Victoria Sugden Designs story, is, like many sucess stories, filled with struggles,
poverty and humble beginnings. It started with a dream.
The dream was made reality through determination and passion and staying
positive and focused.
It's a story of hope and encouragement, a story of how one persons passion for her
work can be turned into a dream come true.
Victoria was a young, single mother when she began her studies at
The University of Huddersfield. She graduated with
a BA (Hons) 2:1 in Textile Crafts in 2005.
Her final degree exhibition called “Eeh Bah Gum”, was a collection of knitted,
felted, men's accessories. It was an expression of old Yorkshire mills
and the Yorkshire dialect, with sayings sewn into the fabric.
"Eeh Bah Gum was chosen as one of a select few to be awarded
a stand at New Designers in London. Victoria was overwhelmed with
the opportunity which created many influential contacts.
During her degree Victoria dreamed of having a studio and her
own business, designing, making and selling accessories.
When she had finished her studies, she began making knitted
accessories from home and selling them at art and craft fairs.
She also worked on learning new skills and techniques and produced
a website, while holding down other jobs and raising her children.
Patchwork and recycling has been a strong theme throughout - possibly
a subconscious reaction to life's struggles and holding and patching
everything together. Victoria experimented with new materials
including leather, creating a range of one of bags and clutches.
In 2009 Victoria was contacted by a boutique who had seen her work online.
She began to design and make leather bags for them, as well as
continuing to sell online and at events.
- Business continued to grow and In 2011 Victoria began renting studio
- and workshop spaceand was designing and making one
- off,unique leather bags.
- Early in 2014 the business became Victoria Sugden Designs and
- demand for the unique leather bags was huge. Sales went up and
- by December 2014 the online shop was extremely busy.
- The website and onlineshop were updated and new
- bag designs were launched.
- From January 2015, online interest and orders skyrocketed
- further and a growing interest meant that demand
- was higher than possible production rate.
In 2017, Victoria Sugden Designs recieved a personal invitation
to the Royal opening of Sunbridgewellsin Bradford.
The locally famous bags were just what the event organisers
were looking for. They were given a shop free of charge
for the weekend. Princess Anne was said to be very charming
and was extrememly impressed with handmade leather bags.
The unique designs also caught the attention of a film production
company in July 2017 who contacted Victoria Sugden Designs
and asked if they would design and make a leather holdall
and some leather bags for a new production.
Victoria agreed and went to meet the producers, art director and
celebrities on set in Whitby.
The film The Runaways will be out on screen by September 2018.
2017 was also the year of the handmade ceramic buttons.
Victoria wanted to create the perfect accessories,
that could be designed and painted to match each
and every single bag and purse.
Victoria Sugden Designs bags are unique and distinctive.
The nature of leather, the techniques used and the finishing touches,
mean than no two bags can ever be the same.The natural raw
edges are carefully selected from the hides of leather
and ceramicbuttons are carefullyhand made and painted to match.
The businesses now has several stockists and a busy online shop.
It is hoped that the leather holdall that was designed for the
film will be available to order online very soon.
- "I've always believed that whatever you want in life, you can achieve,
- it's just a matter of how hard you want to work towards it.
- Dreams create visions and visions become future reality if you want them enough.
- My business was never just about how much money I could make,
- as a craft person, the opportunity to be creative and
- produce one off pieces that customers love and appreciate brings so
- much more pleasure.
- I believe honesty, integrity, trust and respect are key to
- sucessful business relationships, especially small, independent businesses.
- Im extrememly lucky to work with such people, from customers
- and suppliers to stockists. Genuine customer care is crucial.
- Although I rarely get any complaints, when I do (button fallen off for example),
- I work with the customer personally to resolve the issue immediately.
- I feel extremely lucky to be able to make a living from something I love doing.
- I wake up everyday and can't wait to get to work in my studio, It's just wonderful."
- Victoria Sugden