Oops….it’s May already!! Well I did say that I would be busy in the first half of this year didn’t I?!
So what have I been up to?
In December I was signed up by a design agent, Cinnamon Joe Studio where I have been busy since then designing like crazy for them. I’ve had a few sales, but I was really chuffed when I sold a Valentines design to Hallmark a couple of months ago. It really did make me finally feel that I am “good enough” to work alongside other designers within the surface pattern field.
I’ve learnt so much in the past five months. I’ve learnt a lot about colour, working with trends, making my designs better and a lot more detailed, adding texture (to EVERYTHING!) and thinking about the saleability of my designs. I’ve always just designed what I’ve wanted to design, but when you have to design towards a trend/theme, especially a theme you’re not too fond of, then it’s a lot harder!
Next week is the deadline for my first ever big trade show – BluePrint in New York and I am really excited to see how my designs will be received. Wish me luck!
Everyone has been doing this over on IG recently, so I thought I’d join in!
20 things you didn’t know about me (Blimey, 20! – Here goes!)…
1 – I was an aerobics instructor and personal trainer for many, many years and loved it. In fact I’m contemplating going back to it part time!
2 – I am very particular about my tea – it HAS to be Earl Grey and only Twinings Earl Grey. I have to keep an emergency pack in my bag just in case I’m at someones house and they decided to give me Breakfast tea – OMG, just the idea of it!
3 – I’ve just started working in a cafe to get me out of the house and meet people again. (It’s so lonely working from home) and I LOVE it! In fact I’m thinking of doing a Barista course!
4 – I try and exercise daily to keep me sane! I am definitely one of those people who needs a daily serotonin boost or I can get very down – The Black Dog and all that!
5 – I’ve also worked in a travel agency ( I was rubbish!) and as a teaching assistant in a primary school (I was pretty good at that I think) – Just call me Mr. Ben!
Cornwall – My favourite place EVER!
6 – I’ve lived and worked in many countries: Manchester, Loughborough, Milan, Rome, Vienna, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Porto, St. Ives (Cambridgeshire) Melbourne, Sandbach! (I know! How did I end up in exotic Sandbach?!)
7 – My favourite place in the whole world is Cornwall
8 – My dream would be to own a little cafe by the coast….Cornwall obviously!
9 – As well as tea I am also very particular about coffee – it has to be good coffee and extra hot, oh and if the froth isn’t just so, well then it has to be sent back! Be warned all those barristas out there!
10 – I’ve always loved cats and had no time for dogs until we bought our lovely Dougal the Cavapoo six years ago. I am now completely converted and have turned into such a dog lover!
11 – I’m not materialistic at all and I spend all my money on holidays. My husband and I never buy each other Birthday and Christmas gifts as we think it’s a total waste of money. We’d rather put the money towards a family adventure!
12 – I had never been abroad until I was seventeen. At 17 I travelled around Europe with a tent and ruck sack on my back with my first ever boyfriend. I did it again the next year, but to different European destinations….with my second boyfriend! I’ve not stopped travelling since!
13 – I’m originally from Manchester.
14 – I’m a better mum than I thought I would be, and I am very strict!
15 – I learnt to surf on Fistral Beach, Newquay when I was 28 and loved it. I used to go to the same beach every year as a child, where I used to body board on WOODEN BOARDS – I know – how old am I?
TRAVEL!!! – I LOVE IT! I love hill walking and being in the mountains
16 – I think the Aussies are the best people I’ve ever met. “Good on yer Aussies”
17 – It’s VERY hard to make me laugh and most comedians just don’t come close. However I am partial to a little Peter Kaye, Graham Norton and I only have to look a Chevvy Chase and I’m in stitches. I do like a bit of slap stick!
18 – I lived in Melbourne for ten years. My husband, the kids and I are all now dual citizens of the UK and Australia.
19 – Before Ali Benyon Designs, I ran a very sucsessful business called Cheeky Pickle and had my designs in shops all over Australia
20 – I studied art for 7 years in total. A Level for two, Foundation for two (It should have been one, but I was having too much fun with all those boyfriends and needed a second year to actually crack on with some work!) and then a Degree in Textile Design for three years.