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Made in Britain

January 15, 2018

Spotlight on British brands: Pullup and Slouch

By: Luke

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Finding inspiration closer to home

Many of the unique British brands we’ve chatted to have found design inspiration from family. Renne Jewellery, The All-In-One Company and KJF-From Scratch were all born out of a designer’s wish to make something for their nearest and dearest. And this week’s brand is no different. Join us as we delve into the world of Pullup and Slouch.

We’ve been speaking to Tessa Ware, the designer and maker behind Pullup and Slouch’s gorgeous handmade bags.

Where did the name Pullup and Slouch come from?

It goes back to when my two sons were small. I used to get them ready for school in the mornings, helping them do up their buttons and making sure their jumpers were on the right way round. Even at an early stage, they both had their own unique style.

Jason (the eldest) liked his socks pulled right up to his knees, whereas Ben (the youngest) liked his socks pushed down to his ankles – I used to call them Pullup and Slouch. The names stuck and so has their individual style.

What inspired you to start designing and making your own line of bags?

I’ve always been happiest when I’m using my creative side and I particularly love sewing.
I wanted to start my own business and decided to design and make bags as they’re quicker to produce than clothing and sizing wouldn’t be a problem. I love the process and the endless possibilities of bag design.

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What does a typical day look like for you?

I’m at my most creative in the morning so I’m an early riser. I like to get fitness classes over and done with so I’ve got the whole day to focus on my business.

I spend as much time as I can designing and making bags so most of my time is spent in my studio. A bespoke piece involves a lot of communication with the client to ensure the end product is what they want. I photograph the process every day to keep a record of what I make.

Your bags are made from a range of fabrics, from tweed to leather to canvas. How do you source your materials?

Being such a small business I’ve really struggled to get a wholesale supplier for good quality fabric for my bags. To tackle this, I source most of my fabrics while travelling. I purchased the Harris Tweed directly from a tweed mill on the Isle of Lewis when I visited last year. A lot of the canvas I’ve used was sourced when I was on holiday in Australia and I found batik-printed silk in Singapore.

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We love all the creative behind-the-scenes snaps on your Instagram. What’s your favourite part of the creative process?

The best bit for me is the final reveal of a new design. I sketch out the concept, draft a mock-up in paper, draft the pattern, test the pattern in calico and finally make the design up in leather. To finish it and find it fits together the way I (or the client) intended is so rewarding. It gives me a huge sense of satisfaction.

What’s next for Pullup and Slouch?

I’m currently transitioning from fabric bags to leather bags. I’ve been studying at the London College of Fashion and I’ve invested in specialist equipment. I’ve also found some fantastic suppliers in London who’ve been really helpful and provided excellent quality leather. I’m developing my designs and building a client base for the bespoke options – so from January, Pullup and Slouch will be all about leather.

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It’s time to switch things up

If, like Tessa, you’ve been inspired to experiment with new materials for your products, we’ve got labels to complement any fabric choice. Take a look at our blog post about on-trend fabrics and the labels that match.

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