Friday, 28 June 2013

Designer Q & A: Rebecca Jane

 Godiva has worked with Rebecca-Jane for a number of years now, successfully selling her recycled leather bags and accessories. This season SS13 multi-way bags have been an instant success (pictures below)  achieving a sell out within one month of being in the showroom. 
Another multiway collection is on it's way to the shop next week and for online!
Rebecca-Jane's work has always been of the highest quality, beautifully crafted using some of the best recycled leather. Always imaginative, stylish and created to last, as any bag should do. 
We are extremely proud to have Rebecca-Jane in our showroom and this year Godiva and Rebecca-Jane are collaborating on an exciting project, watch this space. 

We asked Bex's to answer our Q & A......

Hello, I am........ Bex of the label Rebecca Jane

I design.........., handbags, accessories & home-ware created from re-claimed leather jackets and vintage fabrics

When I am creating my typical day involves ……..getting up and taking the dog out for a walk, it’s a great way to start the day its so beautiful and peaceful and I  love all the different seasons. It’s a great time to gather your thoughts and plan the day. I get into the studio about 10ish and quickly grab a hot drink from the café (my new obsession is hot chocolate at the moment) I have a studio and shop in one so it means that I can create at the same time as having the shop open. Its not a high street store so isn’t that busy but its good to meet all my customers and get feedback with new designs etc. On Mondays I set out goals for the week and reviewing what I achieved the week before so that it gives you a good boost to start the week on a high. Most mornings are usually spent emailing and getting all my accounts and paperwork out for the way and uploading any social media posts to hoostusite. I divide my work between seasonal collections and commissions, so my day to day creating is different all the time. I source my leather from textile recycling companies, sifting through all the jackets just to find the one right gem of a jacket. I then deconstruct the jacket, laying it flat ready to start cutting my patterns into them. I tend to find that I am much more creative in the evening so sometimes I work pretty late if I am on a role.

When I am not designing and creating I am……..... walking the dog, tending to my veggie patch and ee friends in London, Bristol and Brighton, I try to do a bit of yoga when I can, my mind is so active sometimes that I cannot stop thinking, I find yoga really good for completely switching off and chilling out. When I can I try to catch an exhibition, I have just found a artists called Nahoko Kojima (, she creates paper cut out sculpyures and has an exhibition coming up at the Jerwood Space, 171 Union Street, London SE1 0LN . I’m definitely going to go and check it out.  I also really enjoy theatre and I have recently discovered a really cute small theatre in Brighton called the Tom  -The Old Market and have been to see a few things there. I tend to prefer the smaller venues as they have so much more character. We saw this brilliant production recently called the “ The animals and the children took to the street” by a company called 1927. They are a women’s only team and there is only 3 of them they combine visual arts with acting.

I get inspiration from……..... everyday things around me, from people to nature. I love architecture, furniture and sculpture. I really enjoy working three dimensionally and think this is why I fell in love with working with leather as it allows you to be quite sculptural in the way that you work without it looking theatrical as I found when I used to work on clothing design. I love working with different textures and enjoy manipulating leathers and fabrics to combine into interesting textiles forms. I am fascinated my Vivienne Westwood, I think that she is an exceptional designer and I have always loved her style which is quite Edwardian, an era that I am very passionate about. I love what she stands for she does tons for charity and she is so passionate about the world and our environment. One of my goals for this year is hand deliver her one of my bags!

Being an independent designer is important to me……..... because I have freedom. I have worked for different people over the years and although I love people and working in a team I don’t enjoy the restriction of having to be in a certain place at a certain time. I like to go at my own pace and set out my own plans for the day. I have always been a very motivated person and have had a passion for creating ever since I was born, I have worked very hard for other people and now that I do it for myself I feel very proud of what I have achieved so far and it makes me realize that you can do anything you want if you set you mind to it.

I knew I wanted to be a designer…….... when I was about 5, all of my family are creative and I have been bought up surrounded by very strong minded self employed women and I think it was inevitable that I would end up running my own company.

My greatest achievement so far is…….... having had a Japanese agent who I worked with for 6 seasons, they represented me in Japan and sold my work to a selection of high end Japanese department stores, like Baycrews and Japanese Amazon. They head hunted me from seeing me at a market on Brick lane in London and our relationship grew from that point. It was a fantastic experience and they were amazing people to work with, unfortunately we are not working together anymore as the Japanese economy took a downfall after their devastating earthquake.

I cannot live without …… sewing machine, my dog, my boyfriend and olives. If I were to have to choose in a life or death situation it would be very hard…..but don’t tell my boyfriend but it would probably have to be olives!!! I’m obsessed, when I was little I ate a whole jar of olives and my mum said to me “Bex where are all the stones” I looked at her and said “what stones” I had eaten the whole jar of olives plus all the stones.

