Featured Follower: Lisa Ali and The Creative Revival

Our featured follower series is the chance for us to show you the outstandingly talented members of the #khoollectcommunity. They’re the small businesses, the makers, the digital stars of our community dictated by genuine talent and an interesting story.

This week’s member is the brilliant Lisa, Derbyshire dweller, book-lover and founder of The Creative Revival – a self-employment coaching experience. We caught up with her to find out a little bit more about her and inspiring business.

A little about yourself: 
“My name is Lisa and I’m the owner/ face of The Creative Revival. I live with my fiancé Paul, two house rabbits called Fozzie and Jack and our lovely (and slightly loony) staffy called Bodhi.”

Instagram/Twitter account: 
“This is my Instagram page and my twitter account.”

Website: 
“My website has been a labour of love and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the process of thinking about the pages I want to include, the blog posts I want to publish and the images I want to use, and making all of this a reality, something that I can tell people about and they can see/ read it with their own eyes. I try to take as many images myself as I have a lifelong interest/ passion in photography and it’s been fun to observe my style develop over time.”

Where in the world do you live? 
“I live in Derby in the East Midlands, UK. It’s a small city surrounded by countryside so I get the best of both worlds, and there are so many interesting places to go hiking, walking, and generally being outdoors which is a big plus for this area of the UK. Derby is land-locked (surrounded by Nottingham, Leicestershire, South Yorkshire etc) but we’re only a couple of hours drive away from the coast and London.”

What do you do? 
“The Creative Revival is all about helping those who are at the point of starting their own business, or already have a business but feel they are at a critical junction, looking at the next steps they take and how they expand their business in the areas and ways that they want. Each person is an expert at what they do but sometimes it helps to have someone there alongside you, to see things from a different perspective; not to tell you you’re doing things wrong but to encourage you to think and plan without limits. You’ll be surprised as to what happens when the barriers are lifted!”

“When I started my own self-employment journey all those years ago I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing, so I’ve built up a wealth of experience (positive and negative) in business management, marketing etc, plus I understand how mindset can really be crucial to how you develop over time. And I like to help others in their own processes too; I’m very grateful to meet and work with so many creative, determined and successful people who also give me the push to make things happen in my own business. Self employment is open to everyone but it’s how you get through the good and bad times that is a component part in determining whether you reach your goals and build a lifestyle business you love.”

One place you’d tell people to visit in your city/town? 
“There’s a growing community of independent shops in the Cathedral Quarter part of Derby City which is definitely worth a visit. Have a walk around the area and you’ll notice so many quirky things and places which are far removed from the big name stores and the big shopping mall, you’ll find so many things that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.”

What do you khoollect? 
“I guess it depends on the seasons; at the moment I’m collecting acorns, pine cones and lovely coloured leaves as these work well in my photography. And they can go on my compost heap afterwards so they don’t go to waste!
In terms of generally collecting things, I’m *trying* to follow a minimalist approach so am actually in the process (albeit slowly) to go through all of my possessions and evaluate whether I actually need these any longer. It’s quite therapeutic and I find that a tidy and clearer house paves the ways for clearer thoughts and feeling less cluttered within myself. But one thing I’m struggling to let go off, and I’m not sure I will to be honest, are pictures. I’ve got boxes and boxes of them but I’ll find space for these rather than get rid of them… it must link to my childhood interest in photography (even bad photos are kept!)”

What’s your favourite recipe?   
“I’m the fussiest vegetarian ever (20+ years) and have only just started eating mushrooms about 2 years ago but I’ve found I’m partial to a plate of cheesy mushrooms on granary toast. How this has become one of my favourites after all these years of distancing myself from mushrooms I’ll never know but I’m not complaining!”

What’s your favourite book? 
“Oh my goodness, where to start!? I read A LOT so I’ve got a study full of books that I go back to again and again. I’m a massive Terry Pratchett fan and have every single one of his books so any one of those, although I am particularly partial to the ones about the Witches and Guards in the City. Outside of comedic sci-fi reading, my fiancé bought me a book called Bothie the Polar Dog by Sir Ranulph and Virginia Fiennes a few years ago, as a bit of a jokey present, and I can honestly say I absolutely adore this book. It’s about their Jack Russell called Bothie who accompanied them on their polar travels. It was published in 1984 so it’s fairly old for a book but it’s got pride of place on my bookshelf. The fact that it also links to my fascination about polar exploration and expeditions also helps; I have a deep love for books on Sir Robert Falcon Scott, Shackleton, Hillary etc, all about adventure, mountain climbing and over-coming the odds in extreme situations. I guess you could say I’ve got eclectic tastes!”

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? 
“I’m grateful for all advice that I’ve been given over the years but one that has stuck with me is that no experience is wasted; no matter what your own views are on any situation, you will have learnt at least one thing and this will benefit you in the future. What may seem like a nightmare situation now may actually be the best thing to ever happen to you.”

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Maria Bell

Maria Bell is a photographer and editor from the Isle of Wight. Talk to her about food and/or photog...

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