Creative business mentoring... January 15 2016

Hello lovelies! did you know that I do one to one business mentoring sessions for creatives?... well if you didn't, read on... 


I've been doing them for a few years now and places seem to be booking up faster and faster as more and more creatives turn away from the structure of a 9 to 5 day job in favour of the freedom of going it alone.

These one to one mentoring sessions are invaluable if you want to concentrate on a particular area of your business or if you're a start up and want to know where to begin, as you don't have to share your precious time with anyone else - whilst a busy workshop with lots of people can be inspiring too, it can be much more productive to focus all of the attention on 'you' and 'your' creative venture.

So what can you expect from a one to one session?...
Well it's definitely nothing like any other 'traditional' business type mentoring session you may have seen before, if you already follow me on social media, you'll know I'm seriously passionate about a 'do it your way' creative lifestyle and that absolutely includes the way I do business too. There are no hard and fast rules or magic formula to getting this stuff right, but I truly believe that if you follow your heart and soul and rely on your intuition to guide you (it's trying to tell you stuff for a reason, listen to it) then you'll be a very happy bunny! Go one step further and apply this guidance to your work too and you'll be absolutely winning. It certainly works for me.

Ok. Enough of the philosophy. Back to the session.
They usually go something like this - crafter, maker, wannabe business owner drops me an email asking for help, we make a date, I make tea and cake and then we meet up and chat about all things business related, like branding, social media, selling, marketing, pricing, planning, etc etc or whatever they need to talk about... in a nutshell, all of the things you need to know about being your own boss.

I've got over 20 years worth of business experience packed under my belt so no topic is too big or small.

Then, after all the talking and the brainstorming and sharing of ideas - the crafter, maker, wannabe business owner leaves with a belly full of cake and a head full of inspiration ready to take on the world. All sorted.

Sound exciting?... Well if you're sitting at your kitchen table or you've just finished another long day at the office and you're dreaming of doing something else and taking your creativity to the next level, then do it, do it now, make a start and send me that email, invest in yourself and let's make 2016 awesome together.

Sessions are charged at a 2 hourly rate - you can find out more about them here or drop me an email at 

Look forward to seeing you soon lovelies
Allison x


The People shop Christmas window... 2015 December 06 2015


This is my 16th Christmas window at the People shop ... I know, how crazy is that, time sure does fly in the world of independent business! I can't believe I've done so many and every one so different from the last.

There's been bright ones, pure white ones, vintage style and neon! traditional red and white with reindeers and a sledge and a 50's style display complete with a cardboard cut out Elvis and a jukebox! Oh and we've even had a real fire - well if you can picture a TV playing a cackling fire DVD with a brick fire surround, you'll come close to realising just how much thought and effort goes into every single display. 

This year it's a simple 'cosy' Christmas story... 



Think full on cosiness, comforting and rich, with tons of greenery, eucalyptus ... always eucalyptus, foliage and pine branches, old wooden crates, enamel buckets filled with dried fruit, copper stars, baskets and brown paper parcels all tied up with string. Oh.. and that dress, lovingly designed and stitched in-between installing the window. Mr C always makes something special for the Christmas display (usually a one off) but this year, we're spoiling you ... we ordered some extra fabric (we're getting good at this) specially for you, so you can get one in-store and online too. 



Teehee, I almost forgot to tell you about the fairy lights?... all 600 of them (it's the only time of the year me and Mr C come close to falling out!) well you know what a sucker I am for details ... well 'every single one of those 600 fairy lights had to be hung just so and let's just say Mr C is far more comfortable sitting behind a sewing machine than he is stood on top of a ladder after a long 12 hour day!

And then when I told him we had some festoon lights to hang outside too... (I may have been pushing my luck just a wee bit) anyway, it was a happy ending, 6 hours later, the window was complete and it looks fabulous don't you think! and Mr C is an absolute angel face for always being so patient with me! 



Each year, seeing my vision come to life is a really good feeling, I've been planning it for such a long time, it's lovely when it finally comes together. I think this might be my favourite one yet, then again I think I might say that every year! Hope you like it and it puts you in a happy and festive mood! 

love and best wishes for now

Allison x x x 





Homemaker magazine... August 17 2015

Whoop Whoop! hello lovelies! 

