Chatting Independent: Fantale Fans

Fantale Fans, born by Creative Director Anna Louise-Taylor, arrived onto the Bristol scene with more than a bit of a flourish earlier this month. With eye-catching designs that beg for an impromptu photoshoot; these fans are more than just a tool to keep the body temperature down, they are a fashion statement.

As a raver, I strongly believe that if you aren’t drenched with sweat by the end of the night you haven’t been partying properly. Which is why when I first saw the Fantale designs having bumped into the fabulous Anna-Louise at 25A Old Market (great coffee by the way!) I had to get one for myself!

I sat down with Anna-Louise to talk Fantale and what advice she’d give to independent business newbies…

Hello lovely lady! So first off, what inspired you to start Fantale?

I’ve always loved raving, fancy dress, international travel and festivals. I’ve always wanted my own creative business too! I’ve been using fans for years as way to cool down when out and about, and feel fabulous and glamorous using them. I grew up in New Zealand and Fantails are beautiful native birds there – and as I have been a journalist and love visual storytelling it seemed fitting to marry the things I love together as a play on words.

The silk material is absolutely divine and really adds to the fans aesthetic, why did you pick it?

Silk was the only option to achieve the glamourous textured finish I wanted and allow the double-sided printing of my designs – one of their unique features.

I adore the designs, all of them are so fierce! Is there there a story behind them? 

Thank you! I was really inspired by fun, cheekiness, sassy and sophisticated brands. I don’t take life too seriously and wanted people to have a product that was a bit cheeky and different. I approached Chris Cummings, now the creative director at Maya agency in Bristol, to do the designs a few years ago after seeing his work and loving his “Colouryum” prints. As the project has been on the backburner for a while, it has taken a few years to get the designs out there. We originally started with nine but ended up launching with four. They’re really fun.

They really are – I think they might turn into a ‘complete the set’ obsession! What advice would you give others looking to start their own business?

It doesn’t seem real until you start having tangible milestones and moments. A product is easier to quantify than a service. But every bit of work you do towards it that people don’t see counts! I couldn’t believe I actually was making my dream a reality until I got a website and my stock arrived. I’d been talking about it for years. And then I did it, but it took some major life changes for me to start. It’s not easy, and there’s a lot of sacrifices, frustrations, hard work behind the scenes, late nights, early starts, and things you don’t know how to do. You just have to keep believing in yourself and accepting help and support when you need it.
Find a mentor, find people who believe in you, and inspire you, find inspiration wherever you can and a way of life and balance that works for you.

Get them while they’re in stock at Fantale and make sure you keep your eye on them – my ma’s already stolen mine!!

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