Thank you to Derek Gregory from Castle Cary who temporarily "stole" a selection of our handbags to make this beautiful watercolour painting. Derek accomplished this with his U3A painting group from the Caryford community hall in Somerset. Please look up what the U3A are all about, they are very active in this part of the country. One of our team Helen Tracy volunteers teaching at a U3A writing class. It really is a great way to learn. Well done to all at U3A!!!!
Well, it has been just over 3 weeks since the Florence Leather Collection shop opened on Castle Cary, Fore Street, and what a period this has been.
I originally had the idea of starting a fashion business when I lived in Milan, Italy with my family following my husband's posting there. I have always been a sucker for luxury, quality handbags and would often spend my teenage years wandering around Paris (where I was born) admiring the famous brands of Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Lancel etc. Milan reignited this passion and I soon found the places selling fashionable and stylish brands. One thing surprised me, however, that I hadn't noticed previously in Paris, this was the fact that many Italian women I knew seemed to have as many leather handbags as shoes. It is this idea that I wanted to portray in any business I would set up, to offer affordable products in order that a lady may be able to possess two or more to suit her outfit.
Since returning to the U.K., I have had so much support and positive feedback when I mention quality leather Italian handbags. From the moment we secured the lease of the shop in Fore Street and the long arduous days of knocking away at plaster, re pointing, filling in cracks and painting, people have popped in curiously enquiring as to what was happening and what we would be selling.
The local businesses have also been very welcoming, offering advice and suggestions on how best to attract customers from the area. My thanks go especially to Heather at Heathers Flowers and Lucy at the Myrobalan Clinic for soldiering on through the disruption whilst we were undertaking the refit. Also thanks to Dave Marsh and team for keeping us in emergency tools, screws and paint supplies as well as Burns the Bread and Danelas Bakeries for keeping me in soup and sandwiches.
Since Florence Leather Collection opened its doors at the beginning of October, people have car from far and wide hearing of a new shop by word of mouth. I am very proud to hear them speaking positively about our selection, quality and price of handbags as well as the fact that sometimes they agree that one bag is not enough and purchase a second for a different dress and occasion.
A final point for this week is the launch of florenceleathercollection.co.uk our new e-commerce site. If you cannot make it to our shop, here is another way to select and purchase our merchandise.
Where did the handbag come from?
It seems nowadays no woman can go without a handbag to stow away everyday items from the iconic iPhone or iPad, make-up, purses or wallets and of course the house and car keys. The range of collections on the market from the great fashion houses of Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Chanel and Mulberry lure woman from all over the world to part with their money. However, the handbag has a long history and humble origins.View full article →
How do you know real leather?
Leather used in the manufacture of handbags comes from a variety of animal skins, for example; cowskin, pigskin or deerskin, to produce a range of processed leather based materials. Generally, the hide is processed using chemicals in a large vat after which it is then split by removing the top layer which is the best quality. Depending on the process the leather is then categorised as; full aniline or sauvage, pull up aniline, semi-aniline, pigmented, nubuck (also called chaps, stonewashed or suede) and bicast leathers (coated leather).View full article →