MEET THE MAKER – SOPHIE ALLPORT
Sophie Allport is a British homewares and lifestyle brand with over 1,300 stockists internationally. Sophie runs the business with her brother Jem from their head office in Bourne, Lincolnshire. Her designs are inspired by nature and the countryside and range from Pheasants and Foxes to Flamingos, Bees and Birds. To find out more take a look below at our interview with Sophie…
How did it all start?
I have always loved to draw and paint since I was little, so I guess the journey really begins there. After university, I worked as a freelance illustrator in London for many years and was invited to paint at the Country Living Fair in London in 1996, where I had a few of my designs made up into cards to sell on the day! I’d always wanted to run my own business, and so did my brother Jem. In April 2007, we decided to team up to create Sophie Allport Ltd.
The story behind the name…
We thought we’d keep it simple.
Where are you based?
Our HQ is based in Bourne, Lincolnshire, where we have just opened a beautiful new shop with an ‘outlet’ area where all the seconds are half price! We also have a shop on Stamford high street.
What inspires you?
Being surrounded by nature, wildlife and the countryside really inspires me. Of course, my three boys motivate and inspire me daily, keeping me ever so busy. I also really enjoy painting things that I’ve never painted before and love a challenge.
What is your creation process?
My most creative time is when I’m at home, sat at my kitchen table with my dogs at my feet, black pen in hand and watercolours at the ready. It usually starts with a few sketches and goes from there.
What makes you, your brand or products unique?
The brand celebrates all things British wildlife and country lifestyle, and we like to honour the traditional British home with a modern style. Our products are high in quality have timeless, elegant designs and hopefully make people smile.
What is your next project?
Now that would be telling – we are currently finalising the Spring/Summer collection. We have just launched our new Autumn/Winter Collection with Space, Peacocks, Foxes and our festive Home for Christmas and Bubbles & Fizz.
What are your plans for the next 12 months?
I’m very excited about five new designs for Spring 2020 and otherwise we are busy working hard on new designs and products for Autumn/Winter 2020.
What is your biggest achievement?
Opening our first shop on Stamford High Street was a huge moment for us as a business and now we have just opened the new outlet shop at our Head Office in Bourne, this is something we are also really proud of. We couldn’t have done this without the fabulous team behind us, therefore I would say our team in head office and beyond are our greatest achievement.
What is your best-selling product/line?
The Bee collection has always been a best seller, especially our mugs and tea towels.
What do you love about Country Living Fairs?
The atmosphere is really special and it’s lovely to be surrounded by everything country, from the amazing smells of artisanal foods to meeting customers who love the products.
Your three top tips for crafters and makers…
- Keep creating and doing what you love
- Surround yourself by your inspirations
- Stay motivated
Any advice for fledgling businesses…
Be prepared to work hard, keep at it and stay motivated! Along the way you might need to make some sacrifices but stay with it and all your hard work will pay off!