A personalised masterpiece

You choose your own materials by type and colour

You choose your own materials by type and colour - Credit: SUB

A famous Somerset company is offering customers the chance to design a unique addition to their wardrobe, as Charlotte Skidmore discovers

The finished article

The finished article - Credit: SUB

When I received an email from Emma at Owen Barry asking whether I would like to design my own handbag it was what you call a ‘no brainer’.

But this was more than just getting a shiny new accessory for my wardrobe, this was about getting a really in depth look into a Somerset business with a long history and a bright future.

And, let’s face it, I was following in the footsteps of high profile Owen Barry customers such as Sarah Vine (Daily Mail Columnist) and wife of Michael Gove MP, music stars Paloma Faith and Florence Welsh of Florence and the Machine and even a touch of royalty. How could I say ‘no’?

Owen Barry has been producing sheepskin and leather products from its traditional workshops in Street since 1948. Five generations of the Barry family have been involved with skin tannage and manufacturing, developing Owen Barry into the unique company it is today and now its products are sold worldwide.

On arrival at the premises in Street (which also has an amazing little shop attached), I met with Cindi Barnstable (MD & Head Designer) who took me on a tour of the factory floor and talked me through all the wonderful fabrics in an amazing array of colours.

I had already had a sneaky peak at the website to decide on my preferred design – it could be anything from a cross body bag, to a weekend bag and anything in between!

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My sensible side told me to be very practical and get a bag that would match a lot of my wardrobe. But once on the factory floor this totally went out the window – especially when I clocked the bright pink leather and the leather with the silver flecks through it.

‘You can have both’ says Cindi, so I went for it!

Owen Barry is a company that produces goods for high profile names like Burberry and Paul Smith and its reputation is known all over the world, so this personalised service and the chance to see your bag made from start to finish is all the more special.

It shows you how the best of British is made right here on our doorstep in Somerset and I urge you to give it a try. You – and your wardrobe – won’t regret it. w