When I first came across Lizzie Allen's wallpaper designs I loved them straight away. They remind me of my English childhood yet they also have one foot firmly in the world of today. When I learnt a little more about her, and the fact that she had worked for Osborne & Little as well as Paul Smith, it made perfect sense. While her designs aren't yet sold in Australia, they are available via Netti & Gee in New Zealand. Or you can contact Lizzie via her website to find a stockist.
Which five words best describe you? I got my twin sister to answer this one: "Friendly, loving, fun, passionate, reliable."
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? Working as a print designer for Anthea Davies Print Design Studio in Kensington, London. Same industry but set up my own business 1.5 years after graduating from Printed Textiles at Winchester School of Art.
What’s your proudest achievement? Setting up and running my own business. Business skills aren't really taught at schools and uni in the design world, it's an experience thing and most of it you have to pick up along the way. I'm learning all the time. If you had told me 10 years ago when I was in the middle of completing my A levels, I would be running my own wallpaper business in 10 years time, I probably wouldn't have believed you!
What’s been your best decision? For quite an indecisive person, my best decision was choosing to do the Next Move Scheme with the Crafts Council… this helped me set up my business.
Who inspires you? William Morris (“do not have anything in your home you believe not to be beautiful”), Robin and Lucienne Day, Orla Kiely, David Attenborough, my family, and lots of people I have met along the way! Much of my inspiration also comes from travelling and experiencing different cultures and places.
What are you passionate about? Travelling, the 50s era, music and film, design in all forms, the Impressionist movement, social anthropology... my husband (cheesy, I know, but it's true!).
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? This is a tough one... there are many! For business - I think all these things are important - to take every opportunity that comes your way; to be positive, pro-active and a little bit persistent; be flexible and versatile.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Jesus. Also David Attenborough would be a great person to have to tea.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Business wise - Orla Kiely's ethos and where she has got to is a dream for me, but I know to get there takes time. On a personal level - I would love to go to Machu Pichu on the Inca trail in Peru, or stay on a ranch and work the horses in the Rocky Mountains.
What are you reading? Coming to the end of reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer– I’m a sucker for science fiction!
images courtesy of lizzie allen