Me and Mr C are so pleased to be featured in this month's Homemaker magazine ( issue 35 ) its a really inspiring mag, full to the brim of lots of crafty handmade projects and great ideas for creating gorgeous goodies for your home too. 



Look... here we are! How gorgeous is this?.. two whole pages about the things that inspire us, the story behind our business and life as creative owners of the People shop. Oh and there's lots of pretty pictures for you to enjoy too! Swoon. 



So if you haven't discovered Homemaker magazine yet, now's the time to give it a read (yep .. another lovely crafty mag to add to the list!) we hope you like our story and if you want to read the full interview, head on over to the Homemaker blog for some more Sadler loveliness! 

big love for now

Allison x x x 




How to style your brand... by Fiona Humberstone May 19 2015

Hello lovelies!

I'm so happy you've joined me for my first ever book review, especially as I've been looking forward to this one for sometime! Can you imagine my joy when I got an email from the lovely lady herself asking me to be a part of the official 'blog book tour' thrilled, happy and excited is an understatement!



I was lucky enough to meet Fiona at an event in London last year and instantly fell in love with her work, passion and enthusiasm for creative business. I've been a fan ever since and an avid reader of her beautiful blog too, It's always so exciting when her newsletter lands in my inbox as I can guarantee she will be sharing something special that never fails to inspire me.

I think it's worth noting here that with countless online resources available at our finger tips such as Instagram, Pinterest, twitter and a wealth of pretty blogs all actively fuelling our imagination, It can be difficult to find the time to sit and read a book, well my lovely friends, I suggest you put your phones down, turn your computers off, pop the kettle on and make the time for this one, it will absolutely be worth it ... and here's why... 



The language is so simple... 

This is a bestselling book about business that doesn't use fancy jargon and big words that you won't understand, there are no hard and fast rules to frighten you off before you've begun and the narrative is easy going and flows at a lovely pace to take you on a creative journey that suits you. I love that you can dip in and out of the chapters to enjoy the content that works best for the different stages of your business, after all, I believe its about enjoying the process as much as the end result, I'm so glad Fiona agrees too! 



The visuals are pleasing...  

It's no surprise that I'm attracted as much by the visuals as I am the content as I'm sure most of you will be too, and the gorgeous pictures in this book won't disappoint you. Unfussy, uncluttered, clean and calm, the imagery instantly makes you feel at home and comfortable when you flick through the pages. The colour palette is soft and reassuring and the photography will 'inspire' you without dictating how 'your' story should look. It's a very clever book that manages to give you all of the beautiful details without overwhelming you, leaving enough room for you to have the freedom to explore your own ideas too. Yup ... it does all of these magical things and more! 

The message and ethos... 

are very clear, through sharing her wealth of knowledge and years of experience working with brands all over the world, Fiona helps you to unravel your thoughts .. to find the focus to fulfil your inspirational vision, while providing you with the tools and clarity to create a beautiful brand that is distinctively you. An ethos I share and have lived by throughout my 20 plus years of running my own creative business and a message I promote and encourage my readers to live by too. 



My favourite bits...

Would it be ok if I said "all of it" seriously, I've looked through this book several times and there really isn't anything I don't like about it, and after all these years of being my own boss, I'm not easily impressed by your average run of the mill business books, but this one is different, It has an energy running through it that will ignite your creativity, spark your entrepreneurial senses and fire up your passion ready to take your game plan to a whole new level. 



I guess if I had to pick just one real highlight it would be the 'Colour Psychology' your secret weapon, as a lady who lives and loves a very colourful lifestyle this section resonates with me the most (It has nothing to do with wearing certain colours that suit your skin tone, shudder shudder, thats not my bag at all) its much more about telling your story using colour to reflect your personality. In fact Fiona runs a workshop all about this and one day I'm going to take some time out, just for me and I'm going to spoil myself and book a place! I love how you can use colour emotionally to set a mood and tone, so this is definitely an area I would like to explore some more. 



One more teaser you say?... Oh, go on then, I love 'styling it up' too! in this section you'll find essential tips to help make your brand look polished and professional and there are also good examples from small business owners showing you how they've achieved amazing results too. its the perfect finish to a pretty awesome book.

