Monday, 4 August 2008

August already!

Apologies for the recent lack of blogging - it's been a bit manic just lately. I'm up and down the stairs between my studio and the gallery like a yoyo at the moment. I had an exhibition on in the gallery last Friday evening which takes some organising. It went really and I've now sufficiently recovered over the weekend to get back to making bags. I've had some lovely leather come in recently, with a distressed finish in some gorgeous colours and I'm busy working on those.

My bags are going really well in galleries in Narberth and Cardiff so it's difficult trying to catch up! Not that I'm complaining, but this year I have a stand at the Pembrokeshire County Show so I'm trying to make enough stock to fill it. The show is on from Aug 19th-21st so if you're going do pop in to see me in the craft area at the Ridgeway arcade. I'm going to be showing a few new ranges, but here's a bit of a sneak preview of the new bags just coming out.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Role Model

Yesterday I went back to my old school to give a talk on setting up and running my own business. It's part of a Welsh Assembly Government initiative to promote entrepreneurship in young people. At the beginnning I always ask how many of them feel they have what it takes to be an entrepreneur and usually get very little response so it's great to see that after doing a workshop with them more than half change their minds and think it's something they could do in the future. I do a group exercise where they think of a business idea, think of a name and how they're going to market it and they love it! Even the ones that are determined to not participate get quite excited about making up their own business. It takes just an hour out of my week and the feedback is great.
Back to the gallery and I've just ordered a load of leather so I'm waiting for it to arrive so I can start on some more bags.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Exciting news

Last week I travelled up to Cardiff to present my work for selection at Craft in the Bay, having already passed the first stage. First of all I have to say I travelled up on the train, the first time for a few years since I left London and it was actually quite a pleasant experience, and with rising fuel costs, wasn't even any more expensive that driving. Isn't that the way it should be! Having lived in London for a number of years I'm a fan of public transport but since moving back to Pembrokeshire always found it really expensive to get anywhere unless you've booked weeks in advance for the super saver.

Anyway, never mind that... I'm quite excited to have had a letter from the selectors today to tell me I've been accepted and to say amongst other things 'they felt the bags show a distinctive design style'... praise indeed!

I'd managed to convince myself that I wasn't going to be accepted as they already have two other leather bag makers... so mine is a very different style (which I always knew all along, but being a 'creative type' and a total perfectionist I'm never 100% happy with what I've done and could always have done a better job, even though all my customers so far have been delighted with their bags) and I'm really pleased.

Setting up Coterie last year meant my own work took a bit of a back seat for a while, but with the gallery running itself a bit more now I'm able to concentrate more on the bags. It just means I have to pull my finger out and get making more!

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

First post

Well, this is my first post, but I can't spend too long agonising over it as I really have to get on with making bags. For now I'll just put up a few pics of recent bags and come back when I've found my way round a bit.