The Creative Entrepreneur: Alison Williams

January 26, 2012

Hmmm, where shall I begin with Alison? When we first met I thought she was just a cool mom of two sweet princesses. A mom who managed to look fresh and effortlessly put together. While I, also mother of two, did not!  …


It was quite annoying when I soon learned that there was so much more to Alison. Not only was she a mother with beautifully maintained golden highlights, but also a business owner who wears many hats as a partner, writer, project manager, producer, event coordinator, photo editor, strategic planner, accountant, and to top it all off, has extensive knowledge of HTML! Damn her!!

Seriously, until now, Alison didn’t know that she inspired me to break out of my foggy mom shell. She also helped me realize that I can be a good mom and still go for it. So, thanks Ali! You continue to be a huge source of juju and inspiration for me!

where are you from?
pacific palisades, ca.

what do you do?
i would say i’m a creative entrepreneur. early on i found it difficult to reconcile being creative with making money. i tried to work at jobs i didn’t care about so i could write on the side, but found myself taking on too much responsibility for other people’s work. i realized i wanted more control so i became a business owner, which i discovered i’m good at; but then i didn’t have time to write and be creative. my present business was intentionally designed to allow me to pursue my creative projects while still being relevant and in control financially. having an amazing partner is an integral facet of what makes that possible. any given day might find me project managing a website, writing a press release, working on my script, discussing the weight of a font, deciding between two incredible images, strategizing a brand with a client, and negotiating profit margins.

what don’t you do? seriously, what are the big non-negotiables in your life?
i don’t suffer fools lightly. with two small children and a demanding business, my time is precious to me. i like to get to the point quickly and i don’t have patience for people who are not straightforward and down to earth. that being said, i love people. i am very social, which is why having a purely writerly career is actually hard for me. and i like to think i’m a good listener who will take time for her family, friends and colleagues.

what is your biggest day-to-day challenge?
getting everything done and finding time for myself.

what were you doing ten years ago?
living in an erstwhile artists community with my boyfriend (now husband) a block from the beach, writing and going to births as a homebirth midwife assistant and doula.

you are hosting a ball honoring three inspirational people. who would they be and who would make your gown?
anais nin (for the complexity of love), walter mosley (for creating an honest man), sojourner truth (for fierce courage, intelligence and action). maybe i’d get lucky and laura and kate mulleavy of rodarte would create one of their incredible dresses based on the theme of those three combined people for me to wear.

what are your favorite shops?
brick-and-mortar: tortoise (abbot kinney), spartan (austin, tx), poppy (brentwood)
online: toast, remodelista, bird

where do you find your art?
20×200 or elsewhere online. completely randomly. if i see it and i love it i buy it (unless i can’t afford it, which often is the case!).

what is your favorite piece of jewelry?
a gold necklace with a tiny gold owl charm with teency diamond eyes that my husband bought me for mother’s day. i love owls, how they look and what they represent – and in fact our company logo is an owl.

what is your most delicious kitchen creation?
right now, it’s frozen peas and chicken nuggets from trader joes for my kids. however, i dimly recall i used to have dinner parties where i would make amazing foods like coq au vin and blinis.

who has your dream hair?
my business partner claire cottrell. or zooey deschanel.

cupcake or french fries?
dark chocolate and caramel with sea salt.

what do you collect?
i am not really a collector in that i love beautiful things across the board and really only acquire items i love that i feel will enhance my life. that being said, i am a book hoarder, and have been since i was a kid. i have hundreds, maybe thousands of books that i refuse to give away, that just sit moldering in boxes in my garage. most of them are not even valuable, just paperbacks that i can’t give away.

what question haven’t i asked that you want to answer?
what do you want to be when you grow up? a published writer (my grown-up answer), or, the first woman president of the united states (my childhood answer).