Shop the Show Q&A with Annette Joseph
This summer, we’re partnering with several of our Shop the Show alumni from past seasons to discuss essential finds for today’s new, home-oriented lifestyles from brands you can shop at Atlanta Market. Over the coming weeks, join us for useful tips from fellow retailers and designers on how to adjust in these challenging times, inspirational creative projects, and strategies designed to move the home industry ahead to the future.
Annette Joseph is a nationally known lifestyle expert and author of the newly released book, Italy is my Boyfriend, as well as previous titles Cocktail Italiano and Picture Perfect Parties. Named one of The Salonniere's 100 Best Party Hosts, Annette’s work has been featured in countless magazines and cookbooks, and she is a regular lifestyle contributor and entertaining expert on the Today Show, Better Mornings, and Martha Stewart Sirius Radio. Annette splits her time between Atlanta, Georgia, and Tuscany, Italy, where she and her husband restored a medieval fortress, La Fortezza, where they host workshops throughout the year. Read on to hear more from Annette on what she’s been up to since Shop the Show, how she’s been adjusting to recent challenges, and how she stays inspired!
How She’s Been Keeping Busy
“I think that dogs are going to be the heroes of all this once it’s over. We are lucky we live outside the city, so we can walk on our street everyday with the pups. I am fairly busy writing and testing recipes for my next cookbook, La Fortezza Cookbook, about the food and local products we enjoy in the beautiful home we own in Tuscany.”
How She’s Finding Inspiration and Fostering Creativity in Others
“I think slowing down is a good thing. I have a weekly aperitivo with friends from all over the globe, all creatives. We are all in this together so we are sharing stories and making each other laugh. Creativity is a state of mind, this is a great time to tap into new hobbies or amp up your existing hobbies.”
Annette’s new book, Italy is My Boyfriend, was just released. What She Loves Most About Italy
“This is a tough question. But if I had to just name one, I think it’s the kindness of the people in our region. We live in a rural area and I love all the folks I encounter everyday, they are always friendly, helpful and kind, and they have a great sense of humor.”
Annette’s Top Homemade Comfort Foods
- Pasta (“We have been making and eating a ton!”)
Annette’s Kitchen Essentials
- Good set of knives
- Cast iron skillet and a Dutch oven
- Nonstick pans
- Digital thermometer
- Wire “spider” strainer is a must
- Parchment paper
How She’s Making Dinner a Stress-Free Family Event
“Now is the best time, because we have so much time to plan and to cook. Take your time cooking and don’t rush, your recipes will come out better...and include the kids. Lots of great opportunities for lessons while cooking with kids, like math and vocabulary. My kids cook and I believe it’s the best gift you can give your children, the ability to feed themselves.”
Annette’s Go-To Picks For a Beautiful Table at Home
“I love table linens, I use them even for just the two of us right now. It’s like putting on a dress these days and some makeup in quarantine, it makes things special.”
- Charcuterie platter (“I love mine from etúHOME!”)
Simple Comforts or Luxury?
“I am a basics person, I love simplicity. This is a time to embrace that simplicity.”
Her Advice to Designers and Retailers
“With the bad comes the good. This is the perfect time to reinvent yourself. I think that at the end of all this we will have different ways of doing business: better ways, more creative ways. The lessons we are learning now may be painful, but it will result in a better way forward. I spoke at the Mart in January on thinking about an online presence, branding and how to engage customers and clients. In retrospect, it seems like it was perfect timing as it’s so relevant right now.”
Her Thoughts on Where We’re Headed Next
“Strangely, as anxious as people are to get back to normal, I think they will cherish this time for themselves. I believe that they will look on these days fondly. I really do.”
Where is it Now? - A Past Favorite Item from Shop the Show
My John Robshaw bedding, loving it now more than ever (we are taking many more naps)!