When Alison Morrish was made redundant she saw it as an opportunity – and now she’s going to appear on national TV.
Redundancy gave the 49-year-old the chance to go back to upholstery which she’d last done 23 years before.
Alison set up her own business and her bold and bright prints on handmade furniture and home furnishings will be featured on BBC One’s Make It at Market at 4.30pm on Monday, December 4 and then available on iPlayer.
Make It at Market showcases the journey of budding entrepreneurs in the crafting world and Alison has always been good at crafts, working as a manager designing fancy dress costumes until redundancy in 2019.
She said: “I felt a bit down and my happy place was doing upholstery so I did a course to increase my skills and got into upcycling furniture.”
Alison did the course at the Manorhouse School of Upholstery in Almondbury and then founded her business, Alison Morrish Creative, in 2021 which she runs from home in Scissett.
Her husband, David, is an embroidery artist who was featured on the first series of Make It at Market and Alison decided to digitally manipulate David’s embroidery into print designs.
They are all bespoke and she found a company in Lancashire that could turn them into sustainable fabric made from plastic waste found in the sea and landfill.
Alison’s mentor on the show is upholstery and interior design expert Micaela Sharp who is now also forging a career as a TV presenter.
Alison said: “Micaela helped me with the technical stuff and product lines. I’d never made a headboard before but I made my first one for the programme. Nothing I make is mass produced. In fact, it’s made on my kitchen worktop and done as ecologically as possible with everything made in England.”
In the show, presenter Dom Chinea and his team of business and craft experts guide the participants through transformative challenges, testing their ability to turn their crafting hobbies into a viable full-time business.
The challenges in the series range from creating high volume products to crafting high end bespoke pieces with a premium price tag. The participants also face scrutiny on the profitability of their favourite pieces which for Alison leads to new, exciting product ranges.
Her products now include chairs, cushions, footstools and bed headboards.
Alison and David have an 11-year-old son, Seb, who prefers maths to crafts at the moment.
Alison works part-time at Leeds costume design company Smiffys and also at Calderdale and Kirklees Recovery and Wellbeing College which is based in Mirfield and runs a range of workshops and courses promoting wellbeing and good mental health. Alison teaches craft lessons there.
“This is something very close to my heart,” she said. “I love doing my crafts but it’s clearly a very tough time economically to start a creative business which is why I do other work.”
For more about Alison Morrish Creative go to https://www.alisonmorrishcreative.com/
Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.