Lots of people ask ‘what’s the secret to creating an amazing handbag’? It’s a combination of an exceptional raw material and a unique design! Here are the answers to some other frequently asked questions:
- Where do you get the leather from?
- I go direct to a leather merchant in Northampton. As the centre of the UK leather trade, it’s great that Banbury isn’t far from Northampton. The merchant sells a huge range of different leathers in a complete rainbow of colours. I visit a few times a year and fill up my car with whatever catches my eye, as well as what’s on my shopping list! I buy whole skins of mostly cow leather with some hides (for special projects).
- How do you decide what to make?
- I don’t really have set ideas of handbag print designs, I like to ‘go with the flow’ and get a feel for each skin I’m working with. A tougher skin will be better suited for larger items like a tote bag, then I can use the smaller pieces for purses and keyrings – keeping waste to an absolute minimum. I always keep my customers in mind and make sure I’ve got plenty of designs that are popular.
- Why don’t you have Spring/Summer & Autumn/Winter collections?
- As a niche designer, I’m constantly experimenting and developing ideas so I don’t work to a strict seasonal timetable. My customers need different bags for different occasions all through the year, they tend to like darker colours in the colder months and brighter colours in summer, so I respond to that demand.
- Where does your inspiration come from?
- I take inspiration from artwork and architecture that I come across all the time. I may use a section of a piece of art I’ve seen as the basis for a print on my leather. The shapes for my bags are inspired by simple, functional and beautiful designs. People can see how much love I put into my designs and I want my bags to be long-lasting and treasured by my customers.
- How long does it take to make a bag?
- Well that really depends on the type of bag I’m designing, the level of detail in the print and the extras required, such as zips, lining, tassles, etc. It usually takes me about a week to print enough leather for about 10 large bags. I work with a specialist leather workshop to cut out and sew together the pieces. We work together from drawings to make sure every bag is unique and distinctive!
Check out our range of distinctive J D’Cruz hand-crafted leather goods at https://www.jdcruz.co.uk/ or visit our Banbury studio.