4:00 PM May 28, 2022
“I like the idea of passing things down through generations, that has a life, holds a memory and moves on to someone else,” says Anna Crickmore.
Anna is the founder of lifestyle brand Constance and Denny – a gorgeously curated collection of textiles, specializing in vintage Kanthas and Suzanis as well as block printed homewares.
“I’m quite a believer in what you surround yourself with should elevate you and make you feel better and have a positive impact on your mood,” she says.
“I like to have some color and texture around me. I think it energises you and I think it should be individual and expressive and express who you are. ”
Anna has always worked in textiles and interior design. She grew up in Suffolk and moved to London to study at Goldsmiths College.
After graduating she worked for Designers Guild for a decade, creating shop layouts and styling windows and photoshoots, before moving back to Suffolk where she renovated a Georgian house.
“The Suffolk countryside is uplifting and beautiful and the colors are amazing – and it’s laid back, which I like a lot,” she says.
She is also a freelance florist, often working with Juliet Glaves on an array of creative projects, which have included the most recent James Bond film, No Time to Die.
It had long been Anna’s ambition to set up a business.
“Something I always wanted to do was curate a collection of things that I love and I think that people would take pleasure in and in autumn last year, I thought I’m going to give it a go,” she says.
Anna named the collection after her children and started out buying stock from contacts she knew from when she was at Designers Guild and selling online and at local markets.
Repurposing items and giving them a new lease of life and supporting small makers is at the heart of what she does.
She sells Kantha throws and cushions, sourced from Jaipur in India, which are made from vintage saris which have been sewn together using the traditional Kantha running stitch.
She also sells hand embroidered suzanis, which make beautiful wall hangings or sofa throws, block printed tablecloths, wash bags, jewelery rolls, notebooks and quilts and Suffolk-made scallop edged magnetic frames painted in Farrow and Ball colors, which can be used to hang textiles or prints.
A recent addition to the collection has been pouffes made from repurposed Moroccan regional rugs.
Bright, colorful and hardwearing, they can be used as floor cushions – and Anna suggests that they can also be used as dog beds.
Anna says that she’s grateful for the support she’s had from Suffolk’s small business community. When she first started out, Mandy, owner of the Scandinavian-inspired lifestyle store Vanil in Woodbridge, invited her to do a pop-up at the shop.
“Her shop is really well curated and that was a really good starting point to get some good feedback and find out about what my clientele wants,” says Anna.
And on June 30 and July 1 she will be at Vida Haus at Pettistree along with Philippa Rudd, founder of pre-loved designer womenswear business Matisa Market and Jackie Dawson of Alba jewelery.
“The business community here is really supportive and encouraging,” she says.
To find out more visit constanceanddenny.com or follow @constanceanddenny on Instagram.