September 21, 2012
designer ali shaw
Sometimes when you need something for your home, and you can't quite find it, an idea might pop into your head for a business. For Ali Shaw, and her husband Ryan, they took it one step further. They decided to start producing homewares. White Horse Home is the name of their company, and they have recently released a range of locally made cushions and wall wares. Candles and other treats are on their way.
Which five words best describe you? After a bit of self-reflection - and then asking my husband: wife, mama, loyal, perfectionist, generous.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I began my career worlds away from homewares - as a trained preschool teacher, then private nanny. My husband, who runs a product sourcing company and has a background in fashion design, and I share a love for interiors and good design. Homewares was something that we always wanted to do. When we moved into our first home we started filling it with things we'd created, and before long decided to turn it into a business.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Still early days, there's so much ahead for us to learn. But I would say I've learnt it's better to ask stupid questions than to make stupid mistakes.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Seeing our products in peoples' homes will never ever grow old. It's a small thing, but powerful all the same for me. Since starting, we've received some great feedback from people in the industry who we really admire, so that has been a great encouragement to grow our little range into something bigger.
What’s been your best decision? Professionally: to quit my day job.
Who inspires you? Anyone who takes a risk and isn't scared to think outside the box. Thankfully, a lot of our close friends fit into this category.
What are you passionate about? So many things. But most of all, our little family. We have a beautiful two year old daughter, Luxe. She makes every day so much fun.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I’d really like to meet Richard Branson. I admire his relaxed attitude to business, and how he’s committed to making his ideas happen. His books are a good read.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? So many dreams but one is to move to the country. As much as we love the city, to build a home and studio on a nice big farm (near the coast) is a dream we're working towards. In the meantime, drawing house plans and regularly fleeing down south keeps a smile on our faces.
What are you reading? Gee. Well it's terribly intellectual: a mix of Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy and Angelina Ballerina. These are Luxe's two favourite books. And even though I can just about recite them both entirely, I wouldn't have it any other way!
images courtesy of white horse home