LIFE, BEAUTY, STYLE + BABY

20 Questions with Ally {Now That's Pretty} !

Thursday, August 01, 2013

This feature has been on the cards for a while now and I was lucky enough to interview this lovely lady for the first ever 20 Question's sector on the blog! 
Meet Ally Ebdon. A nineteen year old linguistics student at university, sewing spectacular, creator and owner of blog Now That's Pretty! If you haven't yet heard of her blog, you need to get over there a.s.a.p. Continue reading to find out a little bit more about Miss. Ebdon and Now that's pretty!
 
1. What encouraged you to start Now That's Pretty?
"I love making things! I genuinely believe that making things and crafting your own little space for yourself really makes you feel good. A couple of years ago I was so wrapped up in school and taking exams that I was finding it hard to really appreciate day to day life so I set myself a mission to create something pretty as often as I could. In January I started recording this in the hope that others would be encouraged to make something pretty as well and hey presto! Now that's pretty was born!"
 
2. Where do you draw your daily inspiration from?
"I am a pinterest addict! I also love looking at things designers have done and creating a slight twist on them. I also like looking through interiors magazines and blogs and imagining what I would do with the space; that usually sparks a couple of projects. I think the main thing to do with inspiration is just to keep your eyes open to the world around you. There are so many things to draw inspirations from, even if just the colour or the shape of something attracts you that can inspire a totally different project."  
 
3. Are you a very determined person? For example once you grab a hold of an idea do you need to get it made asap or can you relax and make in say a few weeks time?
"Yeah, I am crazy determined! In some ways this is a really good quality because as soon as I come up with blog ideas I have to get them all shot and finished and before I know it I've got weeks worth of material to work with! However in some ways it can set me back a little; at the moment I'm juggling running a business, a blog, writing a sewing eBook and studying at uni so jumping from one project to another isn't necessarily helpful!"
 
4. What made you create/open the Ukulele Workshop? & tell us a little bit about it!
"I am so proud of the Ukulele workshop! I started playing the Ukulele last year mainly because it just looked really cute. After a while I was progressing and I decided to invest in a second uke, but I wanted something super patterned and pretty! No matter where I looked I just couldn't find a cute girly ukulele and it really confused me; surely there was a market for the cutest instrument in the world to be a little bit cuter? I started experimenting with various decorating techniques and after a while developed a really great way of applying patterns to the instruments. I started selling on etsy a few months ago and it has been a crazy success! A couple of weeks ago I got invited to work with Not On The Highstreet and will be working with them this year on a Christmas catalogue. On top of that I am also working with retailers to develop specific ranges that should hit the shops in time for Christmas. It's all very exciting and totally unexpected!"
 
5.What's been your favourite project that you've created so far?
"Oh my goodness I have so many. My cat ear bowler hat was probably my first big project. It always gets me a little bit of attention when I wear it and it was sort of my first big break into the blogosphere. I do really love my pineapple lamp though and I'm so excited to be working on project to decorate our new house.
 
6. What's your favourite DIY item of clothing/accessory that you've made?
"That is really tricky! I think my favourite dresses I have made are my toucan dress and my lobster dress. I love hand painting fabric and these two both have my own designs on them so they are real treasures in my collection. I'm currently working on a green dress with little skunks on though which is sure to become a firm favourite (skunks are my favourite animal...what?...they're cute!).
 
7. Do you have any words of wisdom for those who are looking at starting their own DIY blog?
"I think the main thing is to be really honest about what you want to achieve with your blog. I find it very confusing that people seem to shy away from saying "I really want to be the next big thing and make my blog into a business!" because frankly I find that really impressive when people know what they want. DIY blogs are great and some of my favourite are blogs which are simply for fun and so are relaxed and open with their posting. However if you want to be a professional blogger you need to be professional; that means regular posting and great content before you're even making any money from it. It's seriously hard to keep up the momentum at first but eventually you will be left with the coolest job ever so keep up with it!"
 
8. You clearly love colour! But which is your favourite?
"Yellow is my favourite colour but it changes pretty often. I recently bought a big black wrought iron bed for the new house and sprayed it this beautiful sunny yellow and I just love how it looks. I think my favourite way to use colour is things in rainbow order. I remember one of the things I used to be when I was little was put my pens in colour order and it was so therapeutic! I guess it's just stuck!"
 