I could go on and on sharing all of the best bits, but if I've whet your appetite with these tempting teasers or you're thinking of starting up a new blog or venture or you just simply want to breathe a new lease of life into an already existing business, then this is the book for you.



I hope you've enjoyed reading my first book review as much as I've enjoyed writing it, if you want to follow the rest of the blog tour this week then head on over to We are Branch Weds 20th for the next instalment or you can buy a copy here 

And finally to say a big thank you to a very inspirational lady for inviting me to share her work here, I feel very honoured to be a part of the tour for a book thats currently a number one best seller! Congratulations Fiona! 

big love

Allison x 




curating an online collection... March 21 2015

Hello lovelies!

Just a little teaser of what you can look forward to from our new online collection, launching next week. Eek! 



Curating our collection is a huge job, it takes weeks and weeks of planning and organising, especially if you have to design and make the clothing first like me and mr C do! we've been super busy doing all of these things as well as sourcing lots of gorgeous goodies to sell in our online store. I think we are 'finally' getting there...



Yesterday the sun shone especially for us and we spent the whole day photographing this lovely girl... a whole lotta pictures later and we are ready to edit all of the beautiful things to share with you guys next week. Hope you're as excited as we are!

big love for now 

Allison x x x 



growing an online audience... March 19 2015

On Tuesday night I was invited by Amy Rozel Martin to talk about social media at BOM Lab - Birmingham Open Media, it's a new creative space for art, technology and science.  

The drop in sessions are part of a series of how to's for young people pursuing creative careers. 

The Bom Lab opened a few months ago and it was my very first visit, I loved the open space, the light and the relaxed atmosphere, the exposed pipes, untreated woodwork and minimal furnishings added to the industrious look and laid back vibe of the place. Its the perfect venue for artists, tech types, photographers, illustrators and anyone interested in doing their creative thing to hang out. 

I got to hang out with these guys and share a few top tips on how to build your online audience.

As you well know, social media has become a big part of my life, so its no surprise that I could have talked about it all night... I had 20 minutes, I managed it in just under 40 :) not too bad.

In this blog post I wanted to share my top 5 tips on how you can make social media work for you too, here goes... I hope you find them useful.  

FIND YOUR COMFORT ZONE you cannot be master of them all - some will feel nicer and easier than others and thats ok, take the time to pick your plot, plant your seeds, water them regularly, talk to them from time to time and watch your followers grow at a strong healthy pace from the roots right up to the blossoming flowers reaching for the beautiful sunshine, (blimey, not sure where that came from, who knew I could be so poetic!) anyways, back to it :) enjoy the place that suits you best and feels the most natural, that way It shouldn't feel like too much of a chore to nurture it often. 

CONSIDER IT WORK and make time for it in your daily schedule, unless of course you're mostly online to chat to friends or play candy crush, then you can please yourself! but if you want to take it seriously and you want to build a following for work or networking purposes, then you will need to dedicate some time to it to do it well. Oh, and don't feel guilty, who knows what opportunities are waiting for you after that next tweet. 

BE CONSISTENT and share the same story on ALL platforms (not literally because that would just be boring) but remember that whatever message you are sending out, be sure to give it some continuity so that it flows smoothly and seamlessly through ALL channels, there is no point doing a wonderful job of sharing all the pretty pics over on Instagram if you are constantly moaning about the price of petrol and bad mouthing Aunty Brenda over on Facebook. That absolutely will not do, your followers are always watching you remember! 

MAKE GENUINE CONNECTIONS with the right people. Ok. If you were stood in a crowded room, you wouldn't click with everybody now would you? you wouldn't have time to have meaningful conversation with all the people and you wouldn't want to because it wouldn't be lovely and nice, so why try and do it online... use your precious time to connect with the people you care about, its so much nicer than networking for networking sake and in return, hopefully you will be rewarded with some long lasting honest relationships. 

SHOW THEM SOME LOVE and keep them coming back for more. If someone takes the time to follow you, like you, leave you lovely comments then its up to you to make them feel special, for goodness sake TALK TO THEM, unless you're Madonna or there is absolutely no excuse for ignoring people. I know its impossible to reply to every single solitary comment especially as your numbers grow, but all I'm saying is try your absolute best to respond. Its called 'social' media for a reason. 

