Allison Allan, a Kiwi now living in London, is the one handed crafter and inspiring designer behind the children’s wear brand MINI A, a collection of beautiful and practical baby and toddler wear, individually designed and made by her and her team of sewers.

Having, studied Design in New Zealand and as the daughter and grand­daughter of two talented seamstresses, a love for clothes and fashion design have been in her blood for as long as she can remember.

The collection of light but warm and cosy tops, quirky leggings, hats, booties and her trademark personalised bodysuits are made from New Zealand merino wool, organic cotton and cotton with a focus on sustainability as well as environmentally and ethical friendly manufacturing. The fabrics are also recyclable and biodegradable.

Her dream has always been to create her very own fashion label, but this dream was put on hold after Allison’s life took a turn for the worst in 2009, shortly after arriving in London. At the age of 25 she suffered a major stroke, leaving her in an induced coma for four weeks. When she woke she was unable to use the right side of her body and was unable to talk. Over the course of the next three years Allison had to learn how to walk, talk and communicate again.

However, her creative streak was very much still alive, giving her focus and drive. This in turn helped to push her forward, allowing her to pursue and ultimately fulfill her dream despite her stroke at such a young age. Through relentless hard work she has taught herself to sew using only her left hand and successfully launched MINI A, demonstrating no obstacle is too great.

Allison hopes her story will help inspire other young stroke victims and she is currently working with the Stroke Association to help raise more awareness about strokes.