9. Name the 5 most important things in your life:
1) My boyfriend and my family is really important to me. They are home. They provide such a strong and supportive base for me and you really need that if you're going to leap out and go on crazy entrepreneur missions!
2) My environment. It's really important to me that my space is happy and light. I find it so hard to work in places that are dark and undecorated; it just zaps my creativity. 
3) I love Disney! I adore anything fairy tale and Disney does that to utter perfection. I never intend to grow up and so Disney is the perfect antidote to that!
4) Creating things! I just love using my hands. I left my computer and my craft stuff at home on my last holiday (by accident!). It drove me insane!
5) Maple syrup pancakes have a pretty special place in my heart. 
 
10. How much of your own personal style do you think goes into your projects?
"I hope a lot! Almost everything I make you can find displayed in my house or hanging in my wardrobe so I don't really make anything that I don't adore.
 
11. What're you're most played songs on your Ipod/mp3/laptop?
"Oh no! I was dreading this question. I'm one of those really weird people who don't really care about music. When I'm on the move or making stuff I often have podcasts or audio books in the background. Having said that I will never turn down the opportunity to belt out a Disney classic; I think my neighbours must know the Tangled soundtrack by heart now.
 
12.We know that you are a very talented young lady, but do you have any hidden talents/party tricks?
"Aww thank you! I was a royal ballet dancer in my early teens so I was pretty snazzy at that and have been left crazy flexible. I also used to have a little catering business selling French macaroons; they were damn good! Oh and I'm a real language nerd. Like seriously.
 
13. Night owl or early bird?
"It changes every couple of years! I used to be a real night owl but I think I'm much more of an early bird now. I generally wake at 8am-ish and if I sleep beyond 10am I start feeling like I'm wasting the day. That may just be a product of having early uni starts though."  
 
14. If you could be any animal, which would it be and why?
"After observing my cats for a good few years and the luxurious lifestyle they lead I would have to say I would be a cat. Admittedly my life would not be that different as a cat. Maybe a few more naps."
 
15. Cat lady or dog person?
"I think I'm a cat lady. I have two cats (Riley Roo cat and Tom Kitten) and I love their silly sassy characters. Having said that though I love specific dogs just as much as I love cats in general. I have a dog called Elphie who is a Leonberger; they're bred to look like lions and so she's just this huge fluffy maned animal that just pads around the house being gorgeous.
 
16. Did you ever think your blog would obtain the response/following that it has?
"Certainly not in the time it has! I am extremely grateful to every single person who follows or reads my blog. There's something so wonderful about getting comments from strangers because you know there is no social pressure to say nice things; they're just saying nice things to be nice! It's been so exciting working with other really big bloggers as well like Studio DIY, Scathingly Brilliant and Paper&Stitch. I'm really excited to see where my blog will take me next!"
 
17. You like to travel? Where has been your favourite place to travel to?
"I really love travelling. I study linguistics at Uni and so I'm constantly learning languages and snippets of languages and I just want to use them all! I've always loved France and have been fluent for a while so I always feel really comfortable visiting there. I'm currently saving for a trip to Paris next spring. Last year me and my boyfriend did a big Europe trip where we went round all around, it was so wonderful. I think one of my favourite cities was Vienna. It is just so totally stunning there and all the buildings are so elegant. We can't wait to return! I also spent a tonne of my childhood in Florida and so, although it feels more like going home than travelling, I really love visiting the States.
 
18. Is there anywhere that you haven't travelled to that you'd like to in the near future? 
"I've never visited Asia. I've been learning Japanese for a couple of years now and so I think I wouldn't find it too intimidating. It's just saving up for that plane ticket!"
 
19  What do you aim to achieve in the future with your blog?
"Next year is a big year for Now That's Pretty and I'm so excited about launching loads of new projects. Hopefully I'm going to be introducing a sponsorship option, I first started by advertising my blog on bigger blogs so it's really important to me that I can do this for people just starting out. I'm also developing two eBook series'; one on blogging and one on sewing. I'm also negotiating some contributor positions on other blogs. It's all very exciting to watch it grow!"
 
20. Any up coming projects you can tell us about?
"Oh if you insist! Over the next couple of months we're really concentrating on finishing renovations to our house and so most of my projects are house based. I'm building a fab dressing up area at the moment which I am soooo in love with. Oh and we're converting our spare room into a vintage style cinema room. It's going to be amazing!"
 
Once again, Thank you Ally for taking your time to work with me! I already can't wait to see what you do next!
 
You can catch ally's blog here, follow her here, visit her uke shop here and read her tweets here
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