Making bags snuck up on me. I’ve never been a planner - in fact, I’ve only ever made one plan and it didn’t work, so i haven’t bothered since... and its been brilliant.
Norman, my best friends dad, is an inventor and one of the longest serving beach concessionaires in the country. When I moved to the island he offered me a space in his workshop to make pottery; I accepted. One afternoon, he asked if I would take some old sun beds to the scrap yard to help him out... “but could you just take that fabric off them first- nobody will want that”, he said.
So i did.
I'm just a collector of things, especially brightly coloured things. The deck chair material was another addition. I couldn’t bear to see it being thrown away, unloved. I’ve only just started to be able to part with some of the fabrics (and that's only on the condition that I can keep a little bit to frame). Given my Wombling ways, i couldn’t bring myself to take the long strips of sunny yellow pvc to the tip, so I took them home and gazed at them... for days...
Finally, I made myself a bag from them. The next warm day, I used that bag to take my stuff to the beach. Somebody liked it, so i made them one too... and so it went on.
I still struggle to part with some of the fabrics, but I know that the people who buy our bags must love it just as much as i do; i get emails all the time telling me so... now I'm getting better at sharing - its much nicer all round!