Co-founder of ethical.market, Raquel is on a mission to live a more sustainable lifestyle

Monday, 1 September 2014

Meet the designer: Be.Loved


We first discovered Be.Loved handbags last year not too long after launching our marketplace. We adore satchels and it was so refreshing to come across Saffy's creative designs, they really stood out to us, with her bold designs, bright colours, lots of beautiful stud embellishments and yet still managing to hold a classic contemporary style that you'll want to wear time and time again.

We decided it was time you got to know a little more about the talented woman behind this feminine brand from beardy husbands to cocktails and Kate Middleton, you won't want to miss this month's Q&A!
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As if that wasn't enough we're also offering you an exclusive 20% off Saffy's beautiful handbags and satchels for one month only.  Just in time for your Christmas shopping, view the collection here
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Tell us a bit about yourself….
I'm Saffy Allen based at Handbag HQ in a rural (ish) bit of sunny North Wales.
When I'm not busy with bags, I like to get out and about in the countryside or the garden with the beardy husband and the scruffy pooch, or failing that, I love to cook and enjoy a good glass of wine! (oh, and I ride a motorbike!)

How did you first start in design?
I was originally going to follow a more creative career path, having studied art A level and intended to go on to art college, but instead opted for the clich├ęd ‘school of life’ and went straight into work from 6th form.

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What inspired you to launch Be.Loved Handbags?
I have long been a total handbag and shoe’aholic but had become really disillusioned with the bags I was buying.  They just couldn't hack the pace of modern day life and I found I was replacing my bag every six months.
A chance meeting with some leather craftsmen sowed the seed of Be.Loved.  If I couldn't find a bag that ticked the style and quality boxes out there already, I’d design some myself.
It took nearly a year of learning the ropes of how a bag is produced (which was really important to ensure I could design a range that was durable as well as beautiful), and a whole lot of proto- types before I was happy I’d created a bag that could be my every day work horse!

How would you describe your style?
I have quite a classic style which I add to and update with more fashion lead pieces.  It’s another thing I had to bear in mind when designing my bags; they needed to be timeless if they were going to be staples in a wardrobe for so long.  I hope I've achieved that, what do you think?!

What did you want to be when you were a kid?
There wasn't much I didn't want to be!  I flipped flopped between potential career choices as often as I changed my socks.  Antiques dealer, forensic scientist, geologist….the careers officer despaired at me.

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If you could design one bag for anyone what would it be and who would it be for?
I actually really admire how Kate Middleton has taken on being under such public scrutiny over her appearance.  I’d love to design her something that was formal enough for a person in her position but that hinted at her fun and more youthful side.  Perhaps a luxurious tote bag that utilised my trade mark studs but with a long strap too for when she’s got her arms full with George!

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As we’re nearing so close to the festive season can you share a recipe for your favourite Christmas cocktail?
Basil Grande’s are luscious and dangerously moorish, be warned!
You’ll need a cocktail shaker and a martini glass.
4 fresh strawberries
4 fresh basil leaves
25ml vodka
25ml Chambord liqueur
25ml Grand Marnier
45ml Cranberry juice
Muddle the strawberries and basil in the bottom of the shaker (give them a good bash!).  Add the other ingredients and plenty of ice.  Shake.  Staring into a Martini glass and grind a touch of black pepper over the top. Enjoy.

Which item from The Lost Lanes would you like Santa to leave under your tree this Christmas?
Whilst I’ll always find a welcome home for jewellery (and you’re spoilt for choice at The Lost Lanes), the Mr Geography stacking cup set was one of the first products I noticed when I signed up as a seller to The Lost Lanes, and I still think they’re brilliant.  One of those please Mr Santa!!
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To view Saffy's complete collection of satchels and handbags and take advantage of her exclusive 20% discount head over to her shop HERE!

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Ethical Living is your destination for ethical fashion, sustainable living and top tips for an ethical home. With interviews and guest blog posts, it's the perfect addition to your coffee break! Ethical Living is brought to you by ethical.market

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