We are very excited to highlight ANNA New York in this week’s spotlight! We absolutely love her beautiful gemstone creations on DesignerInc and we hope you do too. Introducing, Anna Rabinowicz, her company – ANNA New York, and how she got started in the manufacturing industry.
Let’s start out by learning a bit more about your company. What makes ANNA New York unique?
I started the company 15 years ago in my grandmother’s basement in Queens, New York. My mother and grandmother were in charge of putting the little rubber feet on the bottom of our agate gemstone coasters, my first design. ⠀
Today, I am so proud that we continue to be a female-owned and operated company. After my grandmother passed away, my daughter Talia became part of our business. As a brand, we celebrate strong women all over the world who fearlessly pursue their passions, and stand up for what they believe is right.
We create designs as unique as each of our customers. Because of the materials, production techniques, and designs of our pieces, each one is slightly different, whether we make 10 or 5,000 pieces.
Our designs enable hosts to entertain with joy and ease. I love the notion that the lumpiest of home-made cookies (of which I have made many) elevate to haute cuisine when placed upon one of our Torta crystal cake plates. Tossing cashews bought at the corner store into our Casca gemstone bowls is a quick way to elevate humble ingredients, to quickly create an unforgettable evening with loved ones.
We also fuse high-tech innovation with centuries-old handcraft techniques. Many of our designs have one part made by hand, by artisans with many generations of knowledge, and another part which we created using precision CAD, made from a mold machined down to the .1mm. The confluence of these two approaches helps to keep our designs unusual, and unique.
In addition, we give back to communities in need. We provide loans to our artisan partners, to enable them to purchase tools. And we sponsor scholarships to send high school students onto higher education, in the tiny town in which we work in Brazil.
What is a favorite piece in your collection that designers might not know about?
Our Dual Vase is one of my favorite designs. I love it because it exemplifies one of our core values – fusing high-tech innovation with handcraft. The base of the vase is hand-sculpted Carrara Marble; the top is polished metal, made from a precision-machined mold. To us, it represents months of obsessing over millimeters, and curvatures, and details. To a customer, it should look effortless, “just right” – and a design which has the power to elevate their daily experience.
Who or what inspires you most when coming up with designs?
As a designer, I’m inspired by imagining how my designs could transform people’s lives. A cornerstone of our brand is empowering hosts to entertain with grace and ease. Whether it is using one of our gemstone platters to elevate (a beautifully imperfect) homemade cake, or elevating a simple salad by tossing it with our agate and 24K gold servers, my goal is to create designs which simplify entertaining, and enable hosts to live in a home with natural elegance.
What is your favorite part about the manufacturing industry?
I am drawn to the fusion of high tech and low tech. I am also fascinated about how a manufacturing technique for one type of material can then become an inspiration for processing another – the bleed between manufacturing processes is exciting. When we work with enlightened manufacturing partners, who are open to our pushing the limits of a material or process, the results are invariably innovative and interesting. These innovations help to keep my mind fresh, when I’m conceiving of new designs.
I also love collecting objects, as they show the way that manufacturing has evolved over time. I inherited my father’s vast collection of fountain pens, from the early part of the last century, and have my own collection of toothbrushes (unused, of course!), spanning the last 25 years. Each collection shows the way that production techniques have improved over time, and also reveals a snapshot of which materials and functionality were popular at the moment those objects were created.
I believe that manufacturing is the gateway to innovation. The evolution of production techniques enables me to actualize what I dream of, when I create new designs.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Japan is a place which I’d like to visit. I appreciate the care with which the country celebrates the creation of precise, everyday objects, down to the carefully detailed packaging. I also admire the use of porcelain and bamboo, and other unusual materials, in Japanese design.