The Anno Collection is a Finnish lifestyle brand providing Olson House with a range of beautiful home goods. Founded in 2007, Anno has firm roots in the Nordic way of living which combines well-made items with thoughtful design. Their mission is simple: to create products that you feel good to live with. We love carrying their products because the brand is always striving to look for the most sustainable ways to make timeless products. The pieces are made with natural materials, like wool, linen & cotton that speak for themselves. The simple details and color choices never go unnoticed. Speaking of design, we were asked the head designer for Anno some questions for an inside look behind the brand. Read more about Anno throughout the following questions with Pia Lehtovuori.
Olson House: How long have you been with the company as the head designer?
Pia: I have worked with Anno since 2011.
Olson House: What first interested you about working for the Anno Collection?
Pia: For me Anno has always represented something that I can easily identify myself with, a local Finnish and Nordic way of living.
Olson House: Do you know what items were in the first collection for the company? What were some of the first pieces you designed for the company?
Pia: In the beginning we focused on developing our basic collection: linen bedding, wool rugs, throws and cushions. Loma bed linen set, made of organic cotton in Portugal, was one of the first patterns I designed for Anno. It is very simple, almost an archetype of a grid pattern.
Olson House: How many people work for the company?
Pia: Is it a small group of people or growing? We are six people working with Anno today. In addition there are about 200 people in the group.
Olson House: Who does the brand partner with to produce the products? What does the brand value in choosing who to work with?
Pia: We have worked in partnership with most of our producers since many years. We meet them regularly and work very closely throughout the whole product development process and production. When selecting new suppliers we always look for a shared approach to environmental and ethical standards. All of our producers outside Europe have a social compliance certificate. One of our biggest product groups are rugs and bedding textiles. For instance all of our rugs are woven in SA8000 certified family owned companies in India and linen and cotton bed linens are manufactured in Europe according to the Öko-Tex standard. We also constantly work on to increase the proportion of organic and recycled materials in our collection.
Olson House: Where do you and your team draw inspiration from for the designs?
Pia: Inspiration is everywhere - we get inspired by meeting people, from visiting places, travelling and living our everyday lives. Nowadays there truly is an overload of inspiration around us and we feel that it is more about deciding what to concentrate on and when. In the team we continuously discuss and work on developing materials and possible production options which often affects the development of the products and collections.
Olson House: How long of a process is it from design to when an item is ready to be sold?
Pia: It depends, sometimes it can be a question of months, sometimes even years.
Olson House: Do you personally have a favorite collection or item? And why is it meaningful to you?
Pia: Me and my colleagues live surrounded by Anno items as we test-use everything we do. More than just one single item or collection, I appreciate the effortless feel of our products and I love having genuine, simple and natural products around me at home. But I have to say that one of my absolute favorites at the moment is the Linn bathrobe and towels that are made of rough washed linen.
SHOP the Anno Collection, here.