Bringing Products to Life & Rediscovering our Roots : An Interview with Anim

Anim Name Definition

Staying true to its name, Anim brings a “spirit” and “life” into its products transferring the individual stories of each product to its customers. 

With Anim, a brand born in Turkey, we were able to rediscover Gabfoods’ roots but also introduce our new home, Spain. The Sunshine Kingdom collection, our exclusive collection with Anim, brings a piece of Spain to everyone’s table, staying true to the country’s nickname: “Sunny Spain” through its bright colors and of course its name too! The Sunshine Kingdom collection also draws from Hemingway’s novel (we promise this isn’t a literature lecture!) The Sun Also Rises, set in Spain, leaves a hopeful message to a lost generation that as long as the sun rises, there is hope for a brighter future. We hope this beloved collection that we created with Anim is able to serve as a source of optimism and bring light and life into everyone’s home for years to come. 

Each product tells a story from its origins, roots and points of inspiration but transferring these stories to customers leaves a lot to be desired. We had the chance to speak to Mina Dilber, founder of Anim on how this can be achieved through artisanship, tradition and more!  

  • All your current collections are carefully curated in Turkey. How does Turkey, the origin of Anim, play a role in the creative process of the creation of the products? 

  • True! Everything within Anim is created and curated in Turkey. The country plays a specific role within our creative process, as it is a source of endless inspiration. From the Southern Coast of Turkey to the Eastern parts, every city is unique in it’s own way and is very rich in terms of textiles. Let alone Istanbul is quite an inspiration too. We source some of our fabrics from antique villages around Istanbul as well as the Grand Bazaar. Most of the prints within our collections are inspired by ancient Ottoman patterns - where we always try to modernize them and interpret them within a young and playful spirit. 

  • The 60s style is clearly an inspiration at Anim, and we can also see the Turkish influence along with some fashion ideas from Los Angeles: astonishing colorful palettes, patterns, and shapes. How was the design process for the Gabfoods products?

  • I think the world of Anim and Gabfoods are very similar in specific senses. Embracing the culture of our two homes, Istanbul and Los Angeles; we love to mix and match and to clash different colors and patterns, as well as different shapes and styles. I also love to go back to my family roots; where a textile is a strong origin - and to get inspired from them. For our best seller applique placemats, the main inspiration was my grandmother’s suzani fabrics and the antique floral motifs inside them - and they have been a big hit since day one. Since then, applique table top pieces have become our signature ones; with ever inspiring colors and shapes. The same drive was there within the start of our collaboration with Gabfoods when we first met approximately about a year ago. To create something colorful, eye-catching and optimistic - yet nostalgic, something inspired by the past. I think the  ‘Sunshine Kingdom’ placemats also speak to the Spanish Culture, with its colors and feels.  The collaboration pieces ended up exactly the way we wanted them to; aiming to bring happiness to one’s home and table!

    Sunshine Kingdom Set

    The Sunshine Kingdom set!

  • How do you decide which brands you will collaborate with? What made you choose Gabfoods? How do you align the designs and the brand?

  • We’re very picky with the brands we collaborate with; as collaborations have been overly done these days - and some without purpose unfortunately. Working with Gabfoods was of course very delightful and exciting. I truly feel we share a very common mission and vision with Gabfoods - first and foremost always trying to be genuine and sincere. We feel lucky to have worked with Gabfoods, since it really values the importance of artisanship as well as anything related to living and tabletop. Gabfoods has perfected the unique style of curating a table ( which I think is very hard) along with the most amazing gluten-free dishes on earth. By doing this, the brand has stepped its homeware game with these amazing collaborations with amazing artisanal brands. We’re very happy to be part of this unique journey! Can’t wait for what is yet to come. 

  • What does artisanship mean to you? How do you communicate this to your customers?

  • It’s really important though. When we say Anim is rooted in quality and cultural responsibility, we actually try to promote the importance of artisanship through our brand and our collections. Within our communication, we always try to inform our customers about which piece is designed where, crafted how and in which ways - in detail. This is really important to us. The people with artisanal skills who help us grow our collections are very valuable to us; therefore we really aim to give the full story out there to our customers - as we see them as a big family who are a part of our journey!

  • Anim works closely with artisans and cares a lot about the origin of its materials, as well as the elaboration process of its goods. How do you think artisanship can help drive us closer to sustainability?

  • If we know the origins of the fabrics and  which processes they have been exposed to; I feel like we get to appreciate the end product in a much deeper sense. It takes approximately four days to produce a hand-stitched cashmere blend throw. In the same way, it takes days to weeks, threads to yarns to weave some special towels. Some of our tabletop pieces are all hand-stitched for example. There’s a big big effort behind each and every one of them. I feel like we should really understand these processes  and appreciate what we have even  more - within a sustainable mindset. 

     Sunshine Kingdom with Food

    The Sunshine Kingdom collection in action! No table is complete without some delicious food of course!  You can find all the tableware pieces from this picture on our La Table Collection. 

  • As your “About” says, Anim seeks to “create collections that are designed and crafted for everyday life” while also having “a distinct story to tell”. How do you find the equilibrium in this equation?

  • Within our fast track daily lives, we get to  dismiss small yet important details of certain things. I think the pieces we buy for ourselves or for our homes fall into this category. All of our pieces; both from our home collections and ready to wear collections have a relaxed, refined yet a resilient attitude - and all are designed and crafted for everyday life. Within this “everyday life” I think it is important to tell the valuable stories of these pieces; starting from where we source the fabric to the point where we explain the inspiration behind the final garment. The whole story becomes even more magical when you dig deeper into it. I think this makes most meaningful the equilibrium for us within Anim.

  • What impact do you want Anim to have? If you could describe Anim’s purpose in this world in one sentence, what would it be?

  •          We’re on a mission to ‘celebrate’ life as Anim means life itself in Latin. That’s why each and every piece under Anim is as colorful and optimistic as possible. Our main goal is to ‘honor’ our roots; through our textile journey. We are committed to create two new collections per year, both for home and ready to wear. We aim to accompany people from all over the world at all times flowing through and around life with our optimistic, colorful, and ever-inspiring stories. 

    Anim Living Quote

  • Can you share a story with us about an artisan, artist, or product that you’d like our readers to know about? 

  • I think the Poppy and Cove pieces from our last summer collection. They were inspired by my grandmother’s vintage Suzani fabrics. She has been collecting them for more than 50 years I think. And she was also doing home textiles in the early 1960’s and 70’s. Digging into her textile truck is my biggest excitement since I launched Anim. Her pieces carry a lot of cultural traces and they’re an immense source of inspiration. I really enjoy playing around the motifs within those pieces.

    Cove Set

    The Cove placemats, coaster set and napkins are also available on our website!

  • What about an inspiring playlist?
  • Probably Anim’s Summer Playlist of 2021!

  • Lastly, what is your must-try dish from the Gabfoods menu?
  • Gab’s Shakshuka, Chicken Cobb Salad in Istanbul and Vegan Helva Magnums!

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