We are really excited to announce our fabulous new stockist right in the heart of Edinburgh. PAD Lifestyle opened it’s doors in March and is already making it’s mark as the go-to luxury destination store in the East of Scotland. Located on Howe St, PAD Lifestyle is a breath of fresh air in the cities’ fashion and interior offering.
We caught up with Anna Atwal, founder of PAD, to find out a little more about her career and how she became an interior designer.
An Interview with the Founder of PAD Lifestyle, Anna Atwal
Hi Anna – we love PAD! Tell us a little about yourself and your background in the luxury industry?
Thank you! I worked in advertising after completing an MA in History of Art at Glasgow University. Whilst it was a fascinating subject, I decided it wasn’t for me after a couple years so started afresh in PR and had a great career for 8 years in Edinburgh for Firefly, a London based agency specialising in b2b and technology sectors. I later left when I had my baby boy, Leo, who has now just turned 4!
How did you get into designing interiors and what was your journey into opening PAD?
My friends would tell you I had talked about opening my own business since… forever, and that I have always been mad about property and interiors. Over the years my business ideas changed and I got close several times to making it happen, but after having Leo I decided the time was right – I had already left my career behind so it made sense and all the pieces just started to fall into place. I was working on various property developments with my husband, including our own house, and I adored it; I love architecture, heritage, Georgian properties – taking a run down, dated period home, stripping it right back and letting it breathe again. An interiors project for me is about the whole process, not just adding colours and fabrics at the end. It has to be planned right from the beginning as a whole project for the end result to have real soul.
I had never really pinned down exactly what I could offer clients as I really felt it was the whole process. I am perfectionist, a fabric obsessor, a colour fanatic – I wanted to roll everything into one. It was at this point I confided in my best friend who advised that the time had come to officially start my brand and go from there. PAD Lifestyle was born.
Roll forward a year and I did what she said. I refurbished an old news paper shop and opened my design studio. However, in the process I also created my own furniture line hand crafted in Indonesia, which I shipped over to sell on my website that I had created. The studio then became more of a retail studio and my designing studio went back to my kitchen table! I then started working on the PAD collective sourcing, curating and selling amazing creative, unique and eclectic brands from across the world, both independent designers and big well-known, but edgy brands, where things are still growing today.
The store is fantastic; unrecognisable from what it was before – It’s an opulent space that feels elegant yet cosy. We love the brands you carry, can you tell us more about some of them?
We have very different brands and most of them are exclusive to PAD in Scotland. We also work with some very cool local creatives such as yourself and the gorgeous girl artist and textile designer Hatti Pattisson, who was actually our first designer that we worked with.
We have brought in the exuberant and eclectic Jonathan Adler from New York and an amazing homeware brand from Paris called Tse and Tse, Chesterfield sofas by Fleming & Howland, fabrics, papers paints, furniture and textiles by Designers Guild. The amazing Danish interiors brand Menu, who have so many Scandinaviam designers creating wonderful ‘soft minimalism’ products for them. And we have fashion line with stunning hand made jewellery, Italian leather shoes, and beautifully chic clothes by independent label Scarlett Black London. We have another 8 new international lifestyle and fashion brands to launch at our event ‘The Collective‘ at Arusha gallery this week which we are so excited about.
On a slightly separate note – tell us what your perfect day would be…
A peaceful morning, perfect coffee, a run and then creating ideas, designs, speaking to creative people who share similar ideas and passion for making beautiful things. I’m a quiet person but I’m furiously creative inside. A perfect day is having the mind space to think clearly and be creative. Spending some time in the studio, seeing happy customers and working on the website. A wonderful cuddle from Leo when he is home from nursery, and a tikka and glass of wine with hubby at home. Simple things really make my day.
Can you give us an insight to your favourite spots in Edinburgh?
Leo’s beanery. Every day 🙂 Smoke Stack on Broughton St. for their Cajun chicken salad and cheesy garlic bread. The Honours for a cheeky pre theatre and Bramble for a stunning but equally cheeky random few cocktails on the way home.
Thank you Anna! If anyone would like to attend PAD’s event ‘The Collective‘ at Arusha Gallery this week then please see the details below and RSVP to email@example.com