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Alison's got something to spout about

Crockery queen becomes export champion for selling china to China

Written by . Published on November 13th 2014.

Alison's got something to spout about

ALISON Appleton doesn’t send tea to China, but the next best thing … teapots.

The ceramics designer from Liverpool was raising a cup of special brew today after learning that the stunning ceramic crockery she ships to China has earned her the title of an Export Champion.

The accolade has come from the UK Government’s official export agency, UK Trade and Investment who said Alison was just their cup of tea.

Alison will now work with the government trade body to help more companies onto the export ladder. 

The artist turned enrtrepreneur established her ceramic design business in 1998, working from home. Her creations were an immediate hit with top UK stores such as Marks and Spencer, John Lewis and Harrods.

 Then her fortunes changed again when she travelled to one of the world’s biggest business showcases, China’s Canton Fair.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 At 14.55.32The Golden Carp set designed for the Chinese market

Now a fifth of what she produces at her studio in Liverpool’s Jamaica Street is exported to the east of China, where China’s biggest homeware stores are based.

And she is now looking into setting up tea shops of her own there.

Alison said: "Many designers visit the Canton Fair and buyers choose a range of products and put their own brand on them.  I have a degree in printed textiles and worked as a surface designer, creating patters for ceramics, but subsequently I trained in mold-making and began to experiment with creating my own shapes and brought out my own ranges.”

Alison’s ceramics range from the traditional Darcy collection, inspired by nature and reminiscent of the Regency period when men and women first started to drink tea together, to the Golden Carp collection, inspired by the Chinoiserie decorative arts movement from eighteenth century Paris. 

The latter was created with the Chinese market in mind and features carp – a symbol of good fortune in China - swimming among lotus flowers.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 At 14.25.54Alison is the Government trade and industry department's  cup of tea

Alison brings the total number of Export Champions to 60 for 2015, joining other new Merseyside champions Halewood International, Cataclean, Arup, United Automation and Alex Stewart Agriculture, as well as existing Merseyside Champions ATG Access, Chargepoint Technology, Clarke Energy, Glen Dimplex, Innospec Limited and Inciner8.

Alison believes that there is no place in Britain for the third-rate teabag (though she is partial to a drop of builders’ brew on occasion) and that wherever possible, your teapot should always match your dress.

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