When I was developing the concept for This Little Space of Mine the feeling I wanted to put across more than anything was inspiration. We can be inspired by all kinds of different things and each of us will be inspired differently. Interviewing Allison from The People Shop is something I’ve wanted to do since day one; having met Allison at Blogtacular in May it confirmed that she was the most optimistic and happy person I’ve ever met. Plus she gives amazing hugs and always has the biggest smile on her face.
So who is Allison? Allison runs The People Shop in Birmingham with her husband Mr C. They sell a gorgeous collection of clothing, gifts and home accessories – mostly designed and made by this creative duo.
So grab a cup of tea, find out more and be inspired by Allison’s world. Allison – I’m delighted to have you here.
What does a typical day in Allison’s world look like?
There really isn’t a ‘typical’ day for me as my work involves so many different jobs and so each day is a little different which I love! I usually start my day with a lovely cup of peppermint tea which I have while checking all of my emails and social media stuff. I may pop a lovely image on Instagram to say good morning to my lovely followers!
Then depending what has landed in my inbox the morning is spent catching up with those before I head to my shop for a couple of hours working there with my gorgeous husband Mr C! I may have orders to ship out, or deliveries arriving which I have to display nicely around the store, this is one of my favourite parts of my work, I LOVE making everything look beautiful. Sometimes I spend a couple of hours styling a new window display, or designing a new dress with Mr C, or I might be making a new collection of cushions or having a nice chat with my customers (over tea and cake!).
Then sometimes I may work from my craft room at home, writing and styling tutorials for magazines or organising props for a styling shoot or display, or I maybe prepping for a workshop or teaching. There is never a quiet moment, my days are always busy and I wouldn’t want it any other way!
There is never a quiet moment, my days are always busy and I wouldn’t want it any other way!
What’s the idea behind The People Shop? How did you come up with the concept?
We decided to open The People shop because there were no other independent stores in Birmingham at that time offering what we wanted to sell, a lifestyle concept combining our love of fashion, interiors and accessories. We also needed a retail space to sell our collection and a studio space to create our designs that worked together. We have created a space that works beautifully for both.
Owning a business must keep you busy; how do you keep yourself calm in stressful moments?
I’m a real homebody so down time is always spent at ‘home’ with my gorgeous little family, Mr C, my best boy Milo and best girl lil Miss. We like to snuggle up on the sofa watching some trash TV and eating popcorn, or we cook lovely food and dance around the kitchen! or if its holiday time, then we pack up our things and head to Cornwall for the ultimate relaxing time out. Mr C is also very good at keeping me feeling nice and calm, he always knows exactly what I need at just the right time and If I’m having a meltdown he’s always there to cuddle me through it! All of these things and a nice chilled glass of Prosecco works every time!
Tell us more about ‘Make it Sewcial’; where did the idea come from?
Make It Sewcial is a hashtag that I created through Instagram. I started it to Inspire and motivate crafters and makers to connect and to create a community of like minded people who love all things independent and handmade. It works like an online craft social club, with followers sharing their work and ideas, inspiring each other, chatting and making lovely connections. It now has nearly 10,000 posts in the gallery from makers worldwide
I started it (Make it Sewcial) to Inspire and motivate crafters and makers to connect and to create a community of like minded people who love all things independent and handmade.
How do you find inspiration for your makes, home and business?
I am inspired by everything around me; fashion, interiors, music, food and people. I love watching the world go by and finding inspiration in everyday things. I create everything I do straight from the heart and soul and always stay true to the things I love that mean something to me. I love my work to reflect my personality, that makes me feel good and happy!
What’s the key to a happy life for you?
The key to a happy life to me… is 100 % keeping it real, doing the things that you love, your way! with mr C and my lovely kids by my side of course.
If you weren’t the owner of The People Shop what do you think you’d be doing with yourself?
I started my business when I was just 17 years old (25 years ago…. sshh, don’t tell anyone, I’m getting old!) so I really can’t imagine doing anything else, being my own boss is in my bones, I really couldn’t do anything else, I’ve run market stalls in Birmingham and London and sold my designs to several shops up and down the country before opening The People shop 15 years ago. I love it and enjoy being a bricks and mortar shop owner every day, its a huge part of my life. There will always be a People shop! Me and Mr C wouldn’t have it any other way!
The key to a happy life to me… is 100 % keeping it real, doing the things that you love, your way!
To anyone reading this and wanting to start a business, what’s the one piece of advice you’d offer them?
Throw your whole self into it with all of your passions and every inch of your heart and make it a lifestyle choice because you will need to love, live and breathe life into your business 24/7 to make it work
What does the next few months hold for The People Shop?
Christmas, Christmas and more Christmas until we close for a well deserved break on Christmas eve!
And finally, who would you invite to your famous person dinner party (dead or alive)?
Minnie and Mickey mouse!
So there you go – what an inspiration she is. If I could be half as happy as Allison I’d be more rounded and optimistic lady. I hope you’ve loved this read as much as I have.
I’m on the lookout for more independent creative folk to interview, so if there’s anyone you’d love to read more about let me know.
Have a great Thursday!