British Handmade Leather Bags:
story of a small handmade business
When Steve was appointed a .6 Senior Lecturer position at London College of Fashion, we moved to Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, in a tiny mid-terraced house overlooking a lovely little park called the Pippins Reserve.
Having lived in the chaos of central Turin for many years, surrounded by cars, trams, buses and screaming people, this was heaven. Only an hour by train from Liverpool Street, this small country town ticked all the boxes for us: several pubs, Indian and Thai restaurants, yacht clubs, a wonderful quay side along the river Crouch and everything at walking distance.
However, we were both working hard without being able to save much.
That's how it all started.... we applied for our first show: Pure in London. Steve created new styles to complete his existing collection. We had a little money that paid for an expensive stand and more Italian leather.
Everybody loved his bags: from organizers to exhibitors and of course, retailers. We were invited to show at a German fair with other British new comers to the world of fashion and design.
We took credit cards to fund dozens of trade fairs in Paris, Frankfurt, Milan and of course London. We totalled about 50 outlets in the UK, 20 abroad from Brussels to New York, Hamburg to Palermo, Milan, Amsterdam, ...
...until Steve quit his job at LCF (he hated the bureaucracy)... in July 2008...
just before the big financial crash! Many shops disappeared or had to reduce their stock, even Takashimaya New York had to close down! Amazon and online shopping transformed the retail industry.