And finally, this isn't in my top 5 btw, but just a reminder to enjoy it and have fun, if you're having a good time, it will show and those followers will come flocking by the dozen!

big love for now
Allison x x x 

Make it business... April 04 2014

I am so excited about this workshop I could literally SCREAM... there, I just did it! I've been planning, prettying and perfecting it for such a long time and finally it is ready! My ultimate biggest and bestest workshop EVER 'Make it business' (aghhhhhhhhh I'm screaming again!)  

If you want to turn your hobby or passion into the best job EVER then pull up a seat! this workshop has been created specially for you. And if you just adore pretty things and fancy an inspirational day that will fill you right up to the top with big smiles then come on in!  



So what exactly is this 'Make it business' I'm screaming about?... Well its all of the gorgeousness you see me sharing on my blog and IG and twitter accounts everyday but I'm gonna be sharing tons more stuff than that my sweet lovelies, yes siree, ultimate means exactly that. I'm gonna be sharing a massive 20 odd years worth of gorgeous business experience with you guys! Stuff like how I did and made it work and how you can do it too! Wooo hooo how amazing and exciting is that?

I know, I know, the first thing you're thinking is 1) she doesn't look anywhere near old enough (I started my own business when I was just seventeen) and 2) blimey, she's a generous kinda gal! And yes my darlings you'd be absolutely right on both accounts!



I don't feel a day over 21, well maybe 30 on a good day ;) and where exactly have those 20 years gone so quickly?... they must be buried under a mountain of fabric somewhere, because I've been far too busy enjoying my little self to notice them whizzing by. Well I didn't enjoy the credit crunch very much (yuck) but thats a whole nother story I'll save for another day! Lets keep on talking about the lovely stuff.



Ok, here are the highlights of what you can look forward to at the 'Make it business'  workshop

  • you get to spend a whole day at the happiest shop in the world People (with me!) and the lovely Mr C will probably be around too
  • make it pretty - we talk product and design
  • make it you - branding and finding your niche
  • make it gorgeous - styling your story
  • make it pay - selling your work
  • make it social - online presence
  • make it happen - follow your dreams 
  • making you hungry?.... a delicious lunch from our local French pattisserie plus afternoon tea and cakes are all provided for you to enjoy on the day 

WOW good stuff huh... see why I'm a little bit excited?.. hope you are too :)



And that my lovelies is how we will be spending our time together, now you're probably keen to know just how much an amazing day like this is gonna cost you?.. well don't worry my pretties, I've given this lots of thought too. You get 20 odd years worth of experience from a girly whose lived and breathed every single stitch of running her own successful business, had her work featured in several magazines, spoken at conferences, been a crafty workshop host for the past 5 years and seriously gives the best hugs! (anyway, enough of me bigging myself up now, you get the idea!) Sold yet?.. hope so. It could be the most valuable business decision you've ever made (and won't cost you much more than the price of a pretty new frock!)




Wether you're thinking of making and selling handmade or your heart is yearning to set up your own shop, or could it be you need to shake your business up a little with some fresh ideas, then book your place today, It will be worth it and more. I've packed so much loveliness into this workshop, I promise that by the end of the day you will be buzzing with inspiration and excitement right through to the core of your lovely little creative souls, all ready to take your lovely business ideas to the next level! 

Tempted now? Put Sunday 22th June in your diaries.. then book your ticket here in the online store.

Look forward to seeing you soon

Allison x x x


We love our little shop... March 15 2014

For a little indie shop like ours the start of the New year is always a little slow... and then we hit March, the beginning of Spring and the days are suddenly brighter and longer, the sun is shining and everything looks really pretty and colourful, especially The People shop!



Well, if i'm honest, the People shop always looks pretty and colourful whatever the weather is doing outside, we wouldn't have it any other way! 

New stock is arriving daily so we are busy unwrapping parcels packed with gorgeous goodies, me and mr C are designing and making the new Summer collection of clothing and home wares, using only the prettiest fabrics and the famous pink bike is once again taking pride of place in the window surrounded by lovely pom poms, flowers and treats.

