BWA chats to the amazing, inspiration talent behind Australian based handbag line Sterling & Hyde.
What inspired you to begin Sterling & Hyde?
I had always loved handbags and working as a professional women I could never find the a colourful leather handbags which was functional enough to meet my busy needs, at a price i could afford. So I started working on a few designs of my own. Then my partner Peter had a near fatal motorcycle accident where he actually died on the operating table a few times. With months in hospital and rehabilitation thereafter he has recovered. But that massive scare taught us both to live for the moment and pursue our dreams. For him that was to move out of the city and for me it was to start my own accessories brand where I could offer women great handbags and accessories that they don’t just carry through the day, but which are fashionable and functional and which help them conquer their day!
Was it a shock moving from the fast paced life of the city to a quite seaside town? What did you learn from the experience?
I can’t say I have slowed my life down any more since I have moved to the coast. I have reset my priorities in life and are now pursuing my dreams. Being by the sea I must however say our customers are always relaxed and happy to chat to us about their stories and what brought them to us. I have learnt that internal happiness comes from doing what you are meant to do.
What inspires you creatively?
Ordinary everyday women who can pull off their “own” look! I think any woman can look good and when they know they have nailed it that day they are invincible! This is what inspires me and what I see everyday.
As a role model to ambitious young women, what is your advice to young entrepreneurs?
My mantra which I live by everyday is-Forget perfect and instead be authentic.
Really listen to your customers and if you continue to delight them you will succeed.
If you are planning to quit your job to pursue your passion, go for it but make sure you can independently support yourself for 12 months without drawing an income from the business.
Can you describe the aesthetic of Sterling & Hyde?
Our brand aesthetic is one of colourful, functional handbags and accessories. Every woman has their own unique requirement of what they want and need in a handbag. And they should, as we all carry them with us each day! So we try to cater for all these varied needs with our range, and are now excited to allow women to also create their own one of a kind leather handbags too if we don’t have a product in our range which suits them.
If you had to pick one key piece that sums up the label what would it be?
Our Orange Bessie Tote. Our brand embraces bright colour (life is too dull without it!) and she is functional, fun and best of all has some personality of her own 🙂
The one thing that you can’t leave the house without?
My sunglasses. I had laser eye surgery a few years ago, and after 25 years with glasses it is so great to be able to wear fashionable frames as opposed to the daggy perscription coke bottle sunglasses I used to have to wear!
What can we expect from Sterling & Hyde in 2012?
A whole lot more. Currently our customers can create their own custom handbags in our Sorrento boutique, but in a few months they will also be able to create their own dream handbags online with our second online store soon to be launched.. This is a first for Australian shoppers and we are so proud to be able to offer this to our loyal customers. We have also had our customers crying out for a boutique in Melbourne so we will be looking for possible sites for a new boutique in 2012 and most likely starting with a pop up shop somewhere fab. And lastly we will be looking to design some more fantastically functional handbags, already branching out with leather overnight bags, nappy bags, ipad bags etc which will add to our growing collection.
Shop the collection now at Sterling & Hyde.