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Welcome New Moda Designer, Alli K

Welcome New Moda Designer, Alli K

Written by: 
Linzee McCray

Author, mural-painter, podcast host, and business coach Alli Koch has yet another title to tack onto her resumé: fabric designer. 

Alli K with fabric smiling

The multi-talented artist’s distinctive work can be found on murals, phone cases, and wedding veils and now on Moda fabrics. Illustrations, a line of quilting cottons, coated cottons, and canvas fabrics features her signature black-and-white florals. “With anything I design, I make it my goal and purpose to create something that I’d put in my own shopping cart or hang in my house,” says Alli. “I want to create something I truly love and that gives me joy.”  

Alli K Illustrations precuts

Illustrations is exactly that. Its black and white palette reflects Alli’s personal style. “People walk into my house and say ‘Oh, you’re so on brand!’” she says. “But the brand is me. I’m a minimalist—my house is decorated with black and white and plants, and I dress in black.” 

Alli says that limiting her palette to two colors might be purely smart or purely lazy—or both. When she was in high school, deciding what to wear every day was stressful and so when she met a friend in college who only wore black, Alli thought “It’s genius! It looks stylish and everything matches!” Over time her own wardrobe evolved to all black clothing (with occasional white accents). “It’s one less thing I have to think about,” she says. 

Alli K quilts and Stitch House

College was also where Alli went to study interior design, but family members expressed skepticism about available jobs so she “chickened out” and switched to business and marketing. “Ironically, I couldn’t get a job in that field,” she says with a laugh. 

Throughout those years, her love of art persisted and she honed her style by painting canvases for her first apartment and as gifts for friends. As friends of those friends saw her work, orders rolled in. The winter holidays brought so many requests for her canvasses that she started thinking this could be a business. “I didn’t have an example growing up of how to run my own business, so I wasn’t sure how to do it,” she says. “But when my husband said ‘It’s a hobby,’ I decided that I was going to prove him wrong!”

Alli K and Stitch House mural

Working from her kitchen table, she created invitations, sign boards, and other decorative items for the wedding industry. Eventually she found a studio on Craigslist and it became a place of beginnings: it was where she painted her first mural and got her first book deal.

My books changed everything for me,” she says. Her first, How to Draw Modern Florals, was published in 2017. “I’d get messages saying ‘I picked up your book and it inspired me to start a business’” says Alli. “In those books I found my purpose—I was put on earth to build confidence in others.” That volume has been followed by five more, including most recently All the Things: How to Draw Books for Kids.

Alli’s not the only author in the family. Her father, Tony Bridwell, a former Chief People Officer and consultant for corporations, has six published books as well. For the past 16 years the father-daughter duo have had a standing Saturday breakfast date, where they talk about the highs and lows of the week and share insights about leadership and life. After appearing together on a radio show, in 2017 they decided to turn their morning chats into the podcast Breakfast with Sis. “My dad is my biggest inspiration and my mentor,” says Alli. “Our conversations have shaped my business into what it is today, and I love sharing that.”

Alli K Illustrations flat fold

When she has a spare minute (and it’s hard to believe she ever does!), you can find her at home with her high school sweetheart and husband, Landon, and their two cats. But whether at work or at rest, Alli’s grateful for the way her life continues to evolve. She says, “Knowing that people all over the world have bought a book or listened to the podcast and been inspired, that keeps me motivated.”

To see Alli's debut collection for Moda - Illustrations.

For more about Alli K, find her on Instagram at @allikdesign or visit her website at www.allikdesign.com. (All photos by @alyssacatesstudio.)

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