Meet our Team
I'm Kirsty, the Owner & Founder of The Refilling Station in Chapel Allerton and newly opened Harrogate shop. I live in Chapel Allerton with my husband Neil, 9-year-old Emily and 7-year-old Benedict, our two Springer Spaniels, Holly and Willow.
In 2018, I was going through a period of trying to challenge myself personally do something different with my life. I was unhappy in my marketing job of 14 years and had opted to take voluntary redundancy from it. I wanted to do something for me but more importantly I wanted to value my role.
A BBC resesarcher posted on social media that the BBC were looking for a family to be featured in their story #bbcplasticfree. We were tasked with trying to reduce our single-use plastic for a whole week to demonstrate whether it was easy to do…it wasn’t!
I then had the idea that we could bring back the old way of shopping and reduce the plastic by buying loose, refilling and shopping more locally.
It took me ages to get going after several set-backs and before I got going two other shops started up. I struggle to maintain enthusiasm and drive at times but I really wanted to work for myself and do something that I enjoyed.
On the 9 November 2018, I started The Refilling Station as a little pop-up-shop in Chapel Allerton, North Leeds. This week was also a challenge because I managed to fracture my foot (full lower leg cast and crutches!). I opened the pop-up shop every Friday and Saturday with the help of my husband, Neil, who was keen to help me make it work even when I wanted to give up!
Anyhow we did it and we were overwhelmed with the positive response from the local community. In late November, I placed an offer to lease local premises and on the day my leg cast was removed (6 January 2019) the offer was accepted! I opened my door and four walls to the community of Chapel Allerton on 1 March 2019.
I am lucky to have an amazing team working with me; Clare Green is the Manager of the Leeds shop and Lydia Ross is now managing the new Harrogate shop. I cover both stores during the week at various times. Ella helps out on a Saturday and when Shona is on holiday from university she does the odd shift too! All our staff live locally to the shops too and often walk or cycle to work. My husband Neil is still a large part of the business, he has his uses and he loves it!
I can’t say its been easy, its really demanding and I work really hard but I absolutely, without question enjoy what I am doing.
Lydia Ross - Store Manager in Harrogate
Clare Green - Assistant Manager in Leeds
Hi, I'm Clare Green (very apt surname!) I am the Assistant Manger at The Refilling Station in Chapel Allerton. I live in Roundhay and usually walk or bus to work depending on how energetic I'm feeling! I also have just purchased a vintage bike which I have aspirations of using, well maybe when it gets a bit warmer,and I get better at riding it! Watch this space!
In my previous working life I have been a fashion designer, run my own business and also worked in the wonderful, crazy world of fancy dress, designing, product developing, running photoshoots you name it! My journey to a simpler and more plastic free life has been one that began when my oldest daughter was born and has gradually snowballed, no longer having my heart in what I was doing I was really ready for a change when this fantastic opportunity came up to work with Kirsty!
I am married to Andy and have two daughters aged 10 and 12, my oldest daughter has recently become Vegan and consequently so have the rest of the family, although we also eat some vegetarian food. I often like to share my new cooking experiences and recipes with customers and on our Twitter account which I run.
I am a big advocate of start small and do what you can, every small action counts! I look forwards to welcoming you to the Leeds store!