We love our little shop heaps and heaps and heaps and pottering about in it, til the wee small hours of the morning (which is often how we spend our Friday nights... so rock and roll!) making it look beautiful and getting it all dressed up for the weekends is the best thing ever! We hope you love it too?.. 

Come and say "hi" if you're passing... it would be really lovely to meet you! :) 

Allison and Mr C x x 


Selina Lake came to visit... eeek! February 06 2014

See these gorgeous books?... well they just happen to be three of my most favourite home interior books ever! by my favourite stylist the gorgeous and super lovely Selina Lake

Selina is a freelance lifestyle and interior stylist who lives in London and works for countless magazines as well as being the author of four top selling books. I totally adore her work.



Yep, Bazaar style, Homespun style and Pretty Pastel style, capture everything I LOVE about interiors and home styling beautifully... perfect pages of happy home ideas, homespun handmade loveliness and exciting colours pop from every single gorgeous page, mix this up with a collection of vintage furniture, modern pieces, craft and customisation and you have three of the most exciting, inspiring interior books ever.

If you haven't got them already then put them straight at the top of your wish list, I promise you won't be disappointed and I'm sure you will love reading them again and again just as much as I do! You've probably already noticed theres one book missing ... Romantic style, but I do have a birthday coming up next week and i'm hoping a certain Mr C has taken the hint and will be completing the collection for me!




And look, this is me and Selina! Yes lovelies, Selina came to visit The People shop at the weekend... wooo hooo, how totally amazing is that?! I was pretty blown away, we've been talking about meeting up for quite sometime and on Saturday it finally happened HOOORAYYY! 

We talked about everything gorgeous and obviously our love of pretty things and homes and how much we loved colour and couldn't live without it... we talked about crafting and workshops and all sorts of lovely things, it was ACE! 

And the best bit was Selina absolutely loved our little shop 'heaps and heaps and heaps' I'm so chuffed and happy I've been floating on cloud 9 ever since! Its not every day a girl meets her favourite stylist! In fact we were both so excited about our love of all things gorgeous, I think we maybe meeting up again sometime soon.... Eeeek, exciting, watch this space folks!

Until then, you can look forward to Selina's new book 'Outdoor Styling' coming out in March...which as the name suggests is full of lovely sweet Spring/Summer styling tips and ideas, I cannot wait for this one, roll on sunshine!

Thanks so so much Selina for coming to visit, loving what we do and for sharing The People shop love :) xx

Big love, see you again soon

Allison x x x

happy Christmas from The People shop December 24 2013

Wishing you all a happy Christmas filled with love and joy... lots of handmade goodies and of course a mince pie and glass or two of port! And a huge big thank you to all our lovely customers who cant to visit us at our lovely little shop!


Big thanks to those of you who joined us for crafting and cocktails at the Sewcial club and congratulations to those of you that used a sewing machine for the first time even when you thought you couldn't!

And finally big thanks for always believing in what we do at The People shop and for showing us so much love and support in 2013... we heart you all

looking forward to another year filled with handmade goodies, workshops and happy days!

Big love from

Allison and Christian x x 

no 50 poplar road... November 09 2013

Love this so much... wanted to share it here.

Look it's no 50 poplar road in Kings Heath, Birmingham in 1961, once a cute little cobblers stitching up shoes, repairing leather soles and tapping pins into new heels! An independent business where people would pop along for a friendly service and a nice chat.




Some 52 years later and no' 50 is now the People shop *home of handmade loveliness* where we have been the owners for the past 14 years.

Still a lovely, lively independent business that boasts the 'only' original shop front in the street, complete with pretty stained glass windows.

We still offer a good old fashioned service of the sort where every person that passes through the little front door is greeted with a big hello and a smile, there's no rushing or self service tills bleeping at you... and we are 'always' up for a nice chat, about the weather (somethings never change!) or conversations about how lovely it is to see people sewing again 'just like the good old days' and all this very often served up with tea n cake too!




