It seems an age ago now, but just before I took a bit of a break from blogging, in fact before Christmas, I stumbled upon a new shop and studio in Brighton, the rather beautiful Neoma Design. When I ventured in after oggling through the window a few times, I was greeted by Delores, owner, maker and all round lovely person. Delores is one inspirational lady; a self taught handbag designer and single parent, it is obvious she has worked hard to get her own shop.
I asked Delores a few questions about her work and creative life:
"I have always been creative, I actually started out studying Graphic Design, but I realised that it wasn't quite right for me. Prior to making bags, I designed some linen clothes for breast feeding, then made cards which were stocked all over London." Delores still remembers the first bag she fell in love with, a tan doctors bag that her sister had. But it was only when her Mum bought her a hessian bag with a woven handle, that Delores felt inspired to try making her own, a simple design which is now known as the Neoma Classic. After a while, mainly doing wholesale, Delores got a bit demotivated churning out the same thing. So she qualified as a Painter and Decorator and kept the bags on as a seasonal sideline.
Having her own space, means that Delores now has the freedom to take her time, some pieces stay unfinished for a while so the customer can make the final choice and other's evolve as they are worked on. But her work is always simple. Delores is inspired by nature, this is obvious in the shop, with branches and dried flowers used to decorate . She told me though that sometimes it is the leather that dictates the finished piece, and until she begins working on it then she doesn't quite know how it will turn out.
Delores' daughter is also obviously a huge part of her life, and it is in fact, her interest in photography that has inspired Delores, to create a dark room in the shop basement and space for exhibitions on the top floor of the shop. She wants a space for her daughter and friends to feel comfortable and to allow them to be creative.
Along with her own designs, Delores takes commissions and does repairs. She is planning on offering workshops too.
Delores has a few pieces on her website, but I would highly recommend popping in to her shop if you are in Brighton, Delores passion for leather is obvious, with tiny details such as the leather straps on the shelves, it is a pleasure to visit.