When the London-based trends forecaster Laurie Robertson had her working hours reduced during the recession in 2008, she decided to give up her day job altogether and pursue her dreams instead. With a master's degree in printed textiles under her belt, she launched Anorak to sell her own home and outdoor accessories.
Three years later, her graphic printed bags and purses grace the pages of fashion magazines, her products are stocked in shops all over the globe and, instead of working from home alone, she has staff and owns a large converted stable in a leafy corner of south London.
Robertson's designs are inspired by the great outdoors and childhood camping holidays in 1970s England. Her signature range is called Kissing Animals - seagulls, stags, rabbits and horses in silhouette, nose to nose. These prints have a pleasingly retro feel, and the patterns work well on just about anything, from cushions to sleeping bags, picnic cloths to deckchairs.
I've got my eye on the soft lambswool Kissing Horses blanket, which is perfect for draping around your shoulders on a cool evening. I'd also quite like a few metres of the Kissing Stags wipe-clean oilcloth. I would make a great tablecloth - chic and extremely practical. Of course it would be rude not to get the matching place mats and coasters, too.
For summer, Laurie's nautical buys get my vote. Her ropes and boats cushions are a real treat, great for cheering up a patio or balcony. But it's the new Steamer trunk I really crave. It's big enough for a couple of duvets or a truck load of clutter and, although it's designed for storage, it would double up as a very cool coffee table. I'm sold.
For shipping costs to the UAE, visit www.anorakonline.co.uk or call 0044 208 299 2416