ANTA, the dynamic Scottish textiles and ceramics company, opened
its flagship store on Edinburgh's George Street today (Thursday
9 February 2012).
on providing customers with an ‘experience', the shop boasts room
sets based on a series of previously designed homes by founder Annie
grand opening is hot on the heels of an exclusive invitation for
Stewart to give a guest lecture at the world-renowned Rhode Island
School of Design (RISD), a partner of Brown University, New York.
Speaking to both
staff and students the Highlands based businesswoman will share
her entrepreneurial journey from artist to designer to manufacturer,
to local and now international success in the textiles industry.
Annie and Lachlan Stewart opened the first ANTA shop in Edinburgh's
High Street twenty years ago with the intention of providing the
city with true contemporary Scottish design manufactured with love
and care in the Scottish Highlands.
It has been an incredible journey since then and ANTA continues
to be a beacon for Scottish design around the world. The commitment
to natural materials and local manufacture is as strong now as when
ANTA began making in the Highlands.
In 2011, ANTA was chosen as one of a handful of British brands representing
British style in Milan. They were selected after a buying team extensively
trawled the UK market to find high quality, contemporary design,
hand picked to feature in Excelsior department store, in Galleria
del Corso, Milan.
Encouraged by this recent enthusiasm from mainland Europe and increased
growth in 2011, ANTA decided to concentrate on positioning themselves
as the number one homeware and fashion accessory company from Scotland.
Excited about the new flagship shop, Stewart said: "It is an incredible
space and provides the perfect architecture to show our collections
in both classical and contemporary settings.
"Scotland has a long and established reputation for producing high
quality design and textiles and now ANTA is taking the initiative
to demonstrate how we combine tradition with contemporary style
in our capital city."
ANTA has just returned
from a trip to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),
Boston as part of its Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP)
a week-long intensive, executive educational course run by MIT's
Sloan School of Management.
The course is aimed at the most ambitious global businesses with
growth potential and aspirations. Highlands and Islands Enterprise
(HIE), Scottish Enterprise and Informatics Ventures sponsored twelve
places on EDP 2012 for six businesses from the Highlands and Islands
and six businesses from the Scottish Enterprise area.
a special "Team Scotland EDP 2012" tartan and made scarves for the
Oliver at HIE is currently working with the company to take forward
some of its current ideas. She said: "ANTA
is an excellent example of what a business small roots can achieve
with drive, imagination and ambition. With the support of both HIE
and Scottish Development International, ANTA is strategically identifying
and successfully entering a number of international markets. ANTA
is growing its business from an informed position with both control
by the colours of the landscape, ANTA's products exemplify the best
of Scotland's design tradition, creativity, and production of high
quality fabrics and textiles.
Black, head of textiles at Scottish Enterprise said: "This is another
clear example of the strength of the Scottish textiles industry
and the international recognition it regularly receives. George
Street is home to some of the world's leading brands and it is fitting
that a leading Scottish textiles brand is now sharing that prestigious
is taking full advantage of the marketplace, both at home and abroad.
Despite economic issues, there is still a genuine desire for high-end
luxury goods, a market the Scottish textiles industry knows well."
other outlets include their showroom at the factory in the Highlands
and an online shop
ANTA has historically sold through its website and two stores, its
work with community and economic development agency, Highlands and
Islands Enterprise (HIE) means that it is continuing to look at
innovative ways of growing.
Funding towards marketing support, attendance at three trade shows
in Europe, and developing the ANTA website to ensure it is user
friendly for international customers are just three ways in which
HIE and Scottish Development International have assisted the business
over the last year.