WOMEN IN STYLE | Allison Bellinger

We love featuring women we admire and this month's Woman in Style feature is the talented Allison Bellinger from AK Bellinger Gallery located in Inverell, NSW.
Allison Bellinger with paintings

What is it that you love about rural Australia?

I grew up in the central west of NSW before attending school and university in Sydney, where I studied law. I spent years working in law firms in Sydney and overseas before marrying in 2002 and relocating to live on our farm north of Inverell. I love many aspects of rural Australia. The landscape and space I never take for granted. I love living close to nature and I love my children growing up with a deep understanding of how things are in the natural world. Our farm is a nature paradise with so many species of native animals & birds. 

Another aspect of living in rural Australia that I cherish, is the people who also work & reside in these regions. I marvel at the creativity of the people who make careers & businesses with limited resources. It would be remiss of me to not mention my enjoyment of the iconic characters of the bush. The people who live in remote environments often have rich characters and a fabulous sense of humour. My husband and I discuss their hilarity often, relaying the stories of our shearer’s, workmen & others who cross our paths. 

AKB Gallery is a beautiful Gallery in Inverell. Where did the idea start?

I had been working alongside my husband on our farm before having my children. About 8 years ago, I started mulling over ideas about opening a business in town. It had to work in with my family & farm commitments. I have always had a love of art & aesthetics and had some great contacts who were artists. Vanessa Stockard agreed to give me the first exhibition which was a sell out.

The opening night was packed out with people flowing out into the street. The support from the town was overwhelming. Since that time Vanessa has hung in the Archibald Prize 3 times and the Gallery has gone from strength to strength. I show work by some of Australia’s best known contemporary artists and I sell all over the world. The Gallery has a very large online following. 

Allison Bellinger with paintings

What advice would you give other women who are looking to start their own business in regional rural areas?

I would stay just start. Find your passion, find your people and start. Consider your ‘brand’, your ethos, your goals. Steer in these directions at all times where possible. I would encourage women to be courageous and determined in these objectives.

Ask yourself the question, ‘Who said you couldn’t do it?’, mostly your answer would be ‘Nobody’. 

How would you describe your style?

I have always loved fashion & clothing. I dream of being bold & outlandish but I always seem to come back to the classics. I love jeans! They are my favourite wardrobe staple and I would wear them most days. I love fine prints in natural fabrics; silk shirts & jeans for most work days in the Gallery, Cotton shirts & jeans for home. I love clothing that is well cut & dare I say it, practical. 

Tell us, why you love what you are wearing from Goondiwindi cotton?

I love the fact that the articles are a practical yet timeless staple. I will always resort to wearing clothing along these lines because they work for me & my lifestyle. I love the natural fabrics and quality and I absolutely love supporting a rural & regional business.

 

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