We love our little shop and we are very proud of the fact that at People the stitching and sewing is still happening all these years later, of course the shoes have been replaced with pretty dresses but we are happy keeping traditions alive 'just like the good old days!

thanks to @brumpic on twitter for sharing the black and white image above too.


big love 

Allison  x x x




lovely clothing for lovely people... October 26 2013

if like me you wake up in the morning and the first thing that pops into your head is 'what am I going to wear today... well that and I'd love a bacon sandwich and a peppermint tea, then the People shop is the perfect place for you!

we design and make lovely clothing that real women love to wear. 



each season we carefully choose the softest jersey fabrics and just the right colour palette, then Mr C scribbles the ideas into his sketch book and from there we stitch up a clothing collection that works beautifully together. We have made it our business to perfect every design.

We like to think that whatever your shape and size, whatever your age and lifestyle we promise we can dress you in something that suits who you are and makes you feel happy.

So when you roll over in the morning and your looking for that big comfy oversized dress of the season *with pockets* yep... we love pockets around here, or a stripy, spotty or floral number to throw on with your jeans, we've got all of that wrapped up and ready to go!

Or is it a more classic vintage style dress for wearing to afternoon tea?.. we do that too. Do you want the ultimate black pencil skirt that fits properly and no it definitely does not show your lumps and bumps.. we've got that all sorted.

Or maybe it's our classic batwing top, we've been selling this style for years and it goes like hot cakes every time, layer it up with a jersey cowl scarf and you've got yourself a People shop winning combination!



We love making clothes that you don't have to think about, clothing that is simple and stylish and good enough to wear every day whatever you're up to.

Seriously, our clothing is that good you will wonder what you 'ever' wore before.

I could go on and on about the People label all day (its tried and tested by 100's of lovely ladies!) but I reckon you ought'a try it for yourself... I promise you'll be smitten.

Let me know what you pop in your basket or send me pics of you living in your new best dress!

Big Saturday love folks, I'm off to slip into a little easy going jersey number!

Allison x x x

posting parcels of loveliness... October 21 2013

Goodness me, is one week old already!... And wow what a first week it's been.

You guys sure were keen to get your mitts on a little piece of handmade loveliness!





We've been super busy stitching up cushions, making up dresses and picking lots of other lovely goodies off our shelves ready to package up and pop in the post. Pretty parcels have been landing on the doorsteps in London, Ireland, and even france too! How nice is that?!...

"Finally we get to share the People shop magic a little further a field than Birmingham town! There's just so much gorgeousness to choose from all made with lots of love and care by me & mr C"


Hope you're gonna be treating yourself to something special soon :)

big love for now 

Allison x x x 


welcome to People online! October 11 2013

Ok. So over the past 3 weeks we have given the People shop a shiny new makeover, remember that? 7 days, 138 hours...  and several tins of paint?  Yep, in just one week we completely transformed the space and made our cute little shop even more beautiful than ever.

Then before we could sit back, pat ourselves on the back and say "my oh my didn't we do well" we immediately started work building ourselves a fancy smancy new website!  (well we've been making the lovely new products and taking pretty pictures ... the super duper gorgeous and amazingly talented byebyebirdie did all the really tricky techy, design and building stuff!)



And here it is folks.. Mr Christian and his dresses, me and my blog, the online shop full to the brim of handmade loveliness... the designing, the making, the stitching... the workshops all of the creative gorgeousness wrapped up in one big beautiful place!

We are soooo excited and happy we really hope you love it as much as we do.

Big love
Allison and Christian x x x

People Shop Re-Opening Party! September 20 2013

You've probably spotted that things have been a little quiet lately on the blogging and sewcial club front ... well that's because the amazing Mr Christian and I have been working like kerrrazzzy on a whole new People shop collection; clothing, jewellry, home.  The lot!

We've even given our gorgeous little shop a complete new look.  Inside and out.  And guess what?! We're launching it all this Saturday.  Woo hoo!!

The People Shop Re-opening Party * 10am-5pm * Saturday 21st September



So if you're local, pop down to the People Shop - 50 Poplar Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 7AG (see map as bottom of post!) from 10am for fizz, fun and a whole heap of handmade loveliness.


Don't worry if you're not local, you can follow all the loveliness via our  twitter & instagram tweets and pics (@allison_sadler_ & @mrchristian71). 

And in the next few weeks the fabulous new People Online shop will be launching and we'll be shipping worldwide so you never need miss out again!! 

Right, I'm off to pimp up some poms and string up the bunting - I gotta a big party to get on!!

love love love!

people shop map.jpg

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