At Honey & Toast, British leather goods are at the heart of what we do and what we’re all about.
The backbone of Honey & Toast is British craftmanship and in the factory I use to make our bags, the quality is unrivalled. I’m so proud that we still have the British knowledge and skill to create some of the most beautiful handmade leather goods around.
From sketch and development to manufacture and shipping, it’s fair to say that Honey & Toast is a truly British leather goods brand. Whether it’s a Rocket scooter bag or a Pippin purse, everything is made on British turf, and I think that’s something to shout about. I thought it would be fun to share with you a little bit more about our Somerset factory and give you a sneak peek behind the scenes
to show how our bags are made.
1. Starting with a sketch...
Every handmade leather bag starts with my sketches and a mock-up bag in paper.
I send these over to Harry who’s in charge of the factory workshop. Harry makes the first prototypes because he’s the most experienced and turns my (sometimes quite messy) sketches into workable paper patterns that will be the basis for a new bag style.
2. Specs, trials and errors.
Once the patterns are cut, Harry and the workshop pull together the leathers and metal fittings to make first samples. The excitement when these arrive is nearly greater than Christmas morning and when I see the samples it’s usually love at first sight. After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing with Harry to make tweaks and small changes, it’s time for wearer trials. Of course the best people in the business for wearer trials are the little people we make things for. I let them fiddle, prod, poke, go out and dance in the rain with the bags.. all to ensure that all the components work perfectly and will stand the test of time.
3. Take a knife to it.
Once everything is signed off and approved, Paul gets down to making the knives. These are like giant biscuit cutters to punch out each
panel of leather that goes into making the bags.
Paul makes the knives in his workshop at the bottom of the garden, bending long strips of metal into the shapes that I need.
Paul then sends the knives to Mike in the factory. Mike’s the one in charge of the cutting and he quality checks each leather panel as
he punches it out.
4. Stamp, punch, hammer, sew.
Next the leather panels are gold foil stamped with the Honey & Toast logo and the all important ‘Made in England’ stamp.
Holes are punched for rivets and Sam Brownes and you’ll hear the sound of solid brass fixings being hammered into straps.
The leather panels with fittings are then passed onto Sue for stitching who works on a hand operated, old-fashioned post sewing machine.
It’s the only thing that can cope with the Honey & Toast thick, unlined leather we love to use.
5. Final checks
Final quality checks are made as the bags are packed into boxes and shipped to me in London.
I then pack everything into the signature Honey & Toast dust bags (which my mum is still making for me, yes!) The stock is stored neatly
and safely, waiting to surprise and delight a little customer, until the lovely orders roll in.
If Honey & Toast had an alphabet for it’s handmade leather purse range, ’B’would stand for British, ‘Q’for quality and ‘P’for playful.
There’s nothing we love more than seeing our leather accessories styling up outfits and adding pops of colour, style and fun to boys and girl’s Winter wardrobes.
Now, if you know small children you’ll know how they’re endless collectors of the tiny things that grown ups don’t take much notice of. Bits of twig, packaging, one piece of a jigsaw puzzle. These little items capture young imaginations and become precious things kept in their own private stashes and collections.
It’s this way of seeing the world that inspired our handmade leather purse, the “Pippin”. We think there’s no better place to stash children’s treasures than inside it.
The Pippin in our nude and metallic colourway gives a nod to the current trend for metallics and fashion’s on-going love affair with nude.
Made from 100% leather, there’s a pale gold textured leather front flap lined with light grey suede. The metallic makes a beautiful contrast with the nude body of the purse and fastens with an easy to open popper that’s just right for little fingers.
Brass hardware is arranged on the front of the purse in the shape of a face so that carrying the Pippin almost becomes like carrying a friend with you!
The purse has a cotton cord crossbody strap to fit over small shoulders and comes in it’s own drawstring dustbag. There are lots of ways that you can style up a sweet Winter outfit with the Pippin. Our little friend here shows it off just right in her blue woollen coat and sturdy little leather boots.
As much at home collecting acorns or tiny pine cones, the Pippin purse is also the perfect way to finish off a Christmas party outfit.
The nude and gold Pippin isn’t the only option we’ve made either. You can choose from printed leathers with a leopard or fun garden design, or from bold colour block combinations using navy blue, sun yellow or cherry red.
Like everything else we do, the Pippin is handmade in our Somerset factory. It’s not throwaway fashion, but something rooted deeply in craftmanship, to be kept as a reminder of childhood adventures for years to come...