Celia Allison grew up in rural Canterbury, and attended school in Timaru and Christchurch. After leaving school Celia gained a Bachelor of Science from Otago University. It was at this point that her left-brain took over from her right and she moved North to Wellington to complete a Diploma in Visual Communication Design, in illustration and graphic design, at Wellington Polytechnic. Following her graduation Celia worked in illustration and graphic design in Wellington and in London. In 1988 Celia returned from Europe and started Moa Revival, a stationery company producing products with a notable emphasis on Kiwiana.