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Interview: Emma Cornes Bag Maker

Interview: Emma Cornes Bag Maker
Shop Cheshire caught up with Emma Cornes to find out why she became a bag maker and what inspired her love of tweed.

Why I became a bag maker?

People are always asking me why I started, after all I have a degree in Geography and would rather be out on my bike in the hills than shopping for a new bag. There is no single reason - a few things inspired me a couple of years ago.

Nicola: Emma's all day every day bag in Kentchurch tweed

My bag making journey started when i bought my first sewing machine. I set up my little Singer on the kitchen table and ran off a few hundred metres of bunting for my wedding. The while visiting family in Scotland's Tweed valley where I grew up, on my way back from honeymoon, I happened across one of the mills making tweed.

Emma busy at work

I'm the kind of person who only ever has one bag at a time. It has to work for every occasion. I'd use them until they were threadbare and then struggle to find a replacement. So I thought maybe I could make the bag I wanted with the 
tweed I'd found.  I guess I probably shouldn't be a bag maker, but it turns out I'm not the only person who uses bags like I do.

After watching a few YouTube videos on how to make bags I got started. The first few months were spent making really terrible bags, but then I started to get the hang of things and people liked what I was doing. And once word got round loads of people offered me help with everything from leather work to coping with cash flow.

Kirsty - A bag for life's essentials

I made the first 300 or so bags myself, but we've just started working with a manufacturer in the Midlands to help us keep up with demand.  We're growing - my husband Pete joined our business full time at the beginning of this year and I recently won the Bentley Motors Young Business Person of the Year at the Cheshire Business Awards.

Why Tweed?

Why do I love working with tweed so much?

I'm a history geek and can't get enough of a good story.  The heritage and development of British woven cloths doesn't disappoint.  It's even better that the world's best cloth is woven just down the road from the sheep farm I grew up on.

It reflects real landscapes. Driving around, whether in towns or the countryside, I probably bore the pants of friends trying to work out what the tweed of a particular vista might look like.

It has lots of hidden little secrets. It has amazing depth. In one light you think it'S one colour, then you move it a bit and you see more. When a new roll of cloth arrives the slightly woolly smell just makes me smile.

Fairweather in Kentchurch tweed - The everyday workhorse

About Emma Cornes bags

Emma's bags are made in Britain using the very best British fabrics. Emma takes inspiration from the landscapes that inspire the Scottish estate tweeds that she's best known for using. As well as striking designs, her bags include details inspired by how people really use their bags - whether that's using waterproof canvas for the liner or the range of handy pockets on the inside.

Tel: 01244 879718
Tags: interviews, hand made bags, emma cornes bags, tweed handbags, fashion and accessories, cheshire fashion and accessories

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