For this segment, we dig deeper and connect with ambitious women.
We present you Andrea Lennon, founder of the beautiful interior shop 'The Corner' in Brussels. With her exquisite sense of style and love for aesthetics, she will be one of our ambassadors.
Who is Andrea Lennon?
I am inquisitive, curious, intuitive, multi-passionate and a creative doer. A follower of my heart and a listener of my instinct.
You are a passionate traveler. What made you choose Brussels to put down roots?
I lived in Brussels as a child and after many years living in London I decided to come back and put down roots here. Brussels has always felt like home as my family is here. I also love the feel of this small city, international, creative and on the doorstep of so many other great places, Antwerp, Gent, Paris etc.... I love the energy in Belgium and the creativity of its people.
You started your career as a fashion photographer. How do you look back on that time in your life and what made you decide to change course?
My years working as a fashion photographer were wonderful years, free and exciting. For someone who could never imagine herself stuck in the routine of a nine-to-five job, photography was a dream job. I was living my passion, travelling the world, meeting new people and every job was new and exciting so I never had a sense of boredom or tedium in what I did. It was constantly new and inspiring. To be honest I pinched myself daily at how lucky I was to have such a great job. I truly loved it.
In the last years that I worked as a photographer I just felt the industry had changed so much with the advent of the online market and social media and I didn’t find my place anymore.
In the last year my heart was no longer in it and I felt that I still had the time to take the leap and do something else, something where I would again feel the drive and passion I had felt before in my photography.
And now I still get to take pictures daily on my own terms for my Instagram account which I love doing.
How did your artistry of hand crafted cushions and The Corner come about?
While I was doing a lot of soul searching trying to find what my next steps would be, I thought it would be a good idea to just get going with something and the idea of making cushions really appealed to me.
I have always loved textiles and I had brought back beautiful handwoven and hand dyed textiles from my travels and scoured markets for vintage textiles for years which I would make into cushions so I set on the
idea of creating a beautiful series of hand crafted artisanal cushions, that espoused my values of slow living while shining a light on the work of artisans around the world.
I loved the story that could be told with these handwoven and vintage fabrics and it also aligned with my values of creating pieces that were not factory produced but made by hand in very small quantities, almost unique and therefore precious.
You developed a very recognisable aesthetic. How do you go about selecting objects for the store?
I think my aesthetic was honed again on my travels as my homes were always a mix of contemporary, vintage and artisanal pieces I would bring back from around the world. Again on my shoots as soon as I had a few hours off, I would rush to all the local markets and stores to find treasures to bring home with me.
Many pieces I still have today and it is their story, their uniqueness that I find create such a rich soulful feeling in my home. I would never separate myself from these pieces, they have become part of my story and that is what I think a home should be. It should tell your story and the life’s journey of its inhabitants through the pieces you choose to surround you.
I look for the beauty in the imperfect, pieces that bring with them a story, a memory, a richness that is infused throughout your interior of history and time., encouraging appreciation of the simple joys in life.
I think I select pieces today as I always did. I choose pieces from the heart, that speak to me, whisper their story in my ear. These are the pieces that I am attracted to. Pieces with something to tell in their simplicity.
Do you look for that same feeling of ‘coup de foudre’ when purchasing a piece of clothing?
I definitely also choose clothes intuitively and instinctively. I like to search out small brands that have pieces that speak to me. Good quality fabrics, pieces that are comfortable, well made and timeless. Pieces that feel like home.
Why did Rhúne appeal to you?
When I looked at the collection I was immediately drawn to many of the pieces and felt that the aesthetic was definitely in tune with what I love. I loved the sense of timelessness in the collection as well as the understated elegance and quality.
I was also drawn to the fact that the pieces were made in Belgium and Portugal as I’m a firm believer in shopping products that are made locally. Again something besides the vintage and antique pieces in my store I endeavour to do, choosing creative local brands to work with.
What is your favorite Rhúne piece?
That’s a difficult question as there are so many I like but I think for this season I love the Ulla coat. I love its relaxed yet structured oversized feel. It’s also got a classic elegance to it and I feel it will be my go to coat
this winter. I can’t wait to start wearing it.
How would you describe your home in three words.
Soulful, soothing and serene.
What is your object of affection?
A wooden grain pot I brought back from South Africa twenty years ago and that I would never part with.
What inspires you?
Life. Nature. The human condition. Creativity. Connexion. Mystery.
Want to check out Andrea & The Corner
41 Rue du Châtelain
1050 Brussels, Belgium
Wednesday to Saturday 14h-18h