For this week’s Friday Five, we check in with San Francisco-based Anna Brockway, who is the Cofounder and Chief Marketing Officer of Chairish, the online (plus app!) vintage and pre-owned marketplace for furniture and decor, as well as DECASO, another online destination but this time for modern and antique dealers. After earning her Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Columbia University, she spent 25 years in the home and fashion industries, which included a stint at iconic brand Levi Strauss & Co. as the Vice President of Worldwide Marketing. Prior to the launch of Chairish, Brockway and her husband (a tech entrepreneur), plus their four children, were moving and needed a way to sell their relatively new furnishings that didn’t work in their new place. Their frustration with the lack of adequate marketplaces led to Chairish being born. Just recently, they struck a deal with eBay that brought “One & Done” technology to their platform, which lets sellers easily list inventory on both Chairish and eBay in one step, helping to expand their reach. Take a look at this busy entrepreneur’s picks, which include some cool places and things that bring her inspiration.
1. My Library of Design Books
Since high school I have been an avid collector of design books and as such, have amassed a monster collection. When we remodeled our home, including a library to house my stockpiles was paramount. If in need of a little inspiration or quiet, I’ll lock myself inside. Some recent additions include these vintage David Hicks titles, a lovely gift from a friend!
I spent some of summer here with our family and fell in love with the clear light, diverse landscape, simple living, unhurried schedule and of course, the fantastic food and wine. A very tempting Plan B! Here’s a little traffic jam Sicilian style.
3. Columbia University
I was lucky enough to attend Columbia and have recently been spending time on campus again. My classmates have accomplished such extraordinary things. I count among them the the Mayor of Los Angeles, a chief White House Correspondent, an Oscar winning movie studio head, a celebrated white-collar crimefighter and a leading feminist scholar. Good grief it’s humbling! I am continually inspired by their independence of thought, curiosity and hustle.
4. Brimfield Antiques Fair
Every fall, I make a sacred pilgrimage to Brimfield, one of my favorite antique fairs. Along with my fellow vintage fanatics, I’ll feast my eyes on (and stuff my luggage chock full of ) a crazy, high/low mix of art, textiles, tableware, decor and furniture. It’s just my kind of truffle hunting.
5. The Noe Valley Girls Film Festival
Founded by dear friends, this annual event provides a unique opportunity to see the the world from the perspective of young women who will soon shape it. Showing work made by girls 13 years and younger, the short films range from sweetly atmospheric to factually enlightening to heartbreakingly moving. A wholly inspiring experience not to be missed.