I caught up with British handmade leather bag brand Susie in the Sky recently to find out more about how the business was established and the inspiration for founder and designer Jules Greaves.
Previously featured in Vogue, just back from LFW and a popular brand for many a celebrity, the proudly British brand believes in keeping it simple. The focused range of bags, purses and belts is classic and practical, in a gorgeous range of colours, with a signature star pattern lining.
How did you start out as a bag designer and where did you learn your skills?
I have always had a passion for design and fashion, and wanted to transfer this passion into a business. I noticed a gap in the market for strong, luxury leather bags and accessories and started experimenting and researching different brands, suppliers and materials. After lots of trial and error, design ideas, meetings and hard work, Susie in the Sky was born. All of my skills are self- taught.
You mention your mum is the inspiration behind your brand name, what else inspires you?
Susie in the Sky is named after my mum Sue, and my first handbag The Lila Tote is named after my daughter. I wanted the brand to have a strong, personal connection. I’m inspired by hard working people who understand what it takes to create a successful business. I’m also inspired by innovators and revolutionaries, it is these people that inspire my best ideas.
How do you choose the colours for each collection?
It’s an ongoing process, constantly researching what’s on trend and what will be popular next season. The fashion industry moves so quickly, it’s important that I create a collection that is versatile.
I focus on strong plain colours that are always going to be popular, along with a selection of brighter colours that work throughout the fashion seasons. It’s as much about practicality as it is style.
Where are the bags made in the UK?
They’re manufactured in the heart of the West Midlands, where the UK leather industry is focused. This is also important, as it’s close to me so I can take regular trips.
You tell the story behind your brand, do you think it’s becoming increasingly important to have a strong brand story so that people can associate with what you’re creating and selling?
Consumers need to connect to a brand, and in some way be able to relate to it. Having a brand story creates this connection and allows people to invest mentally and emotionally into the company. A story almost gives a human face to the brand, and that’s extremely important.
Who’s your favourite bag designer?
I love Chloe, their designs are always superb and they always get it right.
Are you a one bag for everything sort of person or do you have loads of different bags for different looks?
I have lots of different handbags for different occasions, and love co-ordinating my bags and accessories to my outfits. However, I do also believe that a good handbag should be an investment piece, which for me is my black Lila tote from my collection.
What’s planned for the future of Susie in the Sky?
I’m currently working with carefully selected brand ambassadors and taste makers to help expand and promote the brand. I’m also planning the new addition to the collection, which I’m very excited about.
We’ll be heading to Stylist Live in London in the autumn, and have a Cosmopolitan magazine shoot coming out in the summer.
My main focus at the moment is brand awareness and retail support.
For further info and prices go to Susie in the Sky