Its been 3 weeks since I last wrote on the blog and since then I have found another Manufacturing company in NY. They seem to be completely on the ball and are making me a sample … so fingers crossed it turns out good !

I have still left open the possibility of working with the factory in Thailand, and the day that I started to talk to the company in NY, I did finally get another reply from Thailand, which I replied to !  as yet I am still waiting for them to get back to me with info…..

Wishing you all a great 2012



It’s now been 3 months since Mipel and 10 weeks since I sent my sample bag to Thailand !

I called every day for 2 weeks, only getting the answer phone. At one point I was so worried about not being able to understand the answer machine message, that I went to the local Thai supermarket and asked them to listen to it !!! They were kind enough to translate the message for me and it simply said ‘leave your number and we will get back to you’. Umm but when !

Did buy fantastic Green chicken curry from the supermarket though ! 

Plan B: whilst waiting for the second costing and eating the curry, I am going to try to find another manufacturer. It’s so frustrating !!

I sent my sample bag to a manufacturing company in Thailand, this was a company that I saw at Mipel. Not only did I send the sample but also notes and images. Unfortunately I think I wrote too much information, and it had been partly lost in translation. The first costing that they gave me was too high, remembering that I already have a retail price in mind. So it’s back with them and hopefully I will get a new costing soon….

Mipel is an international leather-goods trade show, which is based in Milan and occurs twice a year and has over 400 exhibitors.

I took a 7am flight from Gatwick on Sunday, and flew into Malpensa Airport, Milan. From there I was able to get a bus direct to the impressive Fieramilano exhibition arena. I had been told by another handbag designer to go to the overseas area, as this is where the majority of manufacturers are. 

The manufacturers came from either India, Thailand or China and all were very eager to talk about their products and about what they can produce. Being able to see their handbags gave me an idea of the standard and cost that I could expect if they were to produce my design. 

The main area of Mipel is taken over by handbag wholesalers, exhibiting their products towards prospective buyers from the retail industry. It was interesting to see what other designers had produced and in what colours and materials.

There is also a catwalk show, showing pieces from various designers, a good chance to see the collections and a great opportunity for a sit down.

I took an early evening return flight and was back in London by 8pm. I felt very excited and slightly nervous, as this was another step forward with my design.


The idea for a handbag that extends to a shopping bag came to me a year ago. Whilst I was getting lunch from the local supermarket I realised that I couldn’t fit everything into my bag and I would have to use an additional plastic carrier, not exactly eco friendly and not great for my image ! 

I’ve worked on drawings and making up samples in calico. All the time thinking about the simplest form and functionality of the product.

Through the British Library IP centre, I was given free advice and met an IP adviser. Although the idea could not be patented it could be design registered. For design registration I needed to submit drawings and notes about my idea, which cost £60.

Developing my own design ideas alongside others who have professional and technical advice is so important, and through the wonderful world wide web, I found Denise Pearson of Deni-Deni,, a professional handbag and sampler maker/designer, her studio produced patterns and a beautiful sample bag for me.

With the sampler I was able to ask friends their thoughts and opinions, I really needed to know if they would buy the bag and for how much! The surprising aspect was the difference in price that they would pay for the bag (£15-£150). I want to be able to produce a bag that can retail between £80-£90.

Finding a manufacturer was, and is at present the most difficult aspect of this whole adventure. Originally I found a manufacturer in East London that has a tannery and factory in India. Looking at their work, which was really good, I was upset that not more thought had gone into my sample that they produced for me. I was just a very small fish in their big sea. I think that it is really fundamental to have a beautiful manufactured sample, after all this is what I am going to sell.

Feeling disappointed, I flew to Milan for the Mipel Bag exhibition (Mipel occurs twice a year, and is a must for anyone interested in bags!) 


I’ve always been really interested in all aspects of art and design. I love finding new, beautifully made products that ooze style, as well as rummaging through antique markets and finding unusual and wonderful objects. I am always trying to think of new ideas which are simple and yet functional, but also look great.

I live and work in London and this is a blog about trying to get my own designed product/idea made and onto the market.

I expect it to be a big learning curve, so if you are in the same position as me, or just want to see how I am getting on then please follow me on my business adventure. I would really appreciate your feedback (encouragement!) and any helpful ideas.