New Studio & conversation's in business. The rising & the falling.

A meeting with an industry friend on Friday got me thinking. Some of the conversation's I value most are from my friends that also run their own businesses. There can be a lot of gloss and sparkle hiding cracks that make you feel like your business is not swimming as smoothly as those around you, but the realities are so different. If you read Phil Knight's 'Shoe Dog' you will see that this is still relevant regardless of business size! I value open and honest business conversations with these friends so much. Some have risen, some have fallen, and most have done both. I am a bit of an over-sharer in this vain as I believe it is so important to voice the true opportunities and challenges within business. I think it may be my nurturing qualities. I struggle with bravado and pretence in the business world, and lean towards the transparent and collaborative approach. It is more efficient and makes business much more enjoyable and useful. 

Almost 2 years ago now we moved from our home in South East London to East Kent. From the bustle of city life to a tranquil village equidistant from the wrap around coastline from Folkstone to Margate. It was a bit 'spur of the moment' but we both had ties to this area, craved a bit more nature, and it felt like the right time to consider the next phase of life with both the family and with work. A large draw was the house we found. It was / is a PROJECT, which to a creative who likes working with tools, is like a carrot on a string! One big draw that cemented the decision was a neglected second space in the garden that could (one day) be our studio. As a mother the idea of a minimal commute and an onsite space to enable flexible work hours by day or night, is something I cherish enormously. Since the start of AMT we have always been within 15 minutes of home and it saves a lot of time (that precious commodity).

Alice Made This | Rennovation The decision was made and the move happened fast. Within 4 weeks everything had changed. It seemed that no one else wanted a project as stupid as this, haha. You may remember the Yard Sale we had that was a celebration of clearing up our studio and moving to pastures new, unearthing the treasures and samples that was ten years of business. 
Fast forward 2 years this May and I definitely underestimated the size of the project. Having embraced DIY as we have built a life together, Ed and I do not shy away from literally doing it ourselves, but the house was a mess (think raining in the house a lot) and as a business women I made sure to negotiate the cost of repairs into the sale of the house - think re-roof, re-wire, re-plumb. The rest however was up to us. Smashing, salvaging, skimming, sanding, skirting, styling... Our roles are clear. Ed is destruction and I am construction. It actually works well in a project like this!
The cliché is real! I had utopian views of a beautifully finished family home with an adjoining studio and manicured garden within about 12 months ... LOL. Last time I went about this type of project I had 1 baby and the beginnings of AMT. Now three kids & a 12 year old business ... TIME IS PRECIOUS.
Alice Made This | Studio revamp | Brief
SO - After living in a static van for 11 months (both studio and home) we moved out of the garden and into our home on Saturday (liveable not done). The second day of spring and we had a spring in our step. And now it is on to the studio. For a number of reasons out of our control there will be another year at least, before the studio will be done to the way we would like, but we desperately need a space to spread and experiment in. Struggling for time I am challenging myself to do a quick spruce to make it functional and fun. A space that is a joy to be in and one that can inspire me to create. A bit of a canvas...
Rather than the Instagram vs Reality before and after pics, I thought you could come on the journey of the studio revamp with me! Hopefully this will be a bit of fun for you, but mainly it forces me to commit to anything I tell you here about it. And with this I share my studio revamp brief with you below.


  • Turn the studio space into a temporary LAB space.
  • Have a space for AMT to be able to experiment in.
  • Make the space appealing to work in.
  • Make the space as bright as possible.
  • Make the space functional for all the creative aspects of the business.
  • Make the space safe.
  • Try to do this using a maximum of 48hours. This can be over the course of a few weeks.  
  • Do this using only materials and items we already have. Any additional items must re-used, second hand and free of charge. (I confess I have bought some Led workshop lighting as no power in the space).
  • Be Responsible. 


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