Designer Spotlight: An Interview with Anderson Somerselle
Anderson in Edinburgh.
What is your role at John Rosselli?
As the Textile Manager at John Rosselli and Associates, I am responsible for overseeing the sales and marketing for all of the company’s textile partners.
What does “to the trade” mean?
“To the trade” is another way of saying “business to business,” which means we are a business that only sells to businesses, specifically interior design businesses. What exactly is a trade showroom? A trade showroom is a place where interior designers can come and shop brands that are exclusively available to them.
What’s a special project you’ve worked on?
I have the privilege of working on a number of special projects, but the one that stood out to me the most was working very closely with John Robshaw & Molly O’Connor on the upcoming printed collection.
Do you have a favorite thing about your job ?
I love getting to work with some of the top designers in the country and the artisans that create the products they love.
Anderson reviewing our Fall 2019 Fabric Collection with the team at John Rosseli.
What does your day to day entail?
I wake up at 4:30am, usually hitting the snooze button once or twice. I’m at the gym by five am, where I have a two to three mile run, which keeps me centered and focused. I’m back home by 5:45am, where I hop in the shower, get dressed, and start the highly contentious daily debate about which shoes and which glasses to wear. I’m usually in the showroom by 6:45am, taking advantage of the quiet time and working my way through any emails that came in overnight. About an hour later, my right-hand-woman, Angie, arrives. We plan out the day’s tasks in the sample department, such as incoming and outgoing samples and wings, removing discontinued samples, and so on. By 8:30, I’m back at my desk, taking one more swing through my emails before the opening of the showroom at 9am.
My morning includes meetings with the Executive Team, discussing important daily updates as well as reviewing the progress of long-term projects. During the middle portion of my day, I am typically reviewing potential new lines, new collections, pulling samples for editorial features, planning marketing and campaign strategies with our communications consultant, Tiffany Farney, and conducting interviews (including “Inside John Rosselli” every Wednesday at noon on Instagram Live).
In the final portion of my day, you’ll find me powering through my emails again, ensuring I have answered all my clients, confirming details with partners, and prepping for my nightly Insta-story posts. I’ll continue answering emails on my way home, typically around 6pm. When I get home, I make myself a turkey sandwich, or a salad as I decompress from the day by watching some HGTV.
Custom chairs by Digs Design Co. upholstered in our Diba Peacock Fabric. Photo by Greg Premru.
Where do you shop?
Thanks, John, you’re quite dapper as well. The majority of my clothes come from H&M and Banana Republic. I do have a slight shoe obsession, and I typically shop for shoes at Cole Haan and Aldo.
What are your favorite John Robshaw prints, and why?
I’m obsessed with Palapa Turquoise from John’s Spring collection of last year, because I’m a sucker for a large-scale medallion. It’s perfect for drapes and stunning on an accent chair. My other favorite print is Migava Vista, because as everyone knows, I’m obsessed with a stripe, and I love anything with a little shimmer.
Detail of our Palapa Turquoise Fabric. Photo by Anderson Somerselle.
Do you have any funny stories with designers you’ve worked with?
I’ve been doing this for so long, I have too many fun experiences with designers and partners to count! I will, however, share this: Many, many years ago, before I got into the home furnishings business, I worked as a morning radio show personality. During “Moon Fest,” which is a huge celebration in downtown West Palm Beach, after doing my scheduled meet-and-greet appearances and morning show duties, my friends and I enjoyed a little too much vodka, and I somehow ended up falling asleep at a bus stop. I thought nobody saw me, but come Monday morning, it was the topic of discussion on air! I believe if you dig deep enough, you might even find pictures. These days, I stick to tequila.
Anderson at work.
How did you become the manager at John Rosselli? What is your background?
I started my career in the home furnishings business thirteen years ago, when I became the sales manager at Pier One Imports, where I worked my way up to become the Visual Merchandising Manager for three of their top-producing stores in the Southern New Jersey and Northern Philadelphia region.
I then went on to become a design consultant at Arhaus Furniture in Pennsylvania, working with clients doing design work and then working with interior designers, helping them source furniture and lighting. After that, I followed my passion to New York City where I landed a job at Modshop as their outside salesperson. I had some wonderful opportunities there, such as curating a collection for One Kings Lane.
Then, I joined Holland and Sherry, where I worked as their customer service representative for their wallpaper division, later becoming the purchasing coordinator for the department, and ultimately becoming the purchasing coordinator for all of Holland and Sherry’s represented lines.
Looking to expand my career to include more creative endeavors, I was thrilled to take on my current position as Textile Manager at John Rosselli. It has always been a goal of mine to work closely with brands as they develop new designs and products, which I now often do. One of my favorite parts of my job is reviewing upcoming and existing collections and offering my very candid opinions to partners about how their lines can be enhanced and elevated.
Amazing “cake” made from our wallpapers by @anthonygeorgehome.
What did you learn from your parents?
My mother taught me that success is not handed to anyone. You have to work your butt off to achieve it.
Anderson with his family, well-dressed as always.
Tell us one thing nobody knows about you.
On the rare occasion that I eat a Pop-Tart, I have the strange habit of needing to smell them before I eat them. I would say I enjoy the scent of a Pop-Tart even more than the taste.
Who are some of your favorite designers?
Nate Berkus has been particularly important to me because when I was younger, seeing him on The Oprah Winfrey Show was how I came to know about the business of interior design in the first place. I have also always been a fan of Victoria Hagan’s work. What I like about both of these designers is their timeless, classic, chic aesthetic.
Anderson recently interviewed John for John Rosselli's Artisan Spotlight series. You can watch the full interview here.
And don't forget to follow Anderson at @andersonsomerselle!