Anthropologie rocks!

(file this under stuff kind of related to gardening)

I love this store. Love it. Anthropologie. It is so beautifully merchandised, with beautiful merchandise, groovy merchandise, the hip stuff, bitchin music (Be Good Tanyas doing Prince’s When the Doves Cry), and displays that leave me with my inner child partyin’ down. What is it about this place that stirs my soul? That so appeals to me and makes me want to touch everything in the store (yes, I am a tactile junkie and a cowgirl junkie). There is a very strong thread of the natural world running through the fabric of Anthropologie’s displays. It’s the flora that rocked me. In every form: chopped wood, paper flowers, cotton bolls, you name it.

The cotton boll as art. Matted on burlap and framed.

The cotton boll as art. Matted on burlap and framed.

Burn after sleeping?

Burn after sleeping?

everyday items ARE a form of the natural history of man

everyday items ARE a form of the natural history of man

I'm a sucker for these. Yes. I am.

I'm a sucker for these. Yes. I am.

The definition of Anthropolog-y with a Y is the social science that studies the origins and social relationships of human beings. In keeping with our material world (sadly), it is our stuff that often tells who we are. Anthropolog-IE got that right and nailed it in merchandise display. I fell for it hook, line and sinker. And keep going back for more.

So, the other day, when I was in the store and found myself face to face with a larger than life ostrich made of paper, I decided I had to talk to someone about how all this coolness came to be.I did not chat up the ostrich.



He’s made out of newspaper without the news. Nobody seemed to miss the words.

I had a nice long chat with Lisa Arnold, the Display Manager, the gal in charge of all this creativity. The store teams are actually divided up into sales and visual teams. This allows for great execution of duties and ideas, particularly when they pull in talented designers like Lisa. Display concepts are developed in the main office, with merchandise buyers and display artists working together to brainstorm the concepts. They are encouraged to put their own local riffs on the displays they create. Lisa and her team receive photos of the prototypes, step by step instructions and go from there. All this is created in the workshop/basement of the store. Yes, they get paid to create.

Anthropologie is in fact, a very hip Cabinet of Curiosities.

Here’s more reading about their Director of Design/Executive@ Strange Closets.

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12 Responses to Anthropologie rocks!

  1. I’ve never been in an Anthropologie store. I think I need to find one, those displays are great. I think the squirrel and the porcupine towels are a hoot.

  2. Cindy, MCOK says:

    MA, you’ve piqued my curiosity too. I must find a store in the Houston area. I wish you’d had them take your picture with Cecil!

  3. I like the whole concept of the store and everything in it. I’ve never been in one either but would probably spend all my time there. I am nuts about the way you write about it.

  4. …wow the store is unbelievably beutifull…excellent idea …excellent concept at all..

  5. susan harris says:

    Hey, girl, are you getting my emails? Or call me! S

  6. Gail says:

    I do love this store…It’s a visual treat. Our local store has a very nice container that would look fantastic in my garden~~Must save my pennies. gail

  7. Kaarina says:

    if you love anthropologie, you would LOVE Terrain!! Check it out- it’s owned by same people…

  8. Helen Yoest says:

    I thought of you last night and wished you were with me. A local artist owns who sells to Anthropology. I was beside myself. I’ve see her stuff in the catalogue, but not in the store yet.

    Goldbug Studio is wholesale, but opens to the public 2 times a year. I got some birds, a pumpkin, and of course, a gold ladybug. I’m already looking forward to the spring when they open again. H.

    P.S. Raleigh needs an Anthropology. We are three hours away – either in Charlotte or Richmond. NYC has a fab one!

  9. Pam/Digging says:

    This is such a GIRLS’ store. Every woman I know loves their housewares, from pre-teens to grandmothers. I find their clothes to be too “young,” but I go in to ogle their home goods and their amazing displays, as you point out.

  10. What a beautiful blog Mary Ann!! I took a photo of that awesome paper ostrich too!

  11. Hi Mary Ann,
    One of my favorite stores because I like the mix of “nostalgia, old world and global feel to their stores and products. There is always a design idea or two that I pick up from their stores too. Very fun to visit.

    Shirley Bovshow
    Garden World Report Show

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