I met Dominique and Liz at Top Drawer, one of the largest and most impressive design fairs held bi-yearly in London. It is quite an honour and a challenge for a designer to exhibit there. Dominique and Liz immediately struck me with their passion and enthusiasm. Their friendship is evident and their business partnership all the stronger for it. I loved their bags at first sight as they stood out from the rest and are made with a discerning eye, with particular attention to colour and texture. The materials used are beautifully soft and the tote shape is an essential for any woman on the go.
Below, Dominque and Liz reveal a bit more about themselves and their brand, appropriately named “Hopeful”.
How Hopeful came about
Dominique: I’ve been making things since I was a little girl. Having studied art and fashion textiles, and after 15 successful years in the industry, the desire to create my own label had been on my mind for a long time. I made several ranges of jewellery and accessories and these were always well received with people asking when to do more. After suffering a personal tragedy, creativity became a great escape presenting me with hope for the future and giving me the courage to take the leap into business. Being able to focus on creating something beautiful for others to enjoy is a great feeling! I knew I would work better with a business partner so I approached my good friend Liz who has a business background in the city, a great entrepreneurial spirit and her own successful business under her belt, as well as raising three boys! She’s a great multitasker with a keen eye for fashion. We have a wonderful working relationship, both bringing different qualities to the brand.
What is our inspiration?
Dominique: Our philosphy is to create beautiful and stylish accessories that have a unique and functional quality. Lives today are so full that few of us can fit them into handbags. We need to accommodate items such as gym kit, kids’ paraphernalia, make up, lunch, and phones… We believe size shouldn’t compromise style. Therefore each of our gorgeous bags blends roomy design with paired back styling.
Pattern and colour play a huge part in our everyday lives; we see the beauty and inspiration in all things and this is reflected in our designs. I think the key for us is the juxtaposition of different fabrics, colours and textures. Matt with shine; leather with denim; seude with metallics. Just one of the reasons we are loving our Leather and Denim Lexi so much!
What is our ethos?
We believe people are looking for something a little bit different; a product that will last through many seasons. We want to move away from the disposable and create a collection that will become better with age. The beauty of our denim styles is they get better with each wash and use – just like your favourite pair of jeans!
The first range launched this March and it is proving to be a real success. We create all our prints in house and design the embroideries of which the first will be seen in our High Summer collection. I can’t wait to share this with our customers!
What does our average week look like?
: I’m not sure there is such a thing! Most weeks we’ll be in the studio finalising the range for the coming season and working on orders placed from both our website and our trade customers. Sourcing new materials and fabrics is always on the to do list – we get very excited about future design! We will often be in London visiting manufacturers or at a trade event. We’re busy planning for the Spirit of Summer at present, which we can’t wait for. One of the reasons we love our job is the variety andever week brings something new. With six children between us flexibility is important and we’re fortunate we can work around the school runs!
What we love most about working together
Dominique : It’s important to have someone to bounce ideas off and who understands when you’re having an ‘off’ day. We’ve known each other for so many years that we understand each other in a simple glance! Liz is a great motivator on days when things feel like they are getting on top of me and I would like to say I do the same for Liz . It’s amazing how much there is to still learn about this industry but I’m so proud of how far we have come and looking forward to what the future holds.