Made to Order: Customising my perfect leather bag with Etsy (and a competition to win one of your own)

posted on: Tuesday, 26 September 2017

For years now, I've filled my house with more home decor items from Etsy than I can possibly keep track of. It's been my go-to destination for one off pieces that really go a long way in transforming a space. However, I have to admit that I've never shopped Etsy for style and accompanying accessories. This, as I have recently discovered, is a massive missed opportunity on my part that I'm now working hard to rectify, starting with the accessories. A couple of weeks ago Etsy got in touch asking if I wanted to work with a designer to customise an existing design to my specification. They paired me with an expert leather accessories designer, PAULAKIRKWOOD, and the rest is history. But, there's more to the story. Read on, dear reader...(plus, there's a competition element here for you to get involved).

Let's start with the fact that such a collaboration couldn't come at a better time. Over the next couple of months you are going to see me focusing a lot more on the quality of items and building a wardrobe with pieces that are meant to stand the test of the time. These are pieces that can be worn season to season, year to year. These are the items you're proud to say, "oh, this thing? It's been my trusty leather bag for years now." And yes, it is a badge of honour to say that, in today's world you should receive a gold star with such a statement.

Working with PAULAKIRKWOOD to create a timeless piece was perhaps the easiest thing I've ever done. In fact, I have to admit I didn't do much. We chatted about how we could create a customised bag, using her existing models as a starting point, and I honestly felt her bags were already a perfect fit, not in need of much alteration at all. In the end, we created a bag that was based on the classic tan leather messenger bag. We added straps so it could double as a backpack, when I needed both my arms at the ready, and a special pocket for my iPhone on the inside of the bag for easy access. In no time, the bag was in my grasp and pictures were had. In fact, there was even a moment or two when the dog got involved (see below).

Now for the competition element! Etsy are giving one lucky reader an opportunity to customise their own bag with a value of up to £500. Yeah, who's gonna turn that down? All you have to do is head over to the Etsy UK Instagram, like their latest competition post and leave a comment. Seriously, why would you not do that right now? Easy win, people. 

But before you do that, check out my new love affair with this leather accessories designer. Bags start at prices that you will have a hard time believing, and the quality is better than most mainstream leather designers I know at the moment. Won't name any names, but let's just say I'll be looking at Etsy more for accessories inspiration. 

 Even Brody wanted to prove that the bag could be worn a third way.... as a dog accessory!
This post was written in collaboration with Etsy UK.