This week we caught up with iconic British accessories Designer Anya Hindmarch. Anya recently launched The Sleep Project, which we have had the great privilege to be a part of. We hear more about the project, why sleep is so important to Anya, as well as her thoughts on self-care and wellbeing practices.
You’ve just launched The Sleep Project as part of your latest Anya Village immersive retail experience. Tell us how you came up with the Village idea and why you chose to dedicate a whole store to the subject of Sleep?
How long? how deep? It is my obsession.
And the difference between being well rested or not for me is the difference between being 10% of my normal self or 110%. It seems to me that everyone is talking about it….not how little we have, but how much, so it made sense for us to take a deep dive into the subject to kickstart the New Year.
We are all on the hunt for a great night’s sleep - the store houses an edit of best in class products to help us all find it, including our own new Sleep capsule of silk pyjamas, masks and pillows as well as expert consultants to see and talks to attend.
The Sleep Project brings 50 brands together under one roof. What can visitors expect?
It is a calm, dreamy light-filled space softly clad with mattresses and with gauzy curtains at the windows, all of which promote a feeling of deep calm and relaxation.
The product selection hopes to answer myriad sleep issues, including tech products and solutions for insomnia, snoring, waking easily and apneoa. There are also products aimed for children – meditation and nature sounds, white noise teddies – as well as beauty and wellbeing products including next gen alarm clocks, pillows and bedding.
You’ve declared Sleep ‘the new rock n roll’ – how important is good quality sleep to you and how do you achieve it, especially when you’re constantly spinning so many different plates and also traveling?
A good night’s sleep is crucial for me. I am so much more productive, and positive, after a good eight hours. My bedroom is a calm space and I do try to leave my phone out of the room, but I admit that is often still a work in progress!
You run a hugely successful global brand, and alongside innovative product launches you’re renowned for creating original and dynamic installations such as your Chubby Heart and the Postbox Maze as well as the I’m Not A Plastic Bag campaign which sparked a worldwide frenzy in terms of both global messaging and product demand. What sparks these ideas and with so many projects to juggle, how do you carve out time for creative thinking?
Thank you. I find inspiration everywhere – I love living in London and find it endlessly inspiring. I am an organisational nerd though and do swear by the adage, a place for everything and everything in its place. I really think being organised is vital for my mental wellbeing.
I organise my to do lists into types of tasks – phone calls, things to do at my computer, home stuff etc.
The idea being if I have 10mins spare in the back of a cab I look at the phone calls list rather than an overwhelming list of tasks both big and small.
It’s a technique I learnt from a series of workshops we ran with a company called ‘Next Action Associates’ in the Village Hall and it really has changed how I work for the better.
How important is self-care to you, and how has that evolved as you’ve got older?
I prioritise my self-care much more these days – I really enjoy those moments at the start and end of each day. I have recently added a few drops of the anatomē chamomile essential oil into my routine which I find very calming as I wind down for the night. For me, as an introvert, I know I need time ‘off’ not ‘on’ so it is critical to get some time to myself every so often to recharge.
What wellbeing practices, treatments or products do you swear by? Do you have everyday habits/rituals that have a profound effect?
During lockdown, my close girlfriends and I started going for early morning walks together, crossing the river and walking down to Battersea Park. I love those moments together with friends, it is a habit that we are all trying to keep going.
Looking ahead to 2023, what are you hoping to achieve both personally and professionally to live a little better?
We have lots of exciting projects in the pipeline.
I want to keep using my platform to drive for positive change and spend as much time in the company of my friends and family as possible.
We believe small changes make a big difference. What small change or piece of advice has had a hugely positive/transformative effect on you?
Be yourself, everyone else is taken.
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