Ally Dowsing-Reynolds is the CEO of Dowsing & Reynolds, a home décor company that designs and curates beautiful home products to help you create a home you love. Having spent two decades working in advertising agencies and leading teams of marketing specialists, Ally’s expertise and areas of interest span everything from core brand strategy to wider business leadership and company culture. Ally’s enthusiasm for anything she’s involved with is infectious. She is fiercely passionate about nurturing talent and supporting her employees to be their best. Ally has ADHD and works hard to raise awareness of how it impacts people in their daily lives, from how we interact with our homes to how we communicate with friends and family. She recently had a column in Real Homes magazine that explained how design choices can positively support ND in their homes.
Please tell us about your career
I fell into running a premium home decor brand and retailer a little by accident, after a career in marketing. I'm so glad a took a leap of faith though, my team and I get to impact people's homes in a positive way every single day. I'm a big believer that your home can really affect the way you feel. Being ND taught me that, but it applies to everyone and I'm on a mission to try to inspire everyone to love their home and make it feel like an extension of themselves.
Going from 20+ years working for someone else's company to working for my own was a big change. I was pretty scared, if I'm honest, to do it. I liked the safety of someone else being in charge. However, I now just wish I'd done it sooner. The flexibility I now have means working with my ND is so much easier. I'm glad I was brave eventually. Now I'm trying to lead nearly 70 people in the best way I can. Plenty of challenges, especially in this last year coming out of the Pandemic, but also plenty of incredible moments too. All of the feelings! I'm my own worst critic and have really held myself back at times with perfectionism. I still struggle with that, but I'm a lot more self aware these days and have put lots of effort into learning about myself and about ADHD. I'm very optimistic about the future because I feel like I now have the right mindset to do anything I put my mind to. I'm enjoying the journey and I want to keep being a positive part of other people's journeys. Whether that's as part of my team or as a customer. I want to keep impacting people in a positive way. That is, ultimately, what really makes me feel like I've added something to this world.
How has being Neurodivergent shaped the direction of your career?
I've always been fascinated by how music, and then marketing, and then later interiors makes people feel. My emotions are heightened by ADHD and it's made me very interested in how they are affected by what's around us.
I sought the stability of an employed role for most of my career. It's only when I got the chance to take the leap to head up my own company that I realised that I thrive so much better with flexibility. Having a team of nearly 70 can be weighty, but my neurodiversity gives me the extra empathy boost that enables me to strive to be a good leader.
What advice would you give to another Neurodivergent woman navigating their way through life?
I've always been a positive and determined woman. My mum gave me those traits and they have meant I've been able to deal with the challenges and make the most of the many upsides of my neurodiversity. If you can focus in on what works for you (try everything...from diet, to exercise, to meditation and more) and keep trying to stick to it, you'll get there. Stay positive, stay determined!