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Q&A with FSCO is a series that spotlights team members across all of our brands and highlights our culture at F. Schumacher & Co.

Annie Irwin, Backdrop Wallcoverings Senior Design Lead

"I help bring the Backdrop Wallcoverings to life!"

Time with FSCO: 11 months

Michaela Lynch: What does the feeling of home mean to you?

Annie Irwin: Home is where physical space and emotional space come together for me- It's a time and place for precious moments and shared experiences to be held.

ML: What is your favorite piece of design in your home?

AI: I have a bright yellow felted throw blanket that was woven on a mid-century dobby loom with linen, wool boucle, and rayon slub yarns. It’s beautifully warm, weighted, textural and lovingly crafted. Wool has the most wonderful color luminescence so wherever it is in the apartment, it feels like it’s radiating sunlight.

ML: Where do you find inspiration?

AI: To lean into sounding corny, everywhere! I try to always keep an awareness of things that catch my eye. Having said that, I am constantly interested in different processes of making and material exploration- that act in itself yields endless inspiration for me; there is always something to learn.

ML: As a wallcoverings designer, what is the design process like?

AI: At Backdrop, as a creative team, we start by throwing everything at the wall then work to make edits for concepts to develop based on what we’re responding to formally and conceptually. Along the way, we note our intentions behind what we’re trying to accomplish. After that, we create artwork to help bring the concepts to life- this part of the process is a highlight for me as oftentimes the materials we work with shape the final direction. Then it’s color, editing, and adjusting until production!

ML: Before Backdrop, what has your career path looked like?

AI: I’ve been working in different aspects of textile design and manufacturing for some time now. I am always learning and growing as our field continues to make innovations in materials, technology, and manufacturing. I started interning in print design for apparel and then had the opportunity to apprentice in screen printing after graduating college. I moved to Los Angeles to work at a boutique weaving mill until 2020. From there, I worked as a freelance designer as well as maintained my own weaving practice prior to joining Backdrop.

ML: What is something exciting that you’ve worked on that you haven’t had an excuse to talk about yet?

AI: Backdrop IV! We’re all excited that this particular collection will have some larger scale designs that have a lot of opportunity for color. Full disclosure- I didn’t work on this specifically, but I’m very excited about some of the new paint colors Backdrop will be launching later this year. They’re fabulous new additions to the palette!

ML: Technologically, where do you see the future for Backdrop and the design industry as a whole?

AI: Backdrop has made incredible innovations in the way paint is sampled and the entire experience of painting from a consumer standpoint- I see us continuing to evolve in making those innovations in different aspects of our business as we grow. I hope that as a whole, the design industry will embrace technological growth to ensure we are finding solutions that drive manufacturing to be more environmentally sustainable

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