Alison Cork is Founder and CEO of Alison at Home interiors. She is an interiors expert and serial entrepreneur, having floated her first company on the London Stock Exchange in 1994. Alison is also an Author, TV Presenter and regular contributor in major publications such as The Evening Standard, The Times & The Daily Telegraph. She is passionate about advocating for women’s rights, is amazingly compassionate and has a fantastic no nonsense approach to tackling big problems.
When did you decide the Founder journey was right for you?
hen I was five years old I collected and polished a collection of conkers from the garden of my Grandmother. I took them to school and persuaded my classmates that these were world-beating conkers and sold them all for a penny each. I realised at that age that I had a skill for selling things and persuading people. At university, I was really stuck for cash as I’d used all my grant money for driving lessons. I remembered my ability to sell things and I saw an opportunity with tourists. I created a brochure called “Good Food In Cambridge”, gave it free to tourists and made money from the restaurants paying for advertising in the brochure.
What else in your character makes you good at what you do?
I’m constantly curious by nature. If someone gives me an answer that isn’t logical, I can’t help but pursue it until I have found the answer. Identifying problems and coming up with solutions is probably at the core of most entrepreneurial activity.
What fundamentally drives you to work so hard?
I remember from a very young age, always wanting to succeed. I think I’m naturally quite competitive but I have to give the majority of the credit to my parents. Another key point is consistency. Do something, keep doing it and don’t give up.