Tweedie Bags uses Harris Tweed® to make a variety of items from Bags, Totes and purses. To hip flask, bottle covers, cuff links and glasses cases to Dog leads, collars and bow ties. Tweedie Bags keeps to a palette of checked fabrics for continuity but can diversify at a customer’s request. To find out more about the company, how it all started and what’s next, take a look at our interview with Katie Jarvis from Tweedie Bags below…
How did it all start?
The business developed in 2010 when I made my first bag as I needed a different bag to accompany the dress I was wearing to a wedding that I had worn before. That Christmas a lot of ladies in the family were given hand crafted bags and it snowballed from there.
The story behind the name…
Tweedie was the name of my first family cat and since I was using Tweed to make bags initially, it just seemed to fit. Although if I knew I wasn’t exclusively going to be making bags I probably would have chosen another name.
Where are you based?
I was originally living in Inverness, the beautiful capital of the Highland and Islands of Scotland, but I have more recently moved to Bristol. This has opened up some new opportunities to be selling Harris Tweed® items in England
What inspires you?
The Harris Tweed® fabric inspires me and reminds me of the raw beauty of the Scottish landscape. From blue green seas and unspoilt beaches to the peaty brown lochs and snow-capped mountains reflecting the pink and oranges of sunsets.
What is your creation process?
If I have an idea for a project I usually make it up roughly in a tweed fabric first. Then create a template or pattern in wallpaper lining paper (as it is thicker) and then once happy with the design I make it in the rich Harris Tweed®
What makes you, your brand or products unique?
Firstly, they are all my own designs. Keeping to a theme of using just checked Harris Tweed® gives my line an identity and every item is hand crafted by my own (not-so) fair hands.
What is your next project?
I have been recently working on a zipped topped unisex bag with some valued input from friends. Trying to get the look and feel and functionality just right before I introduce them to the market place.
What is your biggest achievement?
I get the greatest satisfaction when I am happy with a design but one of the greatest accomplishments is seeing a random stranger wearing one of my bags. I was so proud.
What is your best-selling product/line?
It depends on the time of year. In the Spring time I sell a lot of sets of hip flasks and cuff links for wedding parties as it is a good keep sake for the male wedding guests and in the run up to Christmas my canvas and Tweed bags and purses sell very well for women and my miniature 1oz hipflask keyrings for men.
What do you love about Country Living Fairs?
I love seeing the wealth of creativity and different artisans using so many different mediums to express themselves and the wonderful customers that like to find unique treasures.
Your three top tips for crafters and makers…
Do not under value your skill and cost of production. Just because our economy has been swamped with cheap products from overseas doesn’t mean you have to compromise yourself on customer’s expectations for budget pieces.
Try and have a dedicated room or corner or shed where your creativity can be unleashed
Not everything you love to make will be loved by everyone, but someone will so try not to lose courage
Any advice for fledgling businesses…
Follow your heart but don’t over extend yourself financially.
Shop their products online at www.TweedieBags.co.uk