About UsBy Matt
We’ve been designing and making beautiful handbags & accessories for over 14 years. We met at art college over 20 years ago and shortly after became a couple. We studied art together in Kent for 3 years. Sophia went on to study textiles & fashion design and I specialised in Graphic design.
Our products are the result of combining both graphic & fashion design, we're naturally drawn to bold colours and florals. We only make products we’d use ourselves and we’re obsessive over quality and detail. We have a hand in every aspect of our work, we design the prints and products together, Sophia cuts & sews the samples, we do all of our own photography, and Sophia reluctantly models in the pictures (yes, that’s why you rarely see her face).
In October 2005 Sophia designed and made some small Wash Bags & Makeup Bags. She trialed them at Greenwich Market on a quiet Friday with her mum. She only made £10 but decided to come back on the Saturday and try again. Slowly the business began to grow. At the time I was working as a digital retoucher for a photographer. In my free time I would sit on the floor at Sophia’s parent’s house marking and cutting products, passing them to Sophia who would sew them together using zips donated to her by a family friend in the trimming business.
In just a few short months the collection grew to include handbags and various other accessories, I quit my job and we both dedicated our time to cutting and making all week, every Friday evening we’d pack our work into Ikea bags and drive it over to Greenwich Market early Saturday morning to queue up for a Market stall.
By 2006 we were able to move our budding company into a studio at Container City in East London. We continued to grow the company hand cutting and sewing thousands of products. We worked incredibly long hours and sacrificed everything to make the business work. In 2008 we took on two more market stalls at Camden Lock & Camden Stables. Sophia would handle Camden with the help of a staff member and I worked at Greenwich. We’d meet after the market at the studio to either make more products for the next day if we were running low or just spend some time together. It was one of hardest times in our lives. At the weekends we’d start work at 6am, stand in the freezing cold all day selling our products and then work exhausted long into the night only to repeat the same thing the next day. After work during the week Sophia’s dad would stop by the studio to help me cut products. Sophia comes from a manufacturing family, her dad owned a textiles factory on Old Kent Road in East London during the 90s where the whole family worked making clothes for large retailers such asC&A. As a result, Sophia’s nan is a brilliant machinist so we’d take cut products over to her tiny flat on Old Kent Road and she’d help us sew whilst her granddad helped turn and pack the products.
In 2009 we met our good friend Hiro Koshimizu at Camden Market he would buy our products and sell them in Japan, demand grew. On a whim we flew out to Japan, put a stand together at a trade show and before we knew it were selling our products to stores around Japan. By 2009 we had grown to the point where we could afford the help of a small East London textiles factory but even with the extra help we were still cutting, sewing most of the week.
Our First Shop
In 2010, 5 years after we started a shop became available in Greenwich, right on the main market entrance. We had no choice but to do everything we could to get that shop, working the way we were working was beginning to impact our health, we knew it wasn’t sustainable for much longer. Our family helped us with the deposit, our friends helped us build and decorate, I built the till point that still stands there today. The shop was a huge success, our life got a little easier and we closed the market stalls to focus on the shop.
In 2012 we met Steve & Angela. Angela had been a customer of ours from the beginning and had seen us grow from the market stall to the shop. They were prepared to invest in us and with that investment we were able to scale up production, increase the quality of our products and produce 5 new prints.
In 2013 we found out Sophia was pregnant, the shop was running well and so we decided to move to Brighton. We’d been going there together since we were 16 and that’s where we wanted to raise our son. In 2015 we opened a second shop in Brighton on Bond Street where we both still work today. We love to meet our customers, people rarely know we are ones behind the company so it’s a great opportunity to get direct feedback which goes straight in to the next collection.
We’ve been on an incredible journey with our company. We've sold our products all over the world, we’ve met life long friends and still continue to meet the most amazing people. It’s been hard work, but we wouldn’t of come this far without the help we received along the way and certainly not without the long and dedicated support we’ve had from our incredible customers.