How did you get into the décor industry?
I worked as a designer in the apparel industry for about 9 years, specializing on print driven pieces and textile design. But my history with décor, print and pattern goes way back. My oldest memories consist of picking out wallpapers for my room, my aunt’s floral shower curtain she brought back from Brazil in the 60’s and of course, my mother’s extensive cloth napkin collection. It is also in our family as my Italian grandfather was a textile importer and fostered in us a love of contemporary Italian household items.
When I married a furniture designer I was suddenly immersed in home décor, and realized that was truly where my passion was. In December 2010 I took the leap and launched Wolfum.
At work in the studio
Was it difficult to start your own business?
It is a challenge every day, but I work well under pressure and love to multi task. Wolfum was an idea I had had for years, but when I found out I was pregnant, I realized it was a “now or never” type moment. So I gave myself the challenge of getting the business up and running by my due date. I had left my design job, so I took those 9 months to design and pull the business side together. It was a lot of research, manual labor and trial and error. I launched Wolfum two weeks after the birth our daughter and then opened up the wholesale side in August 2011. I will not say it was easy to do, but perhaps the delirium of exhaustion somehow made me insane enough to push through.
I also have a very supportive husband and am lucky enough to have access to a woodshop where I can play and experiment. Brendan has been integral to the creation of Wolfum and he, along with the amazing support of family, has really made it possible.
Annabel at home with daughter Birdie
Where do you get inspiration for your patterns?
It’s funny because I have never been the type of designer who chooses one inspiration and designs around that. There is a wonderful Chuck Close quote which I feel best expresses my work ethic- “inspiration comes from working”. That said, it is not just a random process. I of course reference vintage items and like to re-imagine traditional styles (like reworking a classic chevron or flame stitch). I imagine what my dream home would look like and then design for that space. But it’s cool because some days it’s my imaginary cabin in the Pacific Northwest, and other days it a chic townhouse in Brooklyn. I am somewhat of a chameleon and I like Woflum to reflect that.
That said, I strive for each piece to have a classic, timeless feel- I am not easily swayed by trends. Color is also extremely important to me. It has to feel fresh and unexpected and can have so much to do with whether a particular pattern is appealing or not. Color has so much power to charm and can easily elevate a design.
Textiles and wall hooks in the studio
How has being a mother influenced your work?
Birdie inspired from the womb! We live in a small home and while designing her space, it was challenging to find the right room accents that were both durable and elegant enough to live nicely in a well curated home. I believe children’s items should be able to grow with the child. Wolfum prints are designed to be fanciful, but not cliché. Solid wood is beautiful and enduring, creating a special, heirloom feel-not just in quality, but in an aesthetic sense.
Now that my daughter is a strong willed toddler, I realize the importance of setting an example of a working woman. I want Birdie to understand the importance of hard work and self-expression. I have to be more disciplined with my time now, and really be able to be present and focused- both on work and on her.
Any tips on incorporating wolfum products into a room?
With a child’s room, I love the idea of mixing and matching prints within a color scheme. Find those few dynamite pieces and use them as the stronger focal points of the room. Then you can accent with simple accessories or furniture that will more easily transition as your child grows older. I think a child’s room should spark imagination, create comfort and security and give space for them to express themselves.
If your taste is more minimal, have a Wolfum wall hook be the bright spot within the neutrals. If you love a more colorful and energetic space, use a few hooks across the wall to create a story. It is up to the individual, which it what makes it so fun. Several animal hooks in the same print create a bold statement, while mixing and matching gives a wonderful sense of play. They are truly customizable.
Wolfum is functional and fun to look at; the pieces are traditional in that sense, but still forward and modern.
Wolfum decals and wall hooks are available here.
By Anna Passadori
Anna develops and designs exclusive product for The Land of Nod. She hails from the west coast and has traveled the world to source product. She loves anything Marc Jacobs, Sofia Coppola or stripes! (So, if anyone can get a photo of Sofia Coppola wearing a striped outfit by Marc Jacobs, please send it along.)