Design Awards 2013 - Rising Star


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Photograph courtesy Michigan Design Center

In the current sea of design, Anne Strickland, this year’s rising star, is diving into some pretty creative territories. “I pull pieces with personality — fresh and funky, classic and timeless, old and new —  from sources all over the place,” says the 28-year-old owner of Port Manufacturing & Design.  As for the name, Port,  “We’re a hub of creativity,” Strickland explains, “and a harbor for your interior design needs.”

To create a great space, Strickland will go to websites, shops, gift shows, her sketchpad, markets, you name it. She’s also big on investment pieces that can be passed down to the next generation. “There’s a definite thread through my designs … things are harmonious,” she says.

Strickland works out of her 1934 Cape Cod-style Birmingham home, amid antiques and various finds from her travels. “I like items that tell a story about where we’ve been,” she says. She sprinkles that philosophy  among her clients’ homes, too: “I help them bring out their personality — a house truly becomes a home when there’s an interwoven narrative.”

The high-energy Strickland, a 2003 Cranbrook Schools graduate and Michigan State University alumna, started her company in 2011. “Growing up, I was always aware of what made you comfortable in a space,” she says. She worked in showrooms at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart and then at McCann and Associates, an interior design firm
in Chicago. She moved back to Birmingham in 2008 and worked for Duncan Fuller Interiors before launching Port.

Strickland offers not only interior design services, but also furniture design. “Handmade pieces and details make a difference; they make you look twice,” she says, adding that her furniture is all made in Michigan.

You can see more of what makes Strickland tick on her upbeat blog, portmfg.com/category/blog/. “The blog gives my company a voice … and I enjoy writing, so it’s nice to utilize another avenue of interest.” Perhaps there’s a design book in her future?

                           Photograph (Left) by Kristen Taylor. Photograph (Right) by Kristin Greenwald.
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