I must confess, I love people with genuine smiles – people who ooze energy, positivity and goodness, whose enthusiasm is contagious, and I just want to stay in their aura forever. Elisicia Moore is just such a person, and it is my absolute pleasure to tell you her story.
Elisicia grew up on the West Coast of Canada. Her mother was an interior designer, and Elisicia recalls herself pretending to be sick just to “stay at home and help mum with her work”. At first she did not follow her mother’s footsteps and instead got involved in the social sector, looking after vulnerable people. In 2005 she came to London for a short stay. Feeling restless, she got in touch with Thames Reach, a charity, working to help homeless and jobless people in Britain.
The charity was looking for a decorating manager to teach vulnerable people valuable skills. Elisicia did not realise that in Britain “decorating” meant “painting”, rather than “interior design” and applied for the job… The interview did not go well, but she did not give up. Elisicia called up her would-be boss and said: “Hire me, you won’t regret it.”
Over the next few months, Elisicia was instrumental in helping Thames Reach educate and give practical life skills to many vulnerable people. The initiative was funded by the government, which meant there were targets to hit, and decorating classes did not help to engage women. It was at that point that Elisicia came up with an idea to host interior design workshops, appealing to both men and women.
In 2009 Elisicia launched her social enterprise Petit Miracle Interiors, which creates beautiful bespoke furniture, upcycled from hand-picked salvaged vintage pieces and sold at affordable prices. Elisicia teaches furniture restoration, interior design and basic DIY skills to those needing help to get back into work.
Petit Miracle Interiors is based in West12 Shopping Centre just outside Shepherd’s Bush station. Elisicia’s scouts tell her about furniture pieces, left on the streets of West London, the Job Centre sends unemployed people, who have been out of work for many months. In addition to selling beautiful furniture, they host upcycling workshops, taught by a brilliantly enthusiastic young man, Elisicia helped to start a new life.
I am happy to say that Ladies Who Impress Club did a Saturday workshop with Petit Miracle Interiors – the yellow table I upcycled sold at once! Fear not, I am sticking to the day job, but would encourage everyone to have a go at furniture restoration, if only for therapeutic purposes of having a real sense of achievement, restoring unwanted junk into a beautiful piece.
Every year Petit Miracle Interiors gives valuable 4-week work experience to c.70 people out of work. Only over the period of last 12 months, they have restored 18 tons of furniture. Recently Elisicia launched a new initiative offering beautiful pop-up space for entrepreneurs, looking to retail their products, championing makers and crafters. The retail space is next door to Petit Miracle Interiors, so if you are interested to find out more, get in touch.
If you have been inspired by Elisicia’s story and want to help out, here is what you can do:
1. Donate furniture if you live locally
4. Spread the word about new pop-up retail space in Shepherd’s Bush for crafty entrepreneurs