Hunting for the Uncommon with BF+DA Venture Fellow Dotted Line

Our newest BF+DA Venture Fellow, Annie Huntley of Dotted Line says for over 10 years she’s enjoyed sourcing quality one-of-a-kind findings around Europe and the Middle East, adorning clients one-on-one, and partnering with local stores throughout the US and abroad.

“I love creating pieces that help women celebrate their beauty, their stories, their family, their heritage,” says Huntley.

We caught up with Annie to talk more about her work creating.

Talk about the hunt for “the uncommon, the well-crafted, the original.” Is it easy to do in 2018 or is it getting more difficult. 

I find there’s something kind of magical about found objects, pieces that have been in the family for years, items with depth and history. It could be an antique writing desk, an old vest, or a Victorian era locket. Knowing that something has stood the test of time because it was well made and well cared for, possibly passed down from generation to generation, is so inspiring. There’s an inherent slowness, reverence, and even sacredness to these pieces, and the way we acquire them. That’s definitely a contrast to the mass-produced, quick/disposable fashion and consumerism that we see all around us today. It’s really easy to get just about anything on the fast and cheap these days. That said, today there’s a thriving, global community of makers, designers and entrepreneurs that build their businesses on quality craftsmanship and care for the planet and people. Whether you’re looking to buy something that’s new or second hand, you can still find the uncommon, well crafted and original – sometimes you just need to dig a little deeper to find it.

Jewelry can transform us. How does Dotted Line make the everyday seem more special.

For thousands of years people have been wearing jewelry as a form of adornment, protection, and status. It’s used as a focal point for meditation, and a show of religious affiliation. Whatever the reason one hangs something from their ears or around their neck, jewelry is a universal way of showing what’s important, what we aspire to, where we came from, and even where we want to go. I am particularly interested in jewelry as a way of sharing something about the richness and the complexity of our personal histories. When someone chooses to wear a religious icon around their neck, for example, we see a tiny glimpse into a sometimes very complex story that may involve layers of tradition, culture, meaning. Often times these layers are unresolved, or represent tension and even conflict. Through my work I strive to honor that complexity and tension. Striving for meaning is very human, and at it’s core, Dotted Line is an extension of that search for beauty, connection and meaning.

Why the BF+DA and how do you think being in a community of creatives can help accelerate your brand?

Community. “What we know is only valuable when it rubs up against what other people know”. This quote, posted in one of the studios here at the BF+DA, speaks perfectly to the idea that in isolation, we can only go so far. I’m so excited to be a part of this community that promotes the the kind of collaboration, encouragement, and idea sharing essential for forward movement and inspired action.

Sustainability. While I’ve used repurposed materials in my work for years, I’ve long wanted to push needle forward on Dotted Line’s sustainability and environmentally conscious practices. I’m thrilled to be nurturing this vision here.

Mentorship:  Getting to talk through long standing questions and brainstorm ideas for growth with the mentors has been totally enlightening. Having that guidance and expertise has proven invaluable, even in just the few weeks that I’ve been here.

Your one biggest piece of advice to a budding entrepreneur.

Take good care of yourself. Really good care of yourself. There may be deadlines, huge orders to fill, long nights in the studio but learning how to make physical and emotional health a priority is key. Running a business can be difficult, with lots of hats to wear and a real propensity for burn out. It takes commitment to find that balance, especially for those of us who tend to go, go, go. Just remember that the health of your business relies on the health of your body and mind.

Interested in our Venture Fellow program? Go here.