I have had a lifelong passion for transforming things rather than throwing them away. At an early age I was altering and remaking hand-me-downs from my big sister so that I would be wearing something original. Living on the road made me aware of all the materials that were being thrown away, but which could, with imagination, be turned into something beautiful and useful. I realised I have a natural artistic flair which is inspired by the form and texture of what many would see as rubbish. I started making bags out of inner tubes in 1999 as a consequence of living and travelling in a converted fire engine – it was a readily available material which I discovered I could shape using traditional leatherwork techniques I had seen in Spain.
In 2007 I set up my own design company when I returned to the UK to live in Bristol. Promoting awareness of the environment and of the resources and materials we use daily are essential elements in all my creations. To date, these range from fashion accessories to furniture, chandeliers and lighting, wall-hangings and large interactive sculptures. I am continuing to develop my ideas. I love beauty and originality, which I express through transforming discarded objects into useful and well-designed products. I am drawn to the fashion world which I see as an art form, but my beliefs and experience lead me to being resourceful and stylish rather than a follower of fashion.
In addition to being a designer I hold workshops to teach others how to turn unwanted items into usable, pleasing art.
The Tsubi bag was designed in 2000 when I lived on the road and has always been a popular bag. It's also the one I enjoy making the most. The style is so pleasing; it takes the shape of the inner tube thus making it unique in the fact that it couldn't be made from ordinary bought material or leather. It's also completely waste-free: Exactly six tsubi bags are cut from one innertube with nothing thrown away.
Expect to see sleek yet hardy bags for men and women, wallets, purses, belts and bumbags. There'll be some new designs that I've been working on that have not yet been put on the website and some beautiful jewellery.