Due to the 2008 financial crash, it was important to be creating designs that were accessible, both from a practical point of view, but also in how much they cost. The Boxed Collection was a real success for SCP, the pieces retailed well, but more importantly were successful in the wholesale market (selling to other retailers). The smaller pieces in the Boxed Collection allowed design retailers all over the world to test the water with SCP as a brand, before committing to buying some of SCP’s more substantial pieces, such as armchairs, sofas and table systems. Agnes was one of the pieces that proved very successful with other retailers, it was one-piece, required no assembly and was easy to ship in volume. Therefore, in my mind, I have bundled in the Agnes with the rest of the Boxed Collection and with the success associated with it.
However, much to my surprise (despite the fact I was very much present and working with SCP at the time), when I looked into the SCP archive, the truth was the Agnes was actually designed two years previous in 2007, as part of a collection that also featured Donna Wilson’s first every furniture design (the Motley Ottoman), and a number of designs by SCP debutant, Russell Pinch. One of which, the Avery chair, is also still in production today, but now under the Pinch brand. What I realised, was that Agnes (the tall stand alone shelf) and what was originally called Edith (the smaller version), were actually the first pieces to use the new manufacturers, and it was in fact their popularity that emboldened Sheridan to create the Boxed Collection (at a time when a number of design companies and retailers were going to the wall). To quote the American novelist and essayist Joan Didion, “we are the stories we tell ourselves”. In this case, I had told myself, and anyone else that asked, a totally incorrect story about Agnes, one that wrapped the design up as part of a successful collection, rather than the truth that it was the success of the design individually, that prompted the creation of the Boxed Collection itself.