Changing your career and taking nine months out of work is something only the brave can do. The uncertainty, the fear and most of all the stress is not something everyone can handle but for Alison Sinclair, it was a necessary step to finding complete happiness in her life.

Between the years of 1997-2000, Sinclair worked as Scotland’s Education Manager which involved spending most of her time traveling between Edinburgh and London’s Dome and this is when her relationship with MSL started. At the time, Maggie was also working at the Dome but when the Dome project ended, the job’s held by both Alison and Maggie also ended.

During Alison’s nine month recuperation period, which was spent deciding her next steps for her career, Alison fell in love with the numerous dilapidated cottages scattered across the landscape. It was always a life long dream to buy these cottages and restore them to their former glory along with her partner Neil who works in construction. From this moment onwards, Alison has been based in Northern Scotland working on converting two barns/cottages a year and in total has worked on twenty projects so far.

The change in career has ignited a positive energy inside Alison herself and the people she works with. The excitement that comes from turning a wreck of a cottage into a thing of beauty has no limit and has proven to be the driving force of the business. Like in any business, there have been challenges that need to be overcome the main one for Alison being gaining the trust and respect from the men on the building site. Coming from education and turning up on site wearing red lipstick and red nail varnish is just not the done thing.

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This feminine, stylish side to Alison is personified through her treasured item of clothing. Her luxurious Burberry coat was bought as a gift from her partner and is just so perfectly made that it has become a prized possession. It is almost too nice to wear out and sadly spends most of it’s time in the wardrobe waiting for it’s next outing.

When asked for her one piece of advice, she replied ‘Go for it-don’t set any barriers, look outside the box and be ready to take on new challenges.’ It is exactly this ethos that has made her not just a successful business woman but also an inspirational figure.

Grace Molan


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