Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Secrets from an ANTHROpologist, I

Before having children, I left Corporate America to pursue a passion, a more creative venture.  I had fallen in love with our local Anthropologie and became their Home Department manager. {I left my position when I was put on bedrest with my first child.}  While some of the romance is taken away by working there, I did take a lot of insider tips and tricks with me.  After all the blood, sweat, and tears I put into my job there, it just became part of me without me fully realizing it.  

Anthropologie inspires many, and I can understand why as the "Anthro-style" is incredibly appealing.  It is a bit like Disneyworld.  While it is sweetly magical to walk in and smell Capri Blue Volcano candles burning, managing a department there is not for the faint of heart.  So much work goes into every square inch of the store, that once you see the behind the scenes it definitely shifts things a bit.  The experience takes so much to create.  As a manager, you literally run your own business and are responsible for all aspects of it in both visual and daily operations.  There are no planograms, and fixtures for merchandising are created from furniture that is for sale and found objects.  The visual team are artists {really}.  It is a way of life and you have to understand it in order to be successful there.  During my time at Anthropologie, I became the Home Department Point Person for our district, communicating with buyers on quality, client feedback, merchandising, and more.  A lot goes into what they chose to put in the store, every piece has a history and a story, it has to be Anthropologie.

A few of my faves, old and new, images from source.


While I do love Anthro, my budget sans the discount, does not really allow for many purchases.  I also tend to add a little more modern into my own decor, as Anthropologie tends to be more on the feminine side {not completely doable with 6 guys in my home}.  I infuse the Anthro-style in this way...

* Use a mix of old and new, worn/weathered and polished.

Tell a story, this can be a little harder to do in your daily life because it can be taken too literal.  I tend to  think of it as being more organic.  I love purpose and function as much as the next person, but let it come naturally.  

Use objects differently than their obvious intent.  

* Spend a little more on something special that makes you feel good - it invokes and sense or memory every time you use it.  Anthropologie definitely hit this concept head on with their tea towels.  They are gorgeous and who isn't reminded of recipes passed down from generations and moments in the kitchen with these? 

* Avoid matchy-matchy and instead go for the collected look {it all came together from different places over a period of time rather than purchased all at once}.

* Often times you can buy items that Anthropologie sells at other places {bookstores, specialty shops} but you choose to buy it at Anthro because of how it is all effortlessly {or so it seems} put together. Search for these items and create your own special space.

* Mix textures you wouldn't typically have interact in a space in a fresh new way.  One of my favorite tables I put together right around Christmastime mixed a gorgeous wooden framed mirror {found object}.  I used it as a tray for some beautiful glassware and created a little cocktail party statement and the textures were unexpected and beautiful together {wish I had a picture!}.  

* Group colors together to make more of an impact or use different shades of the same color.  

* Translate a theme with all senses and keep it loose.  Meaning, if you want a space that reminds you of Paris, it's not about going out and buying everything with an Eiffel tower on it, but creating the sense of Paris in your space.  Anthropologie has different vignettes and concepts that evoke the feel of a particular time or place but the translation is loose enough for it to remain special and not overwhelm.

I hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks from "the inside."  I plan to make Secrets from an ANTHROpologist into a little series and would love for you to tell me what you would like to find in this pretty little series!   


  1. I would LOVE for this to be a series! Maybe we can find some fun pieces at the flea market next month and put a little display together! Or maybe you could feature an Anthro style vignette each month? Let's get together and talk soon! Too many ideas bouncing around my brain right now!

  2. Loving your blog! Thank you for stopping by Sweet Sewn Stitches...I am your newest follower!


  3. Love your blog. Great tips. I love the smell of that store alone. I really need to get the laundry done!



I so appreciate your sweet thoughts and thank you for sharing. I always try to reply whether it be to your email or on one of your blog posts! Wishing you a wonder*filled day! Michelle

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...