There’s a few inevitable changes that a lot of us just swallow when we become a mum.
Initially our bodies and hormones get so excited about the fact that we are bringing a human into the world and we get super excited and embrace these changes even going so far as to relish them.
An example of this might be trading in our impractical and possibly a bit flashy or quirky cars for something a bit more child friendly. Fun to begin with but I can tell you after eight years of driving a bland cardboard box on wheels (with seven seats and plenty of boot space – whoop whoop!) I kind of hanker after a convertible hatchback.
Another example is the accessory of choice which pre childbirth might be a bejewelled, colourful or sparkly little over the shoulder job with just enough space for you phone, credit card and some spare makeup. See those two lines on a stick and you start scouring the internet for the perfect floral, wipeable, huge changing bag with a gazillion added extras that you will undoubtedly misplace in the first six months of motherhood. But at the time – you really really want something that says ‘MOTHER’ all over it – in fact add some cute baby pandas onto the floral pattern and you’d probably pay an extra tenner.
But after a while you realise that the time you spend needing to carry around six changes of clothes, formula, four dummies, two packets of wipes (always a spare…. always a spare) is actually relatively short and from about the one year of motherhood mark right through until about year four or five you only need a bag big enough to hold your personal essentials, still one packet of wipes, a nappy and maybe a snack and water bottle. Plus you’ll have destroyed your back already by carting around a small person for twelve whole months and you’ll need to have one hand free to clutch the hand of aforementioned small person, one hand to carry the scooter they needed to bring but don’t want to ride and one hand…. oh wait I’m out of hands. The point is you don’t have a hand to carry a bag in.
Cue the need for a rucksack and I’m pleased today to present to you the perfect fusion of practicality versus fashion lust. Not only that this option is as unique as you are and the production of it is ethical and supports a wonderful local business.
Ladies I present to you the handmade rucksack from Cheltenham based designer Harriet Sanders who creates accessories galore in her Suffolk Parade based boutique.
I think I paid in excess of £70 for my wipeable changing bag from John Lewis and I sold it six months later on Ebay for less than a quarter of that. Harriet’s bags are a thing of beauty and they are designed in colour ways that are completely bespoke to you. They are roomy enough to fit all of the aforementioned motherhood debris and the smooth leather lining though not wipeable (FACT – total practicality and high fashion is a non existent combination) – one of Harriet’s cute leather pouches (or clutches) make the perfect internal storage for your lippy or any other items you need to keep away from the bag.
My bag travelled with me last weekend to Paris and left my hands free to pick up my glass of wine and gesticulate wildly like a sophisticated native in line with the adult conversation I was having (hoorah for girls only away days) and is now firmly on my back for trips to the farm park, supermarket and on the Push It Real Good walks.
Harriet graduated from the London College of Fashion. Her designs come from her belief in simplicity, colour and detail. as well as providing top quality accessories at affordable prices. Originally starting the company in her garden shed in London and selling her bags on Old Spitalfield’s Market. The company has now moved on to be run from a studio and showroom in the heart of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. In 2009, three Harriet Sanders originals were selected to be sold as part of the ASOS LTD100 Collection and they sold out in seconds. Quite some achievement and in 2016 Harriet was awarded Young Entrepreneur of the Year, as well as being a finalist for Creative Woman of the Year at the Women of the Year Awards.
She uses only ethically sourced Italian leathers. Each bag is individually handmade in Cheltenham by Harriet and she encourages no wastage when making bags so scars or imperfections in the leather are encorporated into the design of the bag, making them all the more unique and special.
My bag has not left my side and I really encourage you all to shop locally this christmas and consider these bags as your next lasting fashion splurge. I’m sure Harriet can do gift vouchers should you need to point a christmas gift giver in the right direction and what a great gift for a new mum (though give her the obligatory six or nine months to fall out of love with the wipeable alternative.) Harriet’s given you Mamans an exclusive treat in the form of a 20% off discount code (maman20) if you spend more than £50 in the next week (expires 7/11/2017.) Just make your order via the website to take up this offer or pop in and see what she has in the store or discuss a bespoke commission.
My bag and I will be at Maman Goes Pop! all week if anyone wants to come and admire her craftsmanship!
Happy Tuesday Mamans.
(This bag was a very kind gift from Harriet but as always my opinions and recommendations are my own. It IS a thing of beauty.)