We caught up with Beaconsfield based Emma from Sandals & Sunsets UK to find out more about her lovely shoe & bag business. As well as selling sandals, Emma also sells unique, one off recycled leather bags which are gorgeous! Over to Emma….
Tell us about Sandals & Sunsets UK:
The bags are hand made by artisans in India. They use off cuts of leather that would have been otherwise destined for landfill, these off cuts often come from deadstock from companies, meaning over orders, the material not meeting the aesthetic requirements for the company or too small a quantity left for use. This is why the bags come under the recycled leather title and this gives them their place in the sustainable fashion bracket, but also makes each one a one off unique piece. They cannot make multiples due to there not being enough leather to repeat the same bag design.
The sandals come from Spain and are fully leather, they are extremely popular in the Spring and Summer months and come in a range of sizes and designs.
What inspired you to start Sandals & Sunsets UK?
I started the sandal side of the business after seeing the sandals and the great quality and comfort of them from my friends company in Australia. My children, although still young, are both at school now and alongside my part time job I wanted to do something for myself and that I loved. Of course, sandals are only popular in the Spring and Summer, unless you’re lucky enough to go on a warm winter break. So I needed to find a product that I loved as much but that would suit the winter and all year round months. I came across the bags and loved the concept and uniqueness and have not looked back, although it is hard not to keep them all for myself.
What were you doing before?
I am still a part time PA but as I work from home I am lucky enough to do the job and run by business around my children and home life.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Well it is ever changing but I try and divide my time between, being a school run Mum, my job and setting aside enough time to interact with customers, fulfil orders and keep stock flowing. My main sources of selling are through social media, Facebook and Instagram and this does take a lot of commitment, time and effort but I’m happy to do it as I love interacting with the customers and people I’ve met along the way.
What’s the process you go through when picking stock?
For both products I hand pick everything, which takes time, but is very exciting. I love when I’ve put the time into the collection and then I get a great response from people as it has made all the hard work worth it.
I genuinely love all the bags, when they arrive its like I’m receiving something that is personally for me and I get very excited.
Peoples tastes are so different one week it may be the small cross body saddle bags and then next it could be the larger sizes that are more popular, it’s always a juggle to make sure I have the right stock and enough choice.
The purses start from £12 and £26 and the bags start at £38. The sandals are all at the £35 and £38 mark.
How can people buy your products?
Future plans for Sandals & Sunsets UK?
I don’t like to plan too far ahead and just take everything one day at a time and in small steps.
AND JUST FOR FUN?
How do you spend your time when you’re not running Sandal & Sunsets UK ? I spend a lot of time with my family and friends (under normal circumstances). I love coffee, traveling and reading and you’ll often find me at a local coffee shop with a friend or my Mum.
Which part of the Chilterns do you live? Beaconsfield.
Favourite local restaurant? Oh well it depends what mood we’re in haha, we love China Diner for Chinese, The Beach House for burgers, The White Horse for atmosphere and good food and Prime for something special.