Annie Selke: Material WorldText by Maria LaPiana Photography by Annie Selke Companies
Annie Selke estimates she has about 300 years’ worth of textile history crammed into two antique Swedish armoires that belonged to her mother. “I could design the next twenty collections without ever leaving the building,” she says.
The building—a refurbished wool mill in Pittsfield, Massachusetts—serves as both company headquarters and a constant source of inspiration for the renowned designer and purveyor of home textiles. It’s home to the Annie Selke Companies, which include Selke’s eponymous fabrics collection as well as Pine Cone Hill, her bedding company, and Dash & Albert rugs.
A lifelong resident of the Berkshires, Selke purchased the four-building complex in 2006. “I was sold on the openness of the third floor of the main building,” she says. “The windows are large, and the light just pours in.”
That third floor is where she located her office, which she adorned with a wall of blue and white china behind her desk, because, she says, “It makes me happy.” She shares the floor with her creative, product development, and marketing departments.
Selke, who started Pine Cone Hill twenty-five years ago out of her dining room, has a special affinity for the history of the building, one of the last surviving wool mills in Pittsfield. Today, she employs 180 people in the 179,000-square-foot headquarters.
The complex holds an on-site photo studio, a customer service department, an outlet store, a quality-control department, a sewing room, an art and textile archive, and a warehouse stacked with bedding, pillows, and rugs.
“My feeling is that where we work should be as uplifting as where we live, so I put a lot of thought into our office design,” she says. Beyond being a pretty place to work, it also holds an on-site gym and yoga studio. (No doubt a good spot for testing Selke’s line of yoga mats and pillows.)
And although it’s not uncommon for Selke to travel for work, it’s also no wonder that she says, “When it comes to inspiration, I honestly have everything—and everyone—I need right here.”
The Annie Selke Companies, Pittsfield, Mass.
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