Shannon's Story - AllyBeth Design Co

What inspired the name of your business? 
AllyBeth Design Co actually originated as a combination of a good friend’s first name (Allison), and my middle name (Beth)! My friend Allison and I both got married in the same summer, and made nearly everything for each of our weddings. It was a busy summer, we learned a ton about woodworking and decor and essentially AllyBeth was born as a way for us to keep the fun of designing + creating going. We have evolved as a company so much from those early days in 2014, and although my friend stepped down from the company in 2015 to pursue her career and raise her family, I knew we had to keep the name as part of our origin story!


What is the story behind why you started your business?
Owning a creative company has been something I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember. While other kids in middle school were joining clubs, and hanging with friends, I was taking craft classes at the local community centre and scrapbooking classes at the local paper supply store. I’ll never forget the first time I took a paper crafting class, and used a ruler before gluing every single piece of paper down. The teacher chuckled at me and my determination to make even a craft perfect, but I think it’s just something in my personality that I take everything just a little too far. I’d like to think I’ve roped it in a little bit since then, but my dream to make a living being a maker has taken me down such a wonderful path, and I’m so glad I’ve stuck with it.



What is your dream for your business? 
Right now, AllyBeth Design Co consists of me and a handful of incredibly wonderful helpers (who also happen to be family members). It is my dream that someday, we will have our own little studio and production space with a full time employee, a handful of shops carrying our products across Canada, and to be a brand that people turn to when they need a thoughtful, encouraging and uplifting gift for that special someone in their life. We strive to make pieces that speak to people and that make them feel loved and cared for when they receive them as gifts. There is something so special about receiving a gift that you know was picked especially for you, and we want to make that easier for gift givers everywhere <3
 
What are you most proud of about your business? 
There are two main things that I am the most proud of when it comes to AllyBeth. 


1) That I was able to leave my full-time job behind and take on AllyBeth full time in May of 2017. I’ll be coming up on my first full year shortly, and while I still have so much to learn (like better time management!), I cannot believe how much we have grown since then. 

2) That I have somehow managed to do so many things that scare me, almost consistently over the past few years. Whether it’s buying a bunch of boxes, deciding to take my business online and figuring out how to ship things, or ordering the supplies I need in larger and larger quantities, or even just applying (and then getting accepted) to large craft shows that I now need to prepare for. I remember feeling absolutely terrified of each of these things, for weeks before I did them. Looking back, I am so thankful I did, and know I would not be where I am today if I had let my fear get the best of me. 
 
How have you grown as a person as a result of your business? 
To be very honest, I think I have grown, but also gone back a little during this journey too. As someone who struggles with generalized anxiety as well as migraines, I have learned so much about the importance of balance and self care. It wasn’t until after I left my full-time position, that I really realized how little I was taking care of myself. While I have gotten so much better in the past year, the additional stress of owning and managing your own business also tend to bring up so many more challenges along the way! At the end of the day, I’ve grown to realize that I really can rise the challenge, and complete everything that needs to be done, it just might take me a little longer sometimes. I’m learning that that’s ok!
 
What difference does your art make in your life? And your familiy’s life? 
Having this outlet has made all the difference in the world to me and my family! It not only provides me with the best kind of creative outlet (I mean, how lucky am I that I get to create every day!?), but it also allows for freedom and flexibility with my family as well. My husband works out of town, and I am forever grateful that I get to arrange my schedule around when he is gone, and when he is home. I get the option of working longer or shorter days depending on if he’s home - or even a day off if I need it. In terms of my art in my own life, we are planning on purchasing a home this summer, and I cannot wait to be able to create a few larger pieces for our new space that will inspire us both on a daily basis! 



If you could say one thing to the person that buys and/or enjoys your art, what would it be?
Oh my gosh, picking one thing is so hard! I would have to say, above all else, thank you. Thank you for connecting with our products and designs enough to spend your hard earn dollars on them, whether they are going to be for yourself or for someone else. It means the world to me and everyone helping me that you choose to take something we’ve made with our hands and hang it in your home. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 
 
Why do you love being a part of Giving Gifts? 
AllyBeth Design Co is so honoured to be a part of Giving Gifts and Gifting Crates! Lisa’s values and overall goals line up so well with ours that we couldn’t help but be involved! Every time we drop by to do a delivery or visit, we are always  blown away by all of the incredible artists and designers our products are surround by, and the staff are always so welcoming. It is always easy to find that something special when you pop into Giving Gifts, and it doesn’t hurt that they are surrounded by some pretty great restaurants too. We always make an afternoon of it!

Browse Shannon's work here.