Today, I would like to share the story of how I found my first Charlotte Elizabeth bag, as well as an exclusive interview with the ever-inspiring and kind Charlotte Jones, founder of Charlotte Elizabeth (CE), who just released a third wave of beautifully crafted handbags. This article is not sposored.
– how it began
I am lucky enough to call Charlotte my friend and I am so grateful that a google search led me to her bags. Having found Charlotte’s handbags on a website, while googling for a Christmas present for myself back in 2016. I noticed immediately how her products were classy, timeless and beautifully crafted, with care and attention to detail. However, it was not only the bags that captivated me, it was also Charlotte’s values and her story.
Already then, I could feel that it CE is a brand of quality, from people for people. With time, this has been proven time and time again. Therefore, I find Charlotte Elizabeth’s brand values quite unique in these modern days of fast fashion.
A Charlotte Elizabeth handbag stands for values, which I can relate to. Here are some of those values: inspiration despite adversity, support and community, growth and humanity, honesty and togetherness.
Her story inspires, most of all, to dream despite of what you are going through, while respecting your needs as well – the balance between the two. The first bags were designed from her bed, not knowing if she would ever wear one, crossbody, in a summer dress, on the way to a café in the beautiful English countryside. But she did! Neither did Charlotte know that, six years on, her bags were walking around the world, in a revamped edition.
In the middle of getting the launched ready, Charlotte made time to talk about life and her brand. There are new designs and a revival of the classic one, which are now crafted at the heart of London.
It’s time to read the news from Charlotte…
Words from Charlotte Jones
founder & creator extraordinare of Charlotte Elizabeth
– about CE’s third bag launch
How many designs can we look forward to?
We have three new releases – the Bloomsbury, the Meadow and the Mayflower designs.
What inspired you, when making the new designs?
I have come to realise that I have an attraction, bordering fascination with all things curvature! You will see how this plays in our latest desings.
How have your products progressed since the beginning of your Charlotte Elizabeth
We really have come so far since I hit live on our website back in March 2016, which I created and ran from bed due to ill-health at the time. I feel that a few years ago, I really lost my sense of confidence within what I’m doing. It was a time where I felt quite lost. But now I feel I am bursting with energy for life! I just have so much that I want to do and achieve and create on this earth. From this place, I feel my designing is the most ‘me’ it’s ever been. I feel that it comes from a very real place, and one which I hope portrays to the customer.Every single product really is created through love.
What does your design process look like? Do you have an initial idea which is then realised or does it take time?
I never design to ‘tick’ a bag box, somehow it happens far more organically! Often I will have a vision, a very strong image, suddenly come into my mind, often when walking the dog in nature.
I will then try to convey what my mind is showing me through digital (my favourite) design. Eventually, once I’ve progressed the ideas enough to form a bag which I’m happy with, I will then create it out of card. It seems strange, but every handbag brand does this within the prototyping stages. It’s brilliant to see how your designs look in person, and if different parts work (often you realise things need to be adapted here).The next stage is finalising specs, paper and digi designs, the 3D model, to then take these to our handbag maker in London, to create our first sample.I adore every step of the process. To then see the completed prototype a very special moment indeed.
When is the new collection available?
It’s just launched, check www.charlottelizabeth.com to see the handbags…
What colours should we expect to see in your latest launches?
We have selected stunning colours for our latest products. From a much-anticipated forest green, to a stunning unique sky blue, to rich oxbloods, to mystical grey. We have everything covered for you!
What 3 words describe your latest designs?
Luxurious. Curved. Soft.
What makes Charlotte Elizabeth unique to others in your market?
When I came into the leather goods sector in the fashion industry, I very quickly became aware of just how male-dominated and corporate the industry is. A lot of companies have mid-aged males running them. This is no issue, at all, but often, these individuals aren’t connected to what the customer actually wants, and puts profit before people. Their business is more a machine than a brand with a beating heart.
Charlotte Elizabeth is different. Firstly, being 26 years old, and creating CE aged 19, I am one of the only young female handbag designers within the UK. Secondly, it’s a sister-run company. Thirdly, we are a conscious brand, we carefully consider absolutely everything that we do, and do it from the heart. We are always striving to do better. To support the craftspeople who really are the soul of the industry. And finally, all of our designs are created by me, authentically. I create what I believe my customer wants, from a place of being a consumer with needs myself. I want our customer to feel special when they wear our products, over anything else.
– and now for something more personal
What is the best book you’ve read over the past year?
I adore The Choice by Dr Edith Eger. I have recommended it to pretty much everyone I know. Lost Connections by Johann Hari is brilliant too. Read with or without a connection to depression, it’s very insightful for a happier life.
Something that means a lot to you that you’d like to work on promoting?
Mental health broadly speaking. But most importantly, compassion, to all of our humanness.
What should never change?
Your ability to cope with change! ‘the most permanent thing in life is change’.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
In nature. In a beautiful house surrounded by countryside with lots of laughter and adventures. Lots of dogs, horses, children, homecooked food and friends visiting in abundance!
What are your moments of happiness throughout the day?
I am a true morning person. There is nothing like the sense of ‘aliveness’ you feel as dawn crawls in. Waking with the sunrise and having time to think, to dream, to process, to feel inspired, really fills me up for the rest of my day. I love exercise, and often find myself happiest when on a long dog walk through the pine forest with my dog. I love listening to the birds, and watching the trees swish around me. I am a fan of yoga, too, and feel abundant after practice!
I feel that purpose plays a great deal in one’s happiness, so I am very grateful that Charlotte Elizabeth fills my cup with that. A happy day is one designing, in my flow, coming up with new ideas or progressing current. I adore working. It feels like my baby. Sometimes that baby cries, or screams, but each time it does, I only feel more love for it! I’m a real foodie, and love cooking healthier dishes, so cooking is very much my happy place.
What makes a good life?
Being kind to others, and yourself. Living in line with your values. Respecting yourself, others, the planet. Saying yes and no when it feels right. Trusting your gut. Leaning into what is you and letting go what isn’t. Being brave and stepping out of your ‘comfort hole’ (as I call it!). Dreaming. Believing that anything is possible. Believing in yourself to make it possible. Nature, respecting, loving, honouring it. Choosing to be positive, kind, non-judgemental. Being honest to yourself, and others. Freedom. Movement. Choice. Friends. Family. Purpose. Ambition. Setting goals, and achieving them. Love. Long sunny days. Grey rain days. Dogs. Always thinking of others, and how to better life for them, yourself, and future generations. Trusting in yourself, and life, to make it a good one.
Charlotte’s new designs are a beautiful development from previous designs, improved and luxurious. She is a creator, who storytells through her handbags and represents the best combination between fashion, support for human values and our own uniqueness.
To showcase the development of the brand, I decided to use photos from the previous collections, as well as, ones from the new collection, kindly provided by Charlotte.
If you want to read more on Charlotte’s story, here is the place – click on me.
I hope you have a heartwarming day and that you got inspired and curious.
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– Not an ad, nor a sponsored post. Photos of the new bags are courtesy of Charlotte Elizabeth Ltd. –