Q&A with Upholsterer Leigh-Anne Treadwell

Leigh-Anne’s reflections on, hopes for and words to her body. And her message to you.

By Ellen Downes
Wed 01 Dec 2021

Leigh-Anne joined me earlier this week on an Instagram Live from our (I’m lucky enough to live with this amazing woman) living room in Bristol. We spoke about her relationship with her body – the journey it’s been on and her hopes for its future.

Born in Birmingham and long-term settler in Bristol, she is an artist, entrepreneur and upholster. She is founder & creative director of Bristol Upholstery Collective training centre, Bristol Life award-winner and a presenter on BBC One’s Money for Nothing.

She describes herself during her creative process as ‘inventive, brave, intuitive, unique and a little bit wild,’ which, I can also testify is a perfect description of her character.

I’m so glad that she’s joined this Q&A series, and shared some honest truths and her pearls of wisdom with us.

3 words to describe your body:

Strong, complex, powerful

What do you love about your body?

I love my eyes. My eyes are what I love and appreciate most about my body. I get a lot of compliments about them.

They allow me to see the world and I get so much joy from aesthetics. I love seeing art, I love going to the theatre and watching others in their element. They feed my soul.

What would you like to love about your body?

I’d like to love my body better by how I feed and fuel it. My relationship with food has been something I’ve struggled with for my entire life. I’m only realising now, nearing age 40, how critical food to how I love and connect to my body.

My worst idea of an evening out has always been going for a meal. I’ve only ever viewed food as fuel. But now I’m learning that what I eat is linked to how well I manage my depression, my anxiety, my hormones, and my well-being.

I’ve recently started seeing a nutritionist and they’re showing me that food is medicine.

What would you say to your 10 years younger self?

My intuition is so, so strong. I use it all the time running my business and as an artist. I feel my way through creative processes using it. I wish I’d been able to use it more in the past, in terms of my relationship with my body.

I’d say to my 29 year old self: your body knows what it needs. Don’t drag yourself down the wrong path and ignore what your body is telling you it needs. Tune in, listen to your body.

What are your hopes for your relationship with your body in 10 years’ time?

I hope that at age 49 I will have a deeper understanding of what my body wants and needs. I want to be in a space where I don’t feel so lethargic and bloated. I want to have clarity and for my body to feel relaxed and at peace.

I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that I don’t want children and that’s shifted how I look into my future. I’m looking forward to where my body takes me to next.

Her words to you:

Invest in yourself. No matter what. However busy your life is, however many distractions there are.

Take an interest in your body. Consider what it needs, wants and ultimately what it deserves.

Every Body's Story Book

The bodies of 30 women aged 20-75 and the stories they hold

Every Wednesday I ask an inspiring creative 5 questions. I ask them to reflect upon their relationship with their body and they share their experiences and the lessons they’ve learnt with us.

You can watch the Q&A LIVE via the Every Body’s Story Instagram every Wednesday at 5:30PM.

Sign up to the newsletter here – where I’ll be sharing the programme of guests for each month, and more blog posts like these.

Next powerhouse guest: Burn Survivor and Campaigner, Sylvia Mac  💖