Ann Grafton is the creative director and driving force behind UK-based luxury textile house GP & J Baker. In addition to her contributions in her current role, Grafton is also the accomplished author of the best selling book Interior Transformations, which to date has been translated into seven languages. Here, she answers our questions about her life and career.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your current job?
There are many rewarding aspects of my role. A few highlights include: customers telling us how much they enjoy living with our products in their homes, supporting young designers through work experience and advice, and helping and encouraging all of our employees to be proud of the company they work for every day.
What, in your opinion, did the most to shape your career path?
My early family background in fashion and textiles. At an early age I fell into a career in retail and home that I loved every day.
What do you consider one of your biggest professional achievements?
Winning the Queen’s award for export. Writing an extremely successful home furnishings book. Personally holding a Royal Warrant and rejuvenating GP & J Baker to be a leader in our industry.
What attracted you to GP & J Baker?
The brand’s heritage and place in the history of UK home textile greats.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
Elegant. Relaxed. Comfortable.
What does it mean to you to be a Woman in design?
I do not view myself just as a woman in design, I view myself as a person in design who creates products for everyone to buy and enjoy every day.
Can you share a design tip with our readers?
Buy what you like, not what you think you should like and you will always be happy.
Who has impacted your career most and how?
My father. He taught me to believe in myself, follow my instincts and be true to myself.
What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned in your career?
To be humble. To know that you can never stop listening, learning and seeking inspiration.
What advice would you offer to a woman starting her career in design?
Love what you do. Follow your instincts and passions and on a bad day never give up!