Photo Courtesy of Ash & Anchor
Good fortune brought me to this scarf, or perhaps it was the hours spent perusing sites specializing in unique creations. Either way, I am one lucky girl to own this patterned beauty. I had the opportunity to learn of the process behind this signature accessory piece through an interview with the owner of Ash & Anchor, Nina Glaser.
How long have you been designing scarves?
I’ve been specifically designing scarves for just about a year and a half—but I’ve been creating patterns for as long as I can remember!
Are you originally from Pennsylvania? What about Philadelphia inspires you?
I’m originally from right outside New York City, but I’ve spent the last 10 years all around the Northeast! I’m a fairly new Philadelphia resident and I absolutely love it. The city is so inspirational—I love all the history it holds. I also love how some neighborhoods have a small town feel right inside the big city. It’s comforting.
Where do you get inspiration for your scarves?
I’ve become really obsessed with the intricate patterns that I find within nature. I’m always photographing flowers, leaves, buds on branches—everything outside! Looking at the endless shapes that are formed within an interesting flower really gets me excited to design!
Which is your favorite scarf currently?
I’ve been wearing Olivine a lot lately. I had a lot of fun putting the bits and pieces of the pattern together!
Have you ever designed a piece that wasn’t quite what you wanted?
Yes, for sure! I have a folder on my computer of designs that are “almost there” but I feel like something is missing. A lot of times I just need some distance from them—and then I can come back with fresh eyes and spot what needs to be changed.
Are you looking to expand outside of scarves? Purses, clothing, etc.
Yes! I’d love to. I do have a few things up my sleeve right now, but in the future I’d love to have even more in the works. I’m open to requests!
How do you decide what to name each scarf?
This is one of my favorite parts! I scour the internet for things that catch my eye. My favorite inspiration comes from Greek mythology, astronomy (names of star clusters!) poetry, lyrics—the list goes on. On occasion I’ll even have the name before the design.
What travels have you experienced in your life and how have they played a part in your creations?
I’m incredibly interested in opposites. I’ve been really lucky to experience traveling to very big cities and very tiny country towns. The different experiences in each has definitely played a part in my aesthetic. When I’m designing, I love to blend soft lines with hard ones—floral organic imagery with sharp rigid geometric designs.
Where does the name Ash & Anchor come from?
Years ago, my husband lived on Ash Street. I always loved the name and sort of hung on to it. When it was time to name the brand, Ash kept popping back into my head. I brought in Anchor as the opposing force. I really enjoy the dichotomy between the light-as-a-feather, wind-blown ash and the sturdy, grounded anchor.
I read that you also paint. How do you feel that has aided in generating ideas for your scarves?
I basically approach designing a scarf the same way as creating a painting. I focus on composition and layout, the color palette, and subject matter. I do have to keep in mind, though, that my paintings are viewed straight on—but a scarf drapes and folds and is kind of ever-changing.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Just to thank you so much for this interview!