Tuesday 5 February 2013

Shop Local - Coterie

I'm so proud to announce my first Shop Local Interview. For this feature on my blog I will be interviewing and highlighting local Welsh Designers, Crafts People and Store Owners.

So for my first interview I would like to introduce the amazingly talented Tracy of Coterie. Tracy uses salvaged leather from the furniture industry to make raw edged and nature inspired functional leather bags. Each bag is completely unique and she can even make to order if you want. So on with the interview! 

Whats your name and where do you come from?
Tracy Watkins, beautifull Pembrokeshire on the west coast of Wales

How long have you been making your designs?
I set up the business in 2007, but had been making bags for a few years before that for family & friends, trying out ideas.

Pebble Detail Bag - £128.92

Is there a story behind your shops name?
My shop is called Coterie. When I first set up the business I ran a contempoary design gallery, Coterie meaning exclusive group or clique. I worked upstairs in a studio making bags, running downstairs to the gallery when the doorbell went. As I got busier it didn't really work doing both, so concentrated solely on the bags. I now work from home, selling online as well as to small boutiques, indepedent shops and galleries.

Scarlet Vintage Key Clutch - £59.99

What’s your favourite materials to work with?
Just leather! Though I have got some lovely welsh wool blankes made from recycled wool here, so have a few new ideas to work on.

Of your items which is your favourite?
Ooh, one of the big bags with a large brass key. Though my own bag is from the 'Lifesyle' range in mustard. I made it and hung it up in the shop window then took it straight down as I'd have been gutted if someone else had've bought it. It was MY bag now! I've had it about 5 years now and it's still going strong. Everyone loves it!

Where do you get your inspiration for your designs and also their names? 
I get inspiration from all around me. I'm a great upcycler - I see a use for eveything. I live on a smallholding and I'm always making practical things from bits and pieces from years gone by. The names pretty much do what they say on the tin.
Rouged Detail Black Leather Bag - £130.23

Do you have any formal training or did this start as a hobby?
I trained in London as a furniture deigner, then worked as a product developer for one of the UK's leading contemporary deigners and manufacturers. I used to come home from the furniture workshop with bin bags full of waste leather which is where I started turning them into little bags. I always knew I wanted to come home to Pembrokeshire eventually and jumped at the chance when I got the opportunity to move home and set up my own business.

Pebble Detail Navy Clutch - £58.24

Do you have any favourite etsy shops which you buy from?
I don't really have any particular favourite etsy shops to buy from, but I like perusing lots of differnt ones, particularly the jewellery and other little quirky gift ideas.
Lifestyle Messenger in Russet

What's your dream for the coming year?
I don't really dream, getting up at silly o'clock in the rain and mud to do the horses keeps my feet firmly on the ground! I'm really busy working on promoting the business right at the moment, trying to pick up some more special little outlets. I'd love to do some collaborations with some fashion designers next...

A selection of beautiful Purses

What's your favourite flower?
Freesia, I love the smell, but I don't like buying cut flowers transported from abroad. I like to keep it local and I love meadow flowers and anything I can grow in the garden too!

Want to see more designs from Coterie then check out their Facebook Page too

So there you have it the first of my Shop Local Feature, did you enjoy it?
What do you think of Coterie's Bags - are you as in love with them as I am.

 photo homeeee_zps214aed0e.jpg


  1. Très jolies ces petits sacs :)

  2. pretty bags >< love the black ruffled one <3
    thanks for visiting my blog, im ur new followers now, please follow mine too <3

  3. Great idea in interviewing the shop owner.

    Beautiful bags. My favorite is the red clutch!

  4. Great interview! I love the brass key bag, as well. :)



Thanks for reading. please leave comments as they really make my day, and I try to visit every one of your blogs too!

Related Posts with Thumbnails