I love the countryside feel within the city), Soreditch (the rebirth of an area)
>> Your style in 3 words?
Relax, feminine and eclectic. If I can name a brand, I am an abolute fan of Sessun.
>> Best childhood memories?
Family parties at my parents… When we all used to live very close, it was easy to have those big gatherings.
>> Best gift you have ever received?
I can’t decide so there will be two ! My parents invited me to the Crazy Horse when I turned 18. I thought it was really cheecky and daring… and fun !
And then my eldest son cooked a surprise lunch for me for mother’s day when he was 12. Of course, I loved it.
>> Best gift you have ever made?
A surprise birthday in Stockholm
>> Which gifts to your children?
Even if this is not my cup of tea, my son loves football so it would have to be tickets for a game ! History books as well, he loves that !
And for the # 2, iPad was his dream… and diving goggles !
>> Which gifts to your friends' children?
Homemade creations… especially for girls ! After 8years old, T-Shirts for boys !
>> Your dream present?
Our next trip with my husband to India…
YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD
>> How active are you on social Medias? Where can we follow you?
Instagram (#annabelkern), I am pretty addicted ! : -) More rarely on facebook
>> 3 accounts to follow on Instagram?
The socialite family
YOU & RUE DES PETITS
>> Other young designers you like and would recommend?
Les Pascalettes, Charlotte the designer is so fun and her bibs are just unique !
Les Jouets libres, beautifully designed games for the whole familly… Perfect to travel, on holidays, on the beach !
Both at Rue des Petits!
>> One secret you want to share with us?
I am working on an exciting collaboration with a designer I am sure you will love.. And also working on some surprises with craftmans from abroad..
This is for sure what I prefer in my job ... Promoting beautiful products made by beautiful people..
Enjoy the Provencal sunshine... & bring it to your home!