My favourite thing I have ever bought or found……. We used to live in Bristol which is the city of thrift and recycling culture. I was walking down the street one day and stumbled upon these two very elaborate gold chairs left out on the street (that’s what people do in Bristol, when you no longer want something you leave it outside your house and usually in a matter of hours it will have gone, its brilliant), they were like thrones. They were covered in purple velvet with a gold print and had antique gold painted arms and legs. They were unbelievably cool, my intentions was to restore them but in recent years we have moved about 6 times and with great pain and upset I had to donate them to someone else as we did not have room for them in one of our new apartments. 

new Multi-way bag

New Mutli-way bag £112.00 each


Brown Leather Polkadot Clutch £36.00

Grey Tassel Bag £97.50

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Designer Q & A: Red Bird Makes

 Hello, I am … Joanna Kang of Red Bird Makes

I design ………Jewellery, accessories and textile homewares.

When I am creating my typical day involves ……… Waking up reasonably early and having some tea and toast or yogurt with fruit and honey. If I've been feeling particularly creative I usually don't sleep well because of all the ideas swimming around my head, so a good breakfast sets me up for the morning!
Right now my dining table has naughtily turned into my work space even though I have a studio set up in my spare room. It's just nicer in here. I will surround myself with all my lasercut pieces, chains, clasps, screw bails, etc and lots of tools so that everything is within reaching distance. I'll get on and make a start on any customer or shop orders and then I'll start re-stocking. I have a large box of ready-to-go stock which I take with me to markets, so I'll get this organised for the next stall I host. I usually make things in batches. So I'll make necklaces, brooches, rings, earrings & hair combs in big lots.
I do my own product photography. I live in a garden basement flat which means the best natural light in here is very limited for this. I find the best time of day is early afternoon, so I'll be sure to have some products ready to photograph to make the most of the light if it's a nice day. Saying this, I still have tons of shots saved on my laptop that I need to work through & post up.
I know a lot of people prefer working around other people, but for me I am pretty content working from home in my own space I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I like spreading myself out and would find a shared space too confined. I also get to choose whatever music to listen to while I work, or a lot of the time I like to work in complete silence! Saying this, I probably end up getting very distracted at home by things like doing the washing up or cleaning and snacking too much also.
I am pretty happy making things all day with breaks on the internet to do some ordering, research & catching up on my favourite inspirational blogs. I will usually continue working through into the evening most days. I think at some point I will have to schedule hours when I'm working so that work life and home life don't cross over too much.

When I am not designing and creating I am………….Working in the amazing Workhouse Café as a barista or working across the road from there at a great artists cooperatively owned shop called Makers. I love working in these environments as they are full of energy, colour and inspiration. It's funny, but all the staff at the Café are artists also. I guess it's just that kind of environment that we all thrive on! Don't get me wrong...I am not a workaholic. I try and enjoy some downtime too and there's nothing better than getting away from the city or even better, out of the country for a little break, with lots of new things to absorb and inspire me whether it be soaking up the crazy sights and smells of south-east asia or trapsing around flea markets in
Berlin! I also dabble in a bit of photography, so I enjoy documenting my travels that I take with Mr Red Bird.

I get inspiration from ……………I am hugely inspired by my love of the vintage era. I seem to have a growing collection vintage dresses as well as many household objects many of which I have picked up from trips in Europe. A huge proportion of my lasercut jewellery is made using vintage stock images. I just love the nostalgia it creates and it seems to be loved by people, old and young. I especially love seeing the older people's eyes light up when they see my makes and I get a real sense of appreciation and understanding from them. I would say that am influenced by the old and the new. I am currently working on pieces that use geometric shapes and fluoro colours.

Being an independent designer is important to me because…… It gives me the freedom and ability to express myself to my fullest. I have no one but myself to call the shots and it is something that is hugely satisfying. I feel most humble that I am in a position where I can be my own boss. It is extremely hard work and I put in a lot of hours to be able to accomplish this, more so than if I had a 9-5, but I know that all this hard work is for me and I couldn't be happier. I think more people should really take time to step back for a moment and think what would really make them happy and persue it. Life's too short to be doing something that doesn't satisfy just because it pays the bills...

I knew I wanted to be a designer when I was…....very little. I've always had a creative streak whether it be in ballet, music or art. I just never made the opportunity to act on it. It was always something that I treated as a hobby. Through having the confidence from huge support from friends and family, and an unfortunate turn of events which took me out of work for a year after a bicycle accident, I found myself persuing my life long dream. Sure, I was a little hesitant at first, but now I know it's want I want. I think I am fortunate in that sense. I don't think many people can say that they know what they want from life.

My greatest achievement so far is ……waking up each day knowing that I am my own boss. I take it all one day at a time.
I cannot live without………coffee and cake.......oh, and the unconditional love from my lovely understanding boyfriend, my friends and family!

My favourite thing I have ever bought or found………has to be my antique French Corbeille bed all the way from France. It has an upholstered headboard and a curved upholstered footboard which makes me feel cosily cocooned when I go to sleep. I love to purchase preloved beautiful furniture!

Godiva introduced  Red Bird Makes into the showroom a few months back and its been a great addition to the collection. We love the variety in Joanna's work. It's quirky and skillfully made and ticks all the boxes at Godiva.
Red Bird Makes will be selling at Glastonbury this year so those of you lucky enough to be going then do pop by and check it out. We sell these brooches and necklaces online on in store.

Swinging Acrobat £15.00

Tea & Cake Brooches £14.00 

Vintage Shoes Brooches £14.00 

Moustache Brooch £6.00
Bow Necklace £16.00