SITTING in Anna Chandler’s Cottesloe home it’s hard to know whether to be more impressed by the ocean view, her commitment to preserving her rambling 100-year-old cottage or her beautifully designed products.
Everything is bursting with colour – the tea cups, the tablecloth, the cushions on the settee, her ear-rings and the brightly coloured bags hanging up.
Her O’Connor factory/warehouse/shop is bursting at the seams with even more vibrant tableware, textiles, ceramics, mats and jewellery.
Hailing from Tasmania, Ms Chandler moved to WA in 1980 to do an arts degree at Curtin University.
After graduating she worked for an advertising agency, but felt stifled, so when her jewellery sold well at local boutiques she decided to turn her hobby into a full-time business.
“I started knocking on doors of shops I liked, and slowly created a business making things.”
A small back shed was turned into a workshop, but soon larger premises were needed to supply boutiques across Australia.
Ms Chandler’s designs are heavily influenced by a spell living in Spain, and her travels through North Africa and Morocco.
“I was a bit of gypsy, so I brought back all these ideas.”
Childhood memories of lush Tasmanian gardens, bursting with fruit and flowers also influence her work.
While Ms Chandler focuses on the creative side of the business, her husband does the mundane jobs.
“Michael does the hard yucky stuff like banking and insurance, leaving me free to be fully creative.”
People coming to the shop/factory often comment on how happy they feel surrounded by her bright creations, Ms Chandler says.
“It’s the colour – colour is joy.”
Anna Chandler Designs
2/27 Zeta Crescent,
O’Connor, or at
boutiques across Australia
by JENNY D’ANGER