Our Diary: Handmade Chelsea

Handmade in Chelsea: the show

As always when we exhibit Steven Harkin bags, we meet interesting people, artists and visitors.

Steven received one of the best compliments, from none other than Rolls Royce Quality Manager! Here he is with his wife Kordula who greatly admired the Mew bag for its inventiveness and originality. They were even more impressed when I told them Paris Museum of Fashion bought one for their permanent collection.

Our neighbours were Alison Stockmarr who makes amazing Collaged Record Covers like the one above and other books and artwork involving delicately cut illustrations put together in original collages.


Shade Volume Lampshades creators, Marc Troterau and Merel Karhof. Merel also "wind knits" woollen scarves, you can see how it works on her Facebook page, Windworks.


Laura Ngyou, above, makes unique abstract jewellery inspired by nature. Well worth reading her story!

Our experience in Chelsea, one of London's most luxury destinations

Handmade in Chelsea is 5 days of hard work: from setting up to packing up, the VIP night and the three show days, it's full on. 

steven harkin Handmade in Chelsea

After almost 8 hours standing and chatting to customers and co-exhibitors, we really didn't feel like getting a train or driving the car back to Folkestone. We thought we deserved better than to share a flat and a bathroom in an Airbnb so we booked ourselves a flat at Chelsea Cloisters, a ten minutes walk from Chelsea Old Town Hall. 


London view from the top

The views of the city were amazing: the Shard, the London Eye, Westminster, the crane lights at night, loved it! 

Loved walking along Draycott Place (below) from Sloane Square to the hotel and along the streets towards the King's Road.

We treated ourselves with a delicious meal at the Pellicano, a Sardinian restaurant round the corner. I had Chargrilled king prawns served with sautéed peppers and potatoes and Steven had Roasted rack of new season lamb in herb crust with spinach and mash potato, we hared a side of Fried courgettes. With a delicious bottle of a Sardinian wine.


Pellicano restaurant in Chelsea

The second night we went to the Builders Arms where, after Steve fought with young Chelsea women for a table, we had definitely the best Pub dinner for a long time. What a great local though: surrealist posters, Victorian monkey candelabra and comfy sofas in modern printed fabrics.

Builders Arms in Chelsea

Finally, the last evening, after packing up and dismantling our stand, saying goodbye to our new friends and the organisers, we went back to our flat, kicked our shoes off, opened a bottle and ordered authentic Italian pizzas from Lievito.

Was it worth it? 100% yes! Here is why:  

First of all, meeting you, our customers: it was lovely to meet some of you for the first time in real and have a chat and a laugh or two. Thank you for coming, we always enjoy getting to know you!

Secondly, to discover what other people do, and in this case, MAKE, and getting to know their stories, often couples like Steven and I, one being the creative genius, the other half being the business mind or muse, or both, always complementing one another.

Last, but not least, we get to spend some time in London, such a wonderful city, with so much to offer, the buzz, the diversity, the culture, a feast for the eyes! 

And then, tired but happy to be home again and back to the "normal" day to day life... until the next one!

1 comment

  • Lilian Wissink

    Enjoyed reading your blog Barbara. Lovely photos. Great to see you and Steve doing ‘your thing’ in such beautiful surroundings. The display looks super….love the autumnal colours! love to you both….Lilian

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