Liv­ing in the ma­te­rial world

Finweek English Edition - - ENTREPRENEUR - BY JON PIEN­AAR

It has been a year si nce Anne Richard­son of An­na­p­atat f i rst f lung open the doors of her textile shop in a res­tau­rant-stud­ded road in Muizen­berg, in Cape Town’s False Bay. Richard­son’s part­ner owns a book dea l er s hip i n t he t own, which is con­sid­ered the home of South African surf ing. Be­fore that, on the days that she’d be asked to keep an eye on the book deal­er­ship, Richard­son would of­ten stare out across t he road and won­der what it would be like to own her own shop.

As a c r e a t or a nd maker who spe­cialises in home dé­cor and tex­tiles, Richard­son be­gan her ca­reer by study­ing cloth­ing de­sign at a tech­nikon and work­ing in the South African gar­ment in­dus­try, be­fore mov­ing to Lon­don to try to get into the fash­ion in­dus­try.

But Lon­don’s trendy clothes sec­tor proved to be a closed shop for a fresh­faced girl from South Africa, so she rein­vented her­self and found a new ca­reer path ‒ in­te­rior home fur­nish­ing. To­day Richard­son ‒ through her brand An­na­p­atat Home Decor ‒ works with home­own­ers and in­te­rior de­sign­ers to cre­ate cur­tains, cush­ions, linen and other fab­ric de­sign el­e­ments.

For s ome 15 years, Richard­son con­sulted to the wealthy elite in Lon­don. She met her part­ner, An­drew Berki, a dealer in rare books, at a mar­ket in the UK. The cou­ple even­tu­ally de­cided to make the move to Cape Town. Berki set up shop in Muizen­berg, and Richard­son con­tin­ued her i nter i or dec­o­rat­ing busi­ness, mak­ing cur­tains and do­ing what­ever she could with fab­ric.

“I’m pas­sion­ate about tex­tiles,” says Richard­son. “The mo­ment I picked up a sewing ma­chine I was hooked, at the age of 18, I just loved it. I loved the fact

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