Inside Out (Australia)
Furniture by Anna Wright-Hands
Looking for furniture of a particular size? A new online store has simple, customisable, sustainable pieces to suit the most challenging of locations
“When you design a piece to fit your home, you feel like you have more space because you’re using it more effectively” ANNA WRIGHT-HANDS, MADE BY YOU
Made By You is an online timber furniture store established in 2019 by Anna Wright-Hands. Her point of difference is that every piece can be customised in terms of length and height. “It’s interesting,” she says, “because some people see a piece and think, ‘I want that!’ and click away to their desired specifications, and some would prefer to make it ever so slightly different to fit under a specific window, or within a tight or otherwise unused nook in their home, so they contact us direct.” Here, Anna shares the ethos behind her brand.
How would you describe your brand? We’re certainly not the ‘too cool, trendy designer in the corner at the party’ – we’re the approachable ones, smiling (near the food!) and asking about your life. It’s approachability that I want to inject into Made By You – a sense of fun while making it easy for people to make their home work better for them. For too long, custom furniture has designed and priced people out. Sure, there’s beautiful handcrafted pieces that are super bespoke, but that also comes with a price tag. It’s important for us to draw on the genius of flat-pack but use real, solid, Australian-grown timber while doing it. That’s why our pieces feel so open, modern and uniquely Australian.
What do you like about made-to-order? That it really takes away the ‘transaction’ part of business for me, which I love as having so much customer interaction fuels my creativity. There’s a nice meeting of the minds in that process, too, and they get excited to see their Made By Julie or Made By Ray piece arrive.
How does social media impact your design process and the business generally? It’s easy to fall into the trap of ‘trends’ on Instagram. Sometimes social media can stifle your creative process – seeing too much of the same can definitely hinder a unique style. What I’m trying to share on our own Instagram is how a Made By You piece has enhanced someone’s space by making it function better. I think when you design a piece to fit your home, you actually feel like you have more space because you’re using it more effectively. I want to show that, and inspire people to reverse the way they shop – imagining what would suit the space first, instead of searching for something that will fit.
What is the hardest thing about your job? Focus, definitely, as there are many parts to the business that need to run smoothly. Plus I’m always designing (with ideas coming out my ears), but growing our range slowly and thoughtfully so there’s a sense of cohesion. I have exciting plans for Made By You, so ensuring I’m focused and moving forward in that direction is important.
What do you love most about your job? Seeing our pieces in people’s homes! Having an insight into how people live and decorate their space is soul-nourishing for me, so seeing a Made By You piece being welcomed so lovingly is energising.
How has your design practice changed since you began? It’s a really interesting time to design furniture as space at home has never been under more scrutiny. People need their spaces to be multifunctional, so I’m glad we have a business where everything is made onsite at our workshop, and we can design pieces in real time, to meet the moment. Our Alaska Work From Home Desk did just that. I saw a lot of WFH desks that became available quite quickly but looked disposable. I don’t want to design things like that. We have clean, modern lines and I designed the Alaska to have a niche directly underneath it, so if you’re working from home you can just hide your laptop or notebooks underneath after you’re finished for the day. Then, suddenly it’s a hallway table. And after COVID-19 is over, the desk can function like that forever. I apply a lot of thinking to any one piece because I know how often I move things around in my own home – it’s all about that cost per use!
What’s next for you? I’m designing pieces right now to meet another new need, too, so I’m breathing in the changes and trying to create beautifully simple solutions.
Made By You is at madebyyou.online or follow @madebyyou.online