Designer insights with Emily Anderson

Emily Anderson is a writer, designer, yoga teacher and the author of three sustainable living books. Emily spent 15 years working at Donna Karan New York, Martha Stewart Living, Vanity Fair Magazine, and Victoria’s Secret Beauty. She’s also been featured by HGTV, The New York Times, Apartment Therapy, Lonny, Martha Stewart Radio, New York Magazine, NPR, The Globe and Mail, Better Homes and Gardens. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Emily Anderson.

Designer Insights - Emily Anderson

- Transcript -

1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?

I’d say I’m a little bohemian with some traditional elements mixed in. I grew up with antiques and oriental rugs which were my grandparents, but then my family also built an off the grid home in California during the 70’s.

2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?

Yoga always helps me find my creative flow. Sometimes the design process begins with a feeling, or even a memory, and meditation is a great way to connect with that moment.

3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?

As a woman in design, I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to work for two of the most successful women in the design world--Donna Karan and Martha Stewart. Although Martha Stewart is really more of a lifestyle brand, I always said she was the original “Green” expert. Donna Karan is where I was re-introduced to Yoga and how it relates to our material lives. She was producing soy candles and sourcing sustainable wood for her home line twenty years ago when I started my career. That’s also where I learned what true luxury was.  

4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?

I never realized until this year that historic homes can be treasure troves of design inspiration. Everyone from Ralph Lauren, Mario Buatta, to Albert Hadley and Thom Felicia have found inspiration from historic homes like the former DuPont estate--Winterthur. I also read a lot. And not just shelter magazines. I think it’s important to cross-pollinate ideas because design is really about the human condition. You never know where an idea can come from so keep the channels open.

5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?

After 15 years, I left the corporate world to develop a career writing and designing. I studied Interior Design at Parson's, and I started writing about sustainable style on my blog, and eventually for magazines and online. I reached out to people in the industry, and I developed my voice. I got three different book deals just through networking--but I also learned how to write a book proposal. Surround yourself with authentic people who actually have a business and definitely use Social Media to connect. But most importantly --just go out and do it.