It was nearly a year after I founded W.A.Green when we celebrated our first International Women's Day. At that moment it occurred to me that subconsciously I'd been lucky enough to work mainly with women from the very inception of the brand. Be it behind the scenes from my accountant and business bank manager through to my external PR agency - women driven businesses have always been there. And, as the business has grown I've continued to create a multitude of new relationships with so many interesting and committed women in the industry.
This is never more true than with the designers and brands we stock. The majority are women working in partnership with other women or as individuals and being alongside them is a real privilege and something I find incredibly rewarding. I'm not sure it was a conscience decision or whether I'm just more drawn to a female perspective but who cares... the chance to be completely at ease with ourselves, project our own point of view and help to further our ambitions is good enough for me.
Here's a selection of new pieces in store designed by a few of these spectacular international women.
Zoe Anderson, founder W.A.Green
I'm always on the hunt for new and exciting designers and am a sucker for any hand made ceramics. I discovered these engaging vases made by Yesenia and Raquel scrolling through Instagram. It's wonderful to be able to support their beautiful work and expose them to a wider audience. Legend has it that Lilith was the first woman on earth so this powerful piece of sculpture just had to be celebrated today.
The women behind Dutch design brand Kitsch Kitchen are heroes of mine. They're super hard working and cross the globe to develop their products. I love how their designs tap into a culture but give things a fun modern edge. The womanly shape of this Dora vase and its simple hand painted design makes this an effortless piece that I'm desperate to take home and show off on my kitchen table. I love her strong bold pose. It's a pose I often pull myself when I need to give myself a pep talk if I'm having a tough day!
I couldn't be prouder of this collaboration with Vicki Murdoch from Silken Favours. Vicki's designs really helped spur me on with my decision to start W.A.Green. Her bold designs and use of colour and whimsy were just what I was struggling to find for my own home and I've stocked her since day one. Vicki is a true creative talent and how she single handedly manages every stage of the production process with everything made in the UK should be an inspiration for everyone.
This soft beautiful blanket is one of the first of our own products. My house can be super drafty and every evening is spent snuggling under a blanket. We wanted something fun to stash on our sofa that we could pull out on a cold night. We worked with a traditional factory of female weavers in Eastern Europe led by an amazing woman who was so understanding and patient with my lack of weaving knowledge skills and just what we could achieve with wool! Big thanks to my good pal Claire for painting her toe nails and finally getting this blanket shot properly for me.
A collaboration between two of our favourite designers ParisEssex and Kitsch Kitchen. Carolyn and Tiphaine from ParisEssex are the Queens of fashion knitwear and their unique hand made blankets are real talking points in our Shoreditch store. These fun cushions are based on three of their original blanket designs and their playful pillows are nearly as much fun as this talented duo.
I was enchanted when I was introduced to the two sisters behind this young French label. Their beautiful scents had me swooning but their passion for the world of perfume and commitment to using only natural and sustainable ingredients was what really struck me. Using the best fragrances from Grasse, each scent tells a story based on their own emotional inspirations and are made in small batches which makes these candles all limited editions (and all the more special for it).
Another infectiously gorgeous duo also from France. Being sustainable doesn't mean being boring and I love how these delicious small batch gem stone inspired soaps look as beautiful as they are practical. Made in their workshop in Paris, visual artist Mathilde Lehmann and product designer Valentine Sée have taken their fascination with everyday objects to look at soap in a new (and completely different) way. Using recyclable packaging the soap is made from natural ingredients, free from harmful chemicals and hypo-allergenic. Who knew washing your hands could be so much fun!
This wall feature or bed blanket embodies female empowerment. Featuring six strong athletic women in different powerful poses all doing their own thing you can agree it had to be included in this celebratory list of women. Based on an original piece by female New York artist Grace Millar this stunning throw reminds me to always love what you do.
Tina Vaia is one of luxury fashion's go to creatives behind staging any new retail concept and these beautiful hand made planters are something she produces from her base in Valencia, Spain. Firstly, I love the idea that Tina needs her own creative outlet considering what she does by day and adore the fact that her inspiration behind these pots was born out of the frustration of not being able to find a contemporary outdoor planter for her own roof terrace (I feel you). Her trailblazing use of simple colour and playful shapes is beautiful and anyone that owns one of these limited edition pots tells me it's quickly become their most treasured thing.
I could include every one of Helen's whimsical designs but this new Slip Up cup seems a perfect way to summarise the scenarios us women have to tackle during our day. We're proud to say we introduced Helen's designs to the UK from Belgium as we were her very first UK stockist. Helen started drawing as an escape from sadness when her mother was ill and used the strength of her grief to launch her business. This is something I can really identify with and love how Helen gives an honest little insight into her own take on life with every piece she creates.
Thanks to all my friends. Zoe xx