Homegirl London pays homage to Mrs Moore (Mrs Moore’s Vintage Store). Ana Moore is a lover of vintage wares and the English tradition of afternoon tea. From a humble stall at the world famous Portobello antiques market it wasn’t long before Ana was creating her own fine bone china tea sets. Ana’s whimsical Alice in Wonderland collection pays tribute to the illustrations in Lewis Carroll’s famous book and the ultimate tea party. Her eccentric Metamorphosis animal characters will charm you and Harley, the decadent art deco inspired fine bone china coffee set, will delight. With adorable tea cups and saucers, mugs, teapots, milk jugs and sugar bowls you’ll find plenty of pieces to treasure. I caught up with Ana to find out more about Mrs Moore!
Alice in Wonderland Tea Party Set
Meet Mrs Moore
Ana Moore is otherwise known as Mrs Moore from the Vintage Store. She wears many hats – founder, designer and ambassador of her whimsical brand. It all started back in 2005 when Ana worked on the IT help desk for a top notch law firm in the city. While solving computer problems, she’d day dream about fine bone china and afternoon tea! Okay, this won’t seem so strange when I tell you that at the weekends Ana sold vintage tea sets at Portobello antiques market. She elaborates – “I was really lucky to get a stall which I ran from 2009 until 2012. I loved it so much that I decided to make it my full-time career.”
This first-hand experience of selling vintage goods soon developed into a passion to produce her own collection of teaware. It wasn’t long before Ana was creating and curating her own lines. She tells me – “Drawing has always been a passion of mine and I’ve always has a great appreciation for art, illustration and design.”
Ana now works with her husband, she elaborates – “It’s just us two working in the business although we do get help from friends when needed which is good fun with lots of banter and laughter going on despite working long hours. My husband is a jack of all trades; he’s had various jobs from the wine industry to health and safety and was also an antiques dealer. He looks after all the distribution and anything technical. This leaves me to be creative, build relationships with clients and get on top of admin. We’re such a good balance and he’s my biggest critic, his honesty helps push the product to another level!”
Alice in Wonderland Tea Cups and Saucers
Today, Ana’s business is located in a picture perfect village called Chipperfield in Hertfordshire. She tells me – “This is an idyllic place to work and a great environment for family life. I’m still close enough to London for weekend adventures though. I didn’t want to be too far away; after all I’ve lived there since I was a small girl when my parents relocated from Portugal. Although, now we’ve made the move to Hertfordshire, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.”
Mrs Moore Collection
Ana tells me more about her vintage passion which flows through her designs –“I adore anything vintage because it conjures up a lifestyle full of charm in a world of beauty, loveliness and care that I cannot help being drawn to. From well-kept homes and glorious gardens to home baked goods and stylish wardrobes, it was all so wonderful in those bygone days. That’s why I admire the likes of Cath Kidston for her nostalgic and vintage inspired patterns and Vivienne Westwood for her British eccentricity and sense of humour!”
Metamorphosis Tea Set
The three main collections are Alice in Wonderland, Metamorphosis and Harley plus a few greeting cards under the banner of Voyages Extraordinaires. The majority of Ana’s products are tableware focussed – teapots, coffee pots, tea cups and saucers, coffee cups, mugs, milk jugs, sugar bowls, plates and cake stands. There are some additional items available – aprons, tea towels, greeting cards and wall art prints which are all totally adorable.
Alice in Wonderland Tea Towels
Alice in Wonderland Collection: “This has been inspired by the magical novel by Lewis Carroll which was published 150 years ago in 1865. The Illustrations in the book were the work of Sir John Tenniel who was also a graphic humourist and political cartoonist for Punch magazine. My work is an adaptation of Tenniel’s drawings which includes everything from Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee salt and pepper shakers to a Mad Hatter’s tea cup and saucer. It’s all wonderfully whimsical and has the feeling of a bygone era. It’s how the rest of world still views England and the English!”
Alice in Wonderland Collection
Metamorphosis Collection: “This includes six charismatic anamorphic (human like) personas – Cockerel, Kestrel, Owl, Sparrow, Parrot and Cockatiel. These are eccentric looking animals dressed up in Victorian style human clothing which I’ve re-worked from vintage French drawings. I was inspired by my love of the Georgian era and Jane Austen novels for this range.”
Harley Collection: “This is my newest range which has been inspired by my love of Art Deco design and patterns. It’s an exquisite fine bone china coffee set made up of six jewel colours – blue, red, yellow, purple, green and pink. Each coffee cup and saucer has layers of colour beautifully finished with 22kt gold patterned gilding. I love that you can collect a whole set or mix and match the different colours to create your own unique ‘harlequin’ set.”
All the products are made in England to a very high standard. The fine bone china designs have been silk screen printed and decorated by hand in Stoke-on-Trent. These are presented in smart boxes so make perfect gifts.
Buy Mrs Moore Products
If you want a slice of this eccentric and nostalgic world you can buy the products from: Mrs Moore. To give you an idea about prices – teapots are £55-65, tea cups and saucers are £28-29.50, mugs are £16 and the plates are priced £20-28.
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Mrs Moore’s Vintage Store. Thanks: Ana Moore and Simon Midgley.