Hello there, Honey
Monday, 7 Jan 2013
You all know Seafolly, now meet the lady who runs Seafolly Asia – Gina Anstee.
In between the holiday season, we met up with this busy firecracker (fresh back from Sydney and jetting off to Thailand) at her Leonie Hill apartment, where she showed us around the Seafolly Asia HQ, told us great travel stories from around the world, and (to our joy) even let us poke around her walk-in closet.
Want to meet the witty lady who works fulltime at Seafolly Asia, pulls fulltime mum duty to three kids, runs a regular book club, coordinates the under 7 soccer team at the Australian School, thinks nothing of carrying a massive painting around Italy for 4 weeks while on holiday, and (we think) could very well be Singapore’s own Kelly Wearstler?
So tell us a little bit about yourself, Gina.
I’m the Business Development Manager of Seafolly Asia, so I opened the first fully-owned flagship store outside of Australia and do everything from the visual merchandising (one of my favourite parts of the job) to looking at distributors around the region.
Before working with Seafolly, I also worked three years at the Australian International School here as Head Registrar, and my very first job before that was in corporate marketing for the LVMH group.
Ed. note: Gina’s first job out of uni was working for the very glamorous Moet and Chandon.
Image: (left) Gina in her living room. And because we knew you’d ask, Gina’s wearing a limited edition Seafolly kaftan called the Tribal Charmer.
(right) Gina’s home is decorated with items she’s picked up from around the world. The chair is an original Corbusier chair given to her by her father. The wooden religious painting she bought at the markets in Cortona, Italy and carried around Italy for 4 weeks, including on the plane ride home. The lamp is from Morrocco; the lampshade was made in Bangkok with fabric from Jim Thompson. The table underneath is an old drum from Thailand which Gina bought while living there, and the baskets are from Great Ocean Road and made in Bangladesh.
So with you managing Seafolly Asia we bet you travel loads! What are your top travel tips?
1. Water, water, water.I never drink alcohol on the plane.
2. Always pack a good swim costume (mine is from Seafolly, of course!)
3. Always get into the timezone – it’s all mental! Set your watch to the local time when you land and force yourself to live accordingly.
4. Always buy something from where you visit. Sadly I never travel light!
Image: (left) Gina’s dining table made from old train track legs frm Thailand and topped with a marble slab and Eames chairs. The silver candlesticks were bought in Bowral and carried back to Singapore.
(right) Gina’s collection of candles for ambience – always lit for guests.
What’s this we hear about you reading every single day?
Yes I never go to bed without reading (just like I never start my day without my daily coffee from Jones the Grocer).
I even started a book club where fifteen of us meet once a month; the one hosting has to buy all fifteen copies of whateve book we’re reading as well as wine and cheese for the night. The club’s supposedly for us to talk about the book we’re reading, but it’s really just a gossip session.
Image: (left) The 4 books form part of Gina’s ‘must read’ collection. True to her travel toting self, the vase behind the books was purchased in Phnom Penh and carted home.
(right) The blue chair is Norman and Quaine, recently reupholstered in Florence Broadhurst fabric. But Gina’s latest favourite? Her pineapple lamps, purchased in a pair, which she just brought back to Singapore from Sydney. The Salvador Dali lithograph is a wedding present.
What advice would you give your fresh out of uni self?
Go into banking, Gina – that’s where all the money is.
Ha! Seriously though, there always has to be synergy between you and what you do.
Image: Hello, Seafolly HQ Asia! Gina clears her emails every night at her Kartell desk and chair, and a photograph by an Australian photographer friend, Toby Burrows â€“ insects caught in a car grill blown up and magnified.
You are quite the home decorator! What are your favourite stores here?
Bungalow 55 at Cluny Court, Asia Teak at Dempsey, Pagoda House at Tanglin, The Shophouse, and Taylor B.
On a side note, I recently discovered My Island Home in Sydney and love it! That’s where I found my pineapple lamps.
Image: (left) Shot of corridor leading into Gina’s bedroom with a much loved Prada bag hanging on the door. Orange chair is an original from the 70s that was in Gina’s parents’ first apartment.
(right)The antique chest was salvaged in a closing down sale in Woollahra, Sydney, the scarf on the door is Kirrilly Johnston, and the pearls were bought in Thailand.
Favourite bites around your neighbourhood?
I must have the yong tau foo at Wisma Atria’s Food Republic at least once a week. I also love Din Tai Fung for dimsum and Fatty’s at Bencoolen Street – order the salt and pepper prawns and the fried kway teow!
And of course, I cannot live without my daily coffee from Jones the Grocer.
Image: (left) Gina’s favourite space in her house? Her walk-in.
(right) Gina’s must-have Seafolly essentials.
Image: The blue Bottega Veneta clutch was bought from a bag trader in Far East Shopping Center; the black and pink bag is Collette Dinnigan. The black Gucci vintage bag (right) is from the same bag trader, while the sequinned clutch was purchased in Sydney and is by a Spanish designer.
Image: Gina’s weakness: jewellery. This is just one drawer of her beautiful collection. Tray is from Muji. (Gina’s middle name is ‘organization’.)
Before we go, we have to say – we love your home! What’s your biggest tip for us?
Bring back colour, be bold with it!
You have to be brave to paint your walls yellow, but the royals live with it – and if it’s good enough for the Queen, it’s good enough for me!