Meet Ali from Ali's Papers

Meet Ali from Ali's Papers

Meet Ali from Ali's Papers

We have been lucky enough to have known the amazing Alessia, or Ali, for a few years now.  Ali is one of the most positive and hardworking people you could meet, always championing other small businesses and always looking at ways in which she can further add to her book binding skills.  We are also lucky enough to host some of her workshops and thought it was about time that we featured her on her blog and give you all chance to get to know a bit more about her and her fabulous business, if you don't already know her!


Please can you tell us a little bit about you and your brand?

I'm Alessia, I'm a bookbinder and I'm Italian. I've moved to the UK 8 years ago after living in South Africa, France and Italy. We've settled in Leighton Buzzard with my family, it was then I decided to come back to my passion, bookbinding.

I fell in love with bookbinding at a young age with my father's stories about his childhood binding books with his Grandpa in the family's loft in Sicily. I've then studied in Italy and the UK and bookbinding became a part of me. I found my own way to transform raw materials to make bespoke keepsakes and unique daily use products.

My logo take inspiration from a sign that in high school, when I was studying Art and conservation of the books, I used to mark my works/drawings with. A round part, is the center of something that is coming in or out depending of the directions of the two external lines, in a continue exchange.

'Ali' is a short name that my best friend was use to call me at high school, when the love of the bookbinding started. 

'Paper' is because I love the use of this material, the tactile experience and all the different types that is possible to find and use obtaining so many different results.

Please can you tell us about your inspiration for your business?

I had this idea when I was 18, to start a business that could make useful products for your daily use that would be beautiful and elegant in your hands.

I love to create products to keep your memories in bespoke goods made only for you, unique in design, material and personalisation.

What is the ethos behind your brand?

I use materials from local manufacturers, I reuse or recycle a lot of my materials and I don't produce massively so I don't have too many products stuck in the studio unwanted.

I prefer to make bespoke products to make only what is really needed, with care and attention to details.

What is the most enjoyable thing about your business?

See a product from raw materials take shapes and be used to make your life more beautiful when you have in your hands.

When I do workshops, it's so satisfying watch the students happy about what they created with their hands. It's such a fulfilling feeling seeing another person becoming happy by what you've just taught him/her.

What are your top tips for anyone wanting to start their own creative business? 

Be patient with yourself, set goals and make one little step at a time, be happy and continue to enjoy what you do. And when will happen that is a ' bad day' think of what you wanted to achieve at the beginning and watch you how far you've come.

And also, surround yourself with people that cheer for you and you can talk with freely.

How do you get yourself out of any creative slumps?

I take a break, could be a workout, walking, cooking, cleaning the house, go for a coffee/drink with friends, go to museums/exhibitions, or if I'm lucky go for a trip. Basically do everything else, I won't be at the bench at first then I'll go back and plan and try the ideas and input I got from the break. 

What songs feature most on your playlist for when you are working? 

When I have to produce a lot of pieces I play Jazz music, it gives me the right flow to concentrate only on my hands and keep the World outside of the studio.

Otherwise I can listen to podcast or pop music.

What is next for your business?  

I want to let more people know what I do with all the different aspects of my business: wedding, memory books, workshops for kids, teens, adults and corporate, and branding products. To create more bespoke products and to expand the knowledge and the joy of this craft.

I'm also working and studying to create design bookbinders books at the moment, to enable me elevate my works to an higher level.


To find out even more about the lovely Ali, her stunning products and the workshops she is holding at The.Work.Shop, check out her website here.