Alive & Unedited: Amy Turn Sharp

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive


After college, I went to Europe. I was living in Athens, Greece, and I came back to Athens, Ohio, to kind of regroup and figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Two days later, I met this British man at a party, and we never left each other's sight.

We came to Columbus when my husband, Joe, got a job as a carpenter. I worked with the Greater Columbus Arts Council with some programming for kids, poetry and arts. Then I worked for Mayor Coleman for six or seven years and ran after-school programs in the inner city.

Two years ago, I left my career to write the great American novel. But, oops, I started a toy company.

One thing I love about Columbus is that it has an amazing local, indie spirit. I didn't really know about it as a consumer as much. When I became a small business owner, I was just floored by all the cool, indie people in Columbus.

Little Alouette is a natural, handmade toy company. Most of our toys are geared for babies to kids about two or three or four years old. Our wood is 100 percent Ohio maple, sourced locally from a farm in Newark, and just has organic flaxseed oil as a finish.

The company started really organically. We were making toys for our oldest son, Finn. Joe is a master carpenter. He used to have a furniture store in England. People started saying, "Oh, you should sell those." We opened an Etsy shop, and it kind of just started to snowball.

Growing up, I loved my roller skates. I wanted to be a professional roller skater. We had a concrete slab on our front porch, and I would put on "Hey Mickey" and go back and forth about 400 times a day.

I've probably been working on my novel for two solid years. And probably in my head for another year. It's about a person who comes back to their small town for a circumstance, a relationship with an old mentor, and then some family secrets.

I used my town as a landscape. I didn't call it Logan. I called it Lamden. They say write what you know. I know cow towns, and I know being a little different in a small town.

The best advice I've ever received came from Gloria Steinem. In college, we were at this keynote, and we were able to ask questions. I said, "My name is Amy Turn, and I need some advice." She said, "Amy Turn, be a woman who takes no s---."

Three things I can't live without are my BlackBberry, my library card and some stinky cheese.

Know someone doing cool things around Columbus? E-mail John Ross at

Age: 36

Day job: Co-owner, Little Alouette

Neighborhood: Old Worthington

Birthplace: Logan

Alma mater: Ohio University

Years in Columbus: 10


Playing Favorites

Favorite movie: The Watcher in the Woods

Favorite TV show: Glee

Favorite band: Talking Heads, Indigo Girls (tie)

Favorite song: "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)" by Talking Heads

Favorite author: Miranda July

Favorite book: On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Favorite food: Tomatoes

Favorite drink: Beer

Favorite color: Turquoise

Favorite place to travel: Greece