Emoni is my middle name. It has always been there and I used to want it to be my first name and I tried to get people to call me it for a while but it never stuck, the truth is it didn’t really suit me as much as my first name Vivien. But it was given to me to use and I use it for this. I make things, bags is what I’m known for, I’m also a mender and a fixer, a restorer and I look after things. Colour is most important in all things, I keep useless things purely for their colour. I think about it all the time and feel disappointed if I haven’t got it right in what I’m wearing and I can feel on edge if I  I don’t like the colours in my environment.  My great-grandmother was a tailor, I believe what my mother taught me in terms of quality in materials I originally owe to her.  My early memories of clothes shopping with my mother, she never looked at the price first, it was always the fabric content, that would tell whether the price tag was worth it. Picking up jumpers from their hems and feeling inside for that small polyester label that revealed how high the woollen content was. But it was not only clothes, in kitchen goods and household appliances and tiles or furniture, it was always  vital to understand the mark of quality even if the price-tag meant it was out of reach.  My English grandparents had this appreciation too, along with a deep-held belief not to waste anything. There was a time when things lasting mattered or at least it mattered more to people.  Many people cherish the past and in fashion when Vintage became an idea it never went away, but with fashion turnover becoming a throwaway system, I wonder what vintage clothes will my children be wearing, one thing is for certain, it won’t be from Primark.

So the fabrics I choose for these bags are either vintage or simply lovely. I won’t ever be strict about what I use other than I have to see something special in it myself.  Liberty of London is a place of pilgrimage for me and it was sad to see it  lost from the streets of York as I remember it from my childhood.

Significantly I worked for Droopy & Browns in my  early twenties, they were a perfect clothing retailers in my eyes. They designed the clothes, they printed fabrics and they were manufactured in the same county.  To touch them and be in an environment surrounded by their creations was a joy. Sadly they were forced to close their last two shops (York and London)  after only three months of me being there.  At the end I was given a bundle of fabrics  and told that I would do something more interesting with them than anything else. I took them home jobless and begun something else.

Finding another job with a team of kindred spirits I was happy again. The fabrics had been on my mind, one day I went home from work and with the bags on my shoulder splitting at the seams I imagined myself a new one, which I made that night. A bag that could fit a coat in on a night out so that it didn’t have to get bundled on a dirty floor, a bag that would carry plenty of shopping, a bag that, would look pretty although large but not heavy or cumbersome, a bag that can withstand carrying 6 bottles of wine and a chocolate bar and won’t complain about it.

Emoni has been on a journey, with many ups and downs but it’s motivations and core values have never changed, which I think is why people continue to buy them.