Jo Burrell, Allium Interiors
Jo Burrell is interior designer, buyer and co-owner of Allium, along with business partner Suzanne Barker. They set up Allium Interiors in May 2000 after the opportunity arose to open a Designers Guild concept store. They both have a passion for Designers Guild fabric and wallpaper, along with interior design experience. Jo has two daughters aged seven and nine. She answers our questions:
As a child I wanted to be a… Kindy or primary schoolteacher. But it's hard enough looking after my own "angels" let alone anyone else's! Childcare teachers are super heroes in my eyes.
I get "me time" … In a nice quiet movie theatre. Watching anything that takes me away from reality. An Italian or French film is usually what I like.
The smartest thing we did with our business was… To go into it with a business partnership that works. You don't know that in the beginning but having back-up for each other to bounce ideas off and make decisions together is invaluable.
My favourite thing about the business is… The customers. Being in business for 11 years with lots of lovely customers who keep coming back is like having friends popping in to visit every day. Oh, and the buying. It's a girl's dream to shop every day.
The most surprising thing I've found while running my own business is... How many customers say that Allium is their favourite shop. They tell me it's so different from anything else around - even customers from overseas. It makes me feel proud and happy that people get enjoyment out of what we do.
My favourite singer in the past six months has been... Adele, for her whole album, along with 34 million other people in the world. She just hits a cord and she is just so real.