Monday, May 6, 2013

Chatting with Annie Sloan

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for furniture

As you probably know by now, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is finally available in Australia. I was one of seven bloggers around Australia who were recently sent some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Waxes and asked to paint something to feature on Annie's blog.  I chose Pure White as I already had Old White and French Linen. I had painted these chairs previously but had been looking forward to using the Pure White for some pieces for our house.

Lilyfield Life French Linen chalk paint Annie Sloan

As part of this publicity, Annie also skyped me the other night and we spent well over an hour chatting about all sorts of stuff. Wow she is one inspirational woman - knowledgeable,  down to earth, wonderfully open as well as obviously passionate about paint.  

Annie Sloan

I have a passion for painting as you know but I also love small business success stories so chatting to Annie was very interesting, especially as her business has really taken off in the last two years so after 40 years of painting, and 20 years of manufacturing paint it is good to see her hard work paying dividends. We talked about painting, small business strategy, creativity and how to inspire others , the heritage of colour, paint production and heaps of other things. I think she liked my mix of engineering / business consulting and creativity. What a blast.

The blog world has been good to Annie sloan and her Chalk Paint.  She has direct access to her customers, instant feedback and especially in America, her business has been a marketing success with the likes of Miss Mustard Seed championing her paint. Annie feels that one of her points of difference is that she, having been a shop owner and painter for many years, really understands her stockists, is able to support them better and she likes to encourage creativity in them. She has a huge range of stockists all over the world, many are furniture painters or homeware businesses but she also has florists and interior designers etc. She said one thing she likes about her stockists is that walking into their stores they all feel different and interesting.

Annie didn't have a business plan to develop a line of paint. She was in Europe running a workshop and she got chatting to one of the participants  She was saying how she felt the paints she was using weren't quite right and she had some ideas on a better paint for furniture  The guy said "oh, I know some people who have a paint company do you want to go see them?". Luckily Annie had a free day the next day so they jumped in the car and drove to Belgium where the paint company loved Annie's paint idea and agreed to mix up a sample on the spot for no charge. 

And thus Annie Sloan Chalk Paint was born. 

Annie feels very strongly about wanting her Chalk Paint to be a success here in Australia. Although she's lived in the UK for 50 years she was born in Sydney and lived her till she was 10. She was initially told as a child that her family were just visiting the UK and it wasn't till she was about 15 that she realised they were there to stay. But once an Australian, always an Australian - I think this beautiful country of ours is in our blood. Annie says that they will often be in different parts of the world (Spain etc) and she'll turn to her husband David and say "Wow this feels like Australia!" So hopefully we'll see a bit more of her down here. I personally would love to do a workshop with her. As I'm sure many of you would.

So I'd better get stuck into some projects and use my new paint.

Fiona x


  1. How exciting, Fiona. I would love to spend some time with Annie also. She seems very approachable and inspirational.
    Have you come down off your high yet? I can't wait to see what you do with your paint. Another lovely project coming up.

  2. I too would love to meet Annie .....

  3. What a thrill. I love hearing all that background about how she came about to make her paint - lucky for us. of course you would choose Pure White - I can't wait to see what you paint with it. I love your chairs you did in the French Linen.
    all the best

  4. how amazing to be able to learn so much in one single skype...she sounds like a true inspiration.
    Bec x

  5. How lovely for you to spend an he with Annie.I've just painted my kitchen with duck egg blue and it looks fab.x

  6. I agree with everyone else. How lovely for you. I love ASCP - it sure makes painting easier. I am looking forward to seeing what you do with your paint.
    Mary x

  7. That's wonderful Fiona. Look forward to seeing all your completed projects. Luckily I did mine before we moved, as I certainly don't have the time or energy to do them now. xx

  8. Love her paints! Got to meet her when she did her American tour in Boston. Such a lovely lady and she deserve all this wonderful success. So glad you guys have the paint in Oz now too!

  9. Lucky you to chat with her. I use her paint all the time along with Marian's milk paints.

  10. You are such a clever thing and so creative - I'm sure Annie loved picking your smart business brain!
    and yes, what a thrill you for too.
    Love Kellie

  11. it is really a creative thing..thanks for sharing.


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