Today I am thrilled to announce the launch of SIMPLE FORM, a brand new lifestyle webstore based in Melbourne, founded by Anne Nguyen. Created from a love of simple designs, the store carries a carefully curated, hard-to-find edit of stylish and limited edition interiors, homewares, accessories and apparel for the little and big kids at heart.
When Anne first approached me about a launch collaboration and giveaway, I jumped on board despite the fact that her website was still under construction. I loved her branding and logo, and I could see from the minimalist Scandi-inspired images on her Instagram feed and Pinterest page that this was a girl after my own heart. When she told me the brands she would be stocking such as Playtype, BatisRike, Therese Sennerholt Design, and Snug Studio (to name just a few), my heart started racing and I wanted to find out more about how SIMPLE FORM came about. As it turns out, Anne's story is one that many of us can relate to. Naturally creative, she decided to turn her back on the corporate world after having her two daughters and is now excited about her new venture. I'll let Anne tell you the rest...
Tell us about your background and where your love of minimalist, Scandinavian style comes from?
I am of Asian decent, but born in Australia. Vietnamese to be precise. My Parents are the reason I have a love for Scandinavian design. We come from humble beginnings and as a result I was always been surrounded by simple objects that made life a happier place. They were not expensive things, they were just simple, functional and high quality.
Have you always been creative?
Yes! I can remember always wanting to make something or taking my projects in high school to an 'out-of-this-artistic-world' level of creativity, beyond what was required by my teachers. I always thought I'd go on to create something, or be artistic in some form or another. However, my parents were traditional Asian parents and pushed me down the path of science, maths and medicine etc. I went to university, finished a Biomedical Science Degree and hated the job descriptions that came with the job offerings after I graduated. So, I went back to uni and finished a Commerce Degree and became an accountant (BORING!). Nine years total in university! Being an accountant was not inspiring but a job was a job and it fed my frivolous shopping addiction.
How has becoming a Mother changed your perspective and course of direction?
Soon after getting married in 2011, I became a mum to little Audrey in 2012 and she was the reason why we bought a run down art deco house in inner city Melbourne and started renovating. This is where my love for Scandinavian and minimalist design was reborn, and took me back to my childhood. I spent countless amounts of hours, scouring the internet for products and inspiration, looking at mid-century designs and reading about modern Danish designers. I felt like I was in my own element again, being able to design and style my home, finding products that were just WOW! I was supposed to return back to work in 2013 however, I fell pregnant with little Chloe before I got the chance to and my maternity leave was extended for another year. So I have had a lot of time being busy with my two little girls, to think about what it is that brings a sparkle to my eye and what it is I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
At what point did the dream start becoming a reality?
I think the defining moment for me was when I purchased a dowdy mid-century rocket lamp from a second-hand store and refurbished it into a gorgeous modern version of its past. I received quite a number of compliments from friends and their friends and random people, asking me where I got the lamp from and receiving requests about creating these lamp for order. I was also complimented on 'my eye for these things' and it really ignited that flame of creativity in me. 'Perhaps I can make things, or perhaps I can buy and sell things instead of going back to work.' Those were my thoughts for almost two whole years.
In July this year, one month before my maternity leave expired, I made the ultimate decision to resign from being an accountant and focus on opening an online store where I can curate and share my finds of stylish and simple designs whilst also creating a collection of my own designs. The modern rocket lamp is currently a work in progress, as is a number of other products, but the website is my priority. Once it is running on autopilot, I will be able to continue with my lamp project but it has been put on hold for the time-being.
Clearly a hard-working and talented lady with an amazing eye for all things beautiful, we thank you Anne for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your story.