shop owner anna chandler

Holly Clarke and Anna Chandler

The world of interiors has shrunk considerably since the advent of online shopping. And while it's possible to buy products directly from other countries, there are an increasing number of businesses that do away with trawling to find the good stuff. That's the intention behind Feather & Buzz, an online shop focussed on unique finds from across the globe. Anna Chandler and Holly Clarke launched the site in 2011. The most recent collection includes finds from their travels through India. While Holly is currently exploring South America, Anna spoke about their online venture.

Which five words best describe you? (Depends on the day!)
Tall, zealous, mum, impatient, hungry.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? After I graduated I was lucky enough to land a job with Savills in their shopping centre marketing – this was a fantastic platform to get me a great job when I moved to London in 2002.  Over there - inbetween much travel, which was definitely the start of the dream of starting my own business working with interesting artisans from all over the place - I worked in a few different jobs but the most memorable was being the marketing manager with Historic Royal Palaces (Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Banqueting House). My office in the Tower was literally above the crown jewels! Seriously inspiring locations to work in. I moved back from London after a six-year stint and I continued to work in marketing before giving it up to have my children – Mac and Piper - and focus on launching F&B.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? To be flexible! It’s the nature of what we do that we are dealing with artisans and businesses all over the world and I’ve quickly learnt that a deadline can be a very grey area, or a shipment being delayed due to monsoons in the north is quite "normal" and that "yes, not a problem" may not always mean quite that. 
What’s your proudest career achievement? I’ve got to answer launching Feather & Buzz surely.
What’s been your best decision? To wear flats on my wedding day - I was first and last on the dancefloor.
Who inspires you? My sister – she is absolutely a modern day revolutionary.
What are you passionate about? Without being a complete cliché can I say my children? I am their slave.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I can’t imagine actually upon meeting anyone I can think of I wouldn’t be completely lost for words or say something completely ridiculous in my nervousness, and consequently they would quickly wonder why they ever agreed to meet with me in the first place. With that aside, and assuming I was suddenly granted unswerving witty conversation and cool, I think it would be Jamie Oliver.  Adore his cooking, but really admire his philanthropic work on health and nutrition for children and through the fifteen foundation.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To get my pilots licence.
What are you reading? Five Bells by Gail Jones – I’ve just joined a book club and it’s this month's read.

images courtesy of feather & buzz

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