PUBLISHED: 18:07 06 June 2016 | UPDATED: 09:00 07 June 2016
Two talented Somerset businesswomen talk to Sarah Ford about their inspirations and latest collaboration
Mother and daughter duo Pam Palmer and Lucy Clayphan design beautiful handbags using gorgeous soft leather.
They both have a business background and established Peony & Moore in 2010, as Lucy explains: “We wanted to offer handbags which bridged the gap between the high street offering under £100 and the designer collections at £500 plus.”
Their aim was to provide bags which functioned perfectly, had a strong nod to current trends and were affordable at £250 or less.
It became apparent very early on that creating their own designs would give them far more control over quality and delivery and the pair design everything in their Somerset base just outside Frome before shipping the finest Italian leathers to Portugal.
“We have the main collection manufactured by a small team of craftsmen in a leather factory we have been working with since we began,” says Pam.
“We often pop over to Italy to look at trends at MIPEL bag show and we obviously visit the factory as much as we can.”
Lucy adds: “We watch London Fashion Week to see the creations on the catwalk, then we look at what’s happening on the street so to speak. We’re always sketching details or shapes when we’ve seen something we love out and about and we bring all those ideas together and collaboratively progress designs.
“We love using colour, Italian leather is sumptuous and the Italian tanneries create the most breathtaking colours which we cherry pick from each season. We design our handbags to be functional first, so we have light striped linings and most handbags have cross body straps and accessible pockets for your phone. We also design classic silhouettes, which work well with your wardrobe and complement your style. Your handbag is an extension of you rather than a mouth piece.”
The name of the business combines the maiden name of Pam’s mother, which was Moore, and her favourite flower, a peony. There is a loyal customer base, with many purchasing repeatedly and they send handbags all over the world, as well as to a local following in the South West.
“They love our use of colour and they always say how easy to wear they are. Often we’ll see customers at events or shows and they come and say hello, not needing another quite yet as theirs is still going strong years on!” says Pam.
Finalists in the Deborah Meaden Local Business Accelerators competition, Peony & Moore has also recently collaborated with fashion icon Barbara Hulanicki OBE.
The collection features the West End clutch bag.
Lucy says: “It is a box design, funky black and metallic evening bag, with a surprising bright red lining. Worn with the cross body strap, it could be equally at home in a business meeting. It’s such a versatile piece.”
She adds that key trends for this year include camera bags, while tassels and fringed highlighting is apparently here to stay for another season.
“Mini bags are still strong and so easy to wear as well; our new Lola range of cross body bags come in two mini sizes and in six ice-cream colours. They are perfect for summer 2016!” w