In Good Company: A Conversation with Anna Telcs

Baby & Company is strongly influenced by the stories of our clients, our designers and  people making great art or changing the community. To reflect on this and share our vision, we will periodically be featuring people we keep in our good company. We will inaugurate this series with Anna Telcs, an incredible talent and strong asset to our Creative Team. Before she sets off to London on her next adventure, we sat down with her to hear a few of her thoughts and we shared a few of our own on her impact.

Anna Telcs and I came together organically at a social event; Anna was looking for a new career challenge and I happened to have one for her.  Anna quickly went to work at building a creative and media team to help re-launch the 38 year old boutique by entering into the realm of e-commerce.

Anna had the perfect qualifications to bring this project to fruition. She had an extensive background in the design field working with labels like Helmut Lang, Thom Browne, London Fog and Nordstrom. Anna understood the contemporary and luxury market inside and out. She comes from both sides of the industry as vendor and buyer which gives her the ability to see the landscape through multiple lenses.

While we had so much potential to stretch and grow; none of it would have been possible without the foundation that Anna and her team laid for our e-commerce and retail environment to be competitive in the global market.

Anna is a remarkable teacher. Her vision and navigation have given me an entirely new perspective in which to imagine the future of Baby & Company. We can’t wait to see her shine and thrive in all of her new endeavors. Out of sight, but never out of mind!

—Jill Donnelly, Owner, Baby & Company

I have the great pleasure to take over the role of writing the Sunday Guide with the Creative Team at Baby & Company. It is a rare thrill to take the reins from an individual with so much creative and business talent alike. I was immediately intrigued with Anna upon meeting her and even further so once I started investigating her own creative practice. We decided upon a brief collaborative interview as our changing of the guards. 

—Brit Parks, Communication Manager, Baby & Company

Above: The Dowsing, The Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, 2013 — “Telcs explores the liminal space between form, fashion, presentation, and performance. Her recent work attempts to question existing perceptions about manufacturing, worth, and beauty – ultimately seeking to delve deeper into the armature of the fashion object itself and the systems and structures that contextualize and regulate it.”


BP: What contribution are you most proud of at your time with Baby & Company? / What do you love most about Baby & Company?

AT: At the beginning of my consultancy with Baby & Company I was observing the systems of the team and the aesthetics of the brand, and was tasked in my first two weeks to reflect the brand back to Jill. From this presentation onward, we engaged honestly and openly to arrive where we are now. With the e-commerce platform performing well and including lifestyle features such as the Sunday Guide, I’m most proud of the team that we have now, led by Media Director Christina Hicks, and the enormous talent that we were able to hire, and to as Jill says, “Pay them for their imagination.”  My artistic life has been fed through the work I’ve done at Baby & Company and I hope the team can say the same.

BP: In your own studio work, how do you balance your instincts in aesthetics with your cognizance of cultural and political states of being?

AT: To come from a studio practice and to work simultaneously with Baby & Company to support independent designers, each piece of my story is connected to the larger purpose of moving the fashion industry to a sustainable place.  My artwork, called The Dowsing, and the costuming work I design and make, originates from a need to process the wrongs of the fashion industry, whether environmental damage, labor practices or more nuanced issues that play upon human vanity. I begin my work with research, covering such topics as hand-manufacturing techniques, the history of the first garment, and the psychology of dressing.  The Dowsing uses cloth material to work out the social and political intentions of clothing through hand-sewn sculptures and live performances.  My practice will soon take on a new chapter by working directly with new business platform, Not Just A Label in London.  Working with forward thinking companies, who have a real commitment to moving the industry forward, is a natural extension to my artwork.  

BP: When you feel challenged, what hero/idol do you refer to when you need guidance/reassurance?

AT: Forgive me for my old age/new age answer, but I talk with my mentors, and I meditate. Personally, I’m able to see my path, lit more clearly, using the practice of consciousness meditation.

BP: What aspect of your new role in London are you most looking forward to?

AT: While acting as Head of Product/ Agency at Not Just A Label, I most look forward to connecting the 18,000 independent designers on the NJAL platform to larger industry entities and to providing collaborative opportunities for them through various creative economies.  I just found out I’ll be heading to Qatar in November to speak at a women’s conference. It’s an honor to expand further into an international arena of like-minded individuals. I’m going to learn so much.

BP: What will you most miss about Seattle?

AT: The gorgeous fresh air and open bodies of water with mountains on all sides ready to hike. The deep community of people I’ve known for decades now. First and foremost, I will miss my parents. Which is why I know I’ll always be back before too long.

AT: Okay, Brit, it’s time for our good company to get to know you a little bit. 

What are you most excited by after joining the Baby & Company creative team? What do you look forward to accomplishing?

BP: I wrote a cold letter to Baby & Company as I have always sought out places to work that I feel drawn to as I know that is where I can do my best work to help further a cause. I am a long time advocate and participant in independent fashion and that aspect of Baby & Company immediately resonated with me. But the true moment of excitement came in my first interview where I met Jill and her team. Jill was aglow with the story of the brand and its mission in such an authentic way that I knew I wanted to be part of pushing the story forward. I am a writer and in love with language so I am very much looking forward to integrating that element into everything from copywriting to the Sunday Guide and whatever else we can dream up to tell the story of Baby & Company. The Creative Team truly has world-class talent so I am also looking forward to learning and being inspired by their vision.


AT: As a poet and writer, how has this practice helped you to connect with Seattle after your recent move from the East Coast?

BP: Poetry in particular is quite a solitary practice but for me it’s driven in part by the language in my head and my own method of creating. I am equally influenced by the environment I am in as I am very sensitive to the details around me. I love to move to new places as it disorients you in a positive way and forces a new perspective. I am really taken with the water and the air in Seattle is distinctly beautiful.

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