Could you tell us about yourself please, Anne?
I grew up in Normandy by the sea, surrounded by four brothers who were famous practical jokers, my sister, my spotted dog and Willy the pony. I spent the winter in yellow wellies and the summer barefoot. I left the village of my birth, Agon-Coutainville, to study applied arts in Paris. Swapping my jelly shoes for golden T-strap sandals, I became a stylist for the press and interior design brands. Then the creative urge caught up with me and I created the brand La cerise sur le gâteau ten years ago. I love: freedom, travelling, cuddles with my daughter, colour, and my favourite word is “benevolence”!
What’s your philosophy?
To treat oneself or others to everyday objects enlivened by colours and dots! La Cerise sur le Gâteau revisits the iconic French household linen standards. Quality is primordial in our philosophy. With the logic of common sense, the entire production of household linen is centralised around Porto in Portugal, a region with a strong textile tradition that has retained its expertise. Our choice of suppliers is governed by our vision of manufacturing that is respectful of quality, the environment and working conditions. All of our suppliers are Oeko-Tex certified.
How did your brand come about?
When I was a student of applied art, I started making my own cushions and tea towels by transforming traditional textiles. My friends liked them, then I started doing private sales and a buyer from Bon Marché came along and she liked them too! That’s how the adventure of my household linen brand began in 2006.
The place where you live has a particular character, what’s its history?
It’s an old machine tool factory that we bought with twenty other enthusiasts. After some serious renovations (division into lots, shared spaces, garden, energy supplies to each lot) each buyer was able to take possession of their basic lot and give free rein to their imagination according to their own tastes and budget. What we wanted to do was to preserve the industrial aspect of the place as much as possible by recycling items from the factory, but also making it a welcoming place by alternating big open spaces with other, more intimate areas. This means that we can just as well organise private concerts for 60 people as spend cosy family evenings snuggled up around the fireplace.
Where do you like to spend your time here?
It depends on the seasons. In winter, we spend our evenings in the “downstairs room”, lazing on our big daybed in front of the fire. In summer, we spend more time upstairs in the kitchen or on the terrace. We “migrate” from one place to another depending on the weather and how we feel. But the rallying point is undoubtedly the multi-purpose island unit: cooking, having drinks or dinner with friends or as a family.
Who’s responsible for the decor in your home?
I’m in charge of colour… For everything else, everyone puts forward their own ideas and we decide together. We have similar tastes so it’s not that complicated.
Where do you go when you’re looking for furniture?
It’s varies enormously. Vintage, designer pieces: the choice is made depending on a combination, an impulse buy or a budget! Otherwise, the alternative is to design things ourselves and have them made, like the central bed, the huge unit in the sitting room, and my office. We are surrounded by local artisans with whom we like to produce specific products.
Tell us what a typical day is like for you.
Jeff takes our younger daughter to school in the mornings. That means I have ten minutes to do meditation and to get to the workshop fairly early, before everybody else. I like that time of day where I can settle down and plan my day. Mine are always very busy and varied. My area is the design of the collections, collaborations, and the photo shoots. The image, in a nutshell. I also work with my “super team” on monitoring production, marketing and the e-shop website. The idea is not to finish too late so we can spend some times together.
You love photography, could you tell us a bit more about that?
I’ve always loved photography. In my life pre La cerise sur le gâteau, I was a photo stylist, attached to, even passionate about that world of family snaps (which were my favourites because of their slightly dodgy, amateurish feel that often makes them very touching) and photo booths. I love the “immortalised moments” side of it. But I also like exhibitions and collecting old books about my favourite photographers.
Which are your favourite movements/designers?
I don’t have any favourite movements or designers. I like simple things, made of raw materials like wood or metal, and I don’t like to mix them up too much. I also have a particular aversion to plastic.
What inspires you? A woman, an artistic era?
My aunt Odette whom I never knew, sadly. She was a beautiful, chic independent Parisienne who dragged her little brother (my father) along to Dior fashion shows in the sixties. Her memory is something of a family legend, that of a woman of her time, elegant, free and with a zest for life. I gave her first name to our signature irregular dot motif that’s part of my brand image.
Which object are you most proud of in your home?
I recently took part in a ceramics course where we tried out different techniques. I made a few very simple everyday objects (basically different sized bowls), with enamel work in shades of blue… They’re not perfect but yes, I can say that I’m proud of them!
What projects have you got in the pipeline?
Jeff is behind these factory restoration projects, so why not another loft?
What we wanted to do was to preserve the industrial aspect of the place as much as possible but also making it a welcoming place by alternating big open spaces with other, more intimate areas.
Photography & Text: Eve Campestrini – Translation: TextMaster @thesocialitefamily