Since the invention of her unique range of decorative Chalk Paint™ in 1990, Annie Sloan has been going from strength to strength. She has authored over 25 books, boasts a range of more than 35 paint colours & is regarded as one of the leading decorative paint specialists in the world.
Today I would love to tell you about her brand new colour called ‘Lem Lem’ – a soft green.
A Colour With A Big Heart
This hue is inspired by the gorgeous white fields of alliums that Annie personally discovered during a visit to south-east Ethiopia.
The field belonged to a co-operative of women farmers, funded by Oxfam, who were realising their potential after being provided with loans to buy decent seeds & good irrigation systems. The alliums represented money & freedom. One woman with four children under nine had made enough money to buy a house, cow, ox, a TV (its arrival promoted a party in the village), schooling, and – unprecedented for a woman in this part of Ethiopia – a bank account of her own.
“What I love is when you look at the allium head from the region the overall impression is white, but then you realise there is green underneath & green on the petals… I asked one of the women farmers, ‘what does green mean to you?’ & she immediately said, ‘Growth’ & I thought that was fantastic. I feel that ‘Lem Lem’ is representative of my business – a celebration of the idea of female ambition, will & talent. I have visited an awful lot of smarty-pants places all over the world, & stayed in very nice hotels, but those women in Ethiopia is what life is really about. People who are farming, doing things, dreams being fulfilled,” says Annie.
Annie subsequently formed a partnership with Oxfam for their 75th anniversary & so ‘Lem Lem’ was born. A percentage of the sale of every liter pot sold will go to the charity to support Oxfam’s work & Annie Sloan hopes to raise £250,000 over three years.
The collaboration with Oxfam is the first time Annie Sloan has worked with a charity on this scale. “I just thought it would be wonderful to help. I feel very connected to Oxfam. They are based in Oxford like us & approached me to ask if I would like to do something with paint & the idea flowed from there. I am delighted to support the charity, it was very humbling to see first-hand how people [in Ethiopia] are suffering amid the worst drought in 30 years on my visit.”
‘Lem Lem’ Chalk Paint™ is now available at all Annie Sloan stockists here in sunny South Africa at R250 per litre.
So, do you love or loathe Lem Lem? I love what it represents, but the actual colour is not really me.