Creative director at advertising agency Wunderman Thompson, mum to Dot, owner of an enviable collection of velour pantsuits and mid-century modern addict, the energetic Annie Price is a woman who radiates warmth and fun. Her enthusiasm is contagious, her wardrobe is fabulous and her love for colour and all things retro is evident in her Melbourne mid-century home and Flinders holiday house (aptly named the Flinders Nut House), also in Victoria.
A self-described garage sale and op shop tragic, her hard rubbish finds are extraordinary and have their own Instagram account, finders_hoarders, which itself is worthy of a follow. I have found myself in awe of some of the items she has rescued off the side of the road – I’m certainly not driving the same streets as she is. Annie is a green thumb and oh so thrifty. Her gardens (and homes) are not only full of amazing plants, but many of these finds are up-cycled, restored and scattered throughout, making them a wonderland of curios.
As Vice-President of Melbourne’s not for profit group Beaumaris Modern, Annie’s passion for protecting the suburb’s mid-century homes is second to none. The group has 300+ members and helps celebrate, educate and preserve the mid-century architecture of this suburb, and it was when I was on the committee for a short time that I got to know Annie. I was taken by her dedication to the cause, and by the emotion and energy that she puts into the behind the scenes work that this group does.
The success Beaumaris Modern has had in raising awareness of our local mid-century gems is to be commended. Just prior to Covid-19 locking us all down, Annie participated in a talk at Modernism Week in Palm Springs, alongside Beaumaris Modern President Fiona Austin, Annie’s partner Jamie Paterson on behalf of the Robin Boyd Foundation, and Grand Designs Australia’s own Peter Maddison. What an honour to be featured in the line-up at the world’s most prestigious celebration of mid-century architecture! Sadly, Beaumaris is a far cry from the love and preservation bestowed upon the homes in Palm Springs, as evidenced by Bayside losing two significant mid-century homes in the last week. But that’s another story.
Back to Annie’s life in lockdown. With her 50th birthday celebrated ‘iso’ style last week, (unfortunately the Bali villa group holiday that was planned is on hold for the foreseeable future), Annie was showered with love from her family and friends – abiding strict social distancing rules of course. Whilst being aware of the hardships many are facing at the moment, she is clinging onto her own silver lining during this period; the extra time with Jamie and Dot (and old-age pensioner dogs- Muttley and Pearl), appreciating where they live and enjoying eating lunch in the garden or getting the washing on the line when the sun is shining.
Here we chat further about how her life is looking in the present moment…
What is your day job and what does it “normally” look like?
Creative Director at advertising agency, Wunderman Thompson.
It normally looks a bit like: Battling the peak hour traffic to get to Richmond each day, then a combo of working at my desk, checking and critiquing work from creative teams, presenting to clients, attending shoots, voice over records, client meetings etc…
How has your work been impacted?
The office is shut. We are all working from home on ‘Microsoft Teams’. Right now, we are busier than normal – creating work to super tight deadlines for our clients to keep their customers informed on covid-19 impacts. For some of our clients like Jetstar, it’s obviously had a huge negative impact. For others like Simplot and Coles Liquor Group, sales are through the roof (for now anyway).
I think the true impact on our business won’t be known until we are through this. It’s bound to have financial implications.
Something you’ll never take for granted again?
Going to garage sales & op shops. Bunning’s sausages. And catching up with good friends.
Are you using this time to upskill/clean out cupboards/learn a new hobby?
We hope to come out of all this with a big chunk of our (very, very long) list of jobs ticked off somewhat. The garden has never looked better, exterior woodwork is getting stained, lino floors are getting a gloss protection, records are being sorted, sock drawers neatened, shelves and cupboards are being cleared out. You name it, we are trying to get it done.
I’m completely addicted to Survivor (Aust & US).
Last night, I started watching Tiger King which is completely insane, terrifying but utterly addictive.
A fabulous Norwegian series I finished a few weeks back was TWIN. Can highly recommend that.
Three women you admire and why?
My mum – for being the most selfless woman I have ever known. She chose to put personal ambitions aside to devote herself to being a stay at home mum. It’s not something I would do, and not something many do in this day and age, but I love her for it and am forever grateful.
Jacinda Ardern – no reasons needed.
Rosie Batty – for facing adversity head on. How could you survive the most unimaginable tragedy – losing a child, only to turn that negativity into something positive, campaigning for other victims of domestic violence? What a strong, selfless, amazing woman.
What is your super power and what do you use it for?
It’s a bit of a useless skill really but I have an incredible knack of being able to use things up right down to the last squeeze, scoop & scrape. We joke about it in our household – My ‘consolidation’ skills! I hate wasting things and see it as a bit of challenge. My dad always said ‘look after your pennies and your pounds will look after themselves’.
If someone wrote a book about you, what would the one-line synopsis be?
Nutty but nice.
Headline photo by Letitia Green, Behind the Window Series.