Made in Britain catches up with Sarah Haran, founder of VVA Handbags.
Above: Fashion Slave featuring The Dahlia by VVA Handbags. Photographer: Rebecca Spencer
Please tell us a little about what you do: VVA are a premium handbag brand that allow individuality, function and choice to exist in handbags that are both beautiful and timeless. Functional versatility is the driving force behind VVA and has always been at the forefront of our ethos. The collection evokes both functional versatility and elegance and each VVA bag can be carried and styled in number of different ways. VVA handbags are individually produced and handcrafted, using the finest British and Italian leathers. Hand finished with silver nickel details, each bag is as unique as the user. They are available in a variety of premium leathers, colours and prints. The collection is effortless and timeless, while still highly functional, ensuring that every occasion can be met with confidence and style.
What’s your favourite way to start the day and when do you start work? I Start the day by going to the gym when I can. I know that sounds mad but I find it gets me going in the morning. I tend to start work first thing so that I can get all administration out of the way and free up as much of the day for production and then of course sales and marketing.
Where/what is your work? Describe the setting for us. I have a studio attached to the side of my house. It was originally a dingy garage but is now a very modern small studio space. In here I can store all my wonderful leathers and cut all my handcrafted handbags. I also have a sewing room in my house which is where all the creative thinking goes on.
Why do you do what you do? I love creating all sorts of fashion accessories, but my heart lies in making beautiful functional stylish handbags. It sounds odd, but the joy I get in creating something that is so personal to each wearer, yet is an everyday acessory that most ladies simply cannot do without – that thought just excites me so much. The appreciation I then get from my VVA friends and customers makes it all worthwhile.
Above: @sophiemilner_fs featuring Moc Croc Black Dahlia
Can you sum up your ethos and what inspires you? Functional versatility is the driving force behind VVA and has always been at the forefront of my design ethos. I am inspired by products that allow me to organize my life.
Above: @toularose featuring Lemon Dahlia
Favourite design icon? Oh there are so many but I particularly admire the timelessness of Chanel and Dior, the amazing creativity of Anya Hindmarch and of course the history and longevity of Mulberry. Victoria Beckham is also greatly admired for her clean cut dresses in my studio! All true icons that are always on trend.
What do you like to do for lunch? I always seem to be rushing around but try to make time for a soup or a salad to keep my energy levels up! A few smoothies and a sneaky cake every so often always goes down well at lunch.
What keeps you going through the day? Deadlines and knowing I am creating products that other people will love to use.
Best moment so far in your business? There have been a few but I think seeing my products come to life after an intense design phase that ends up with the handbags being worn by both customers and celebrities.
What are you most proud of? Actually getting the business off the ground. It’s so easy to moan about everyday life and do nothing about finding what will make you happy. Taking the plunge and starting VVA has made me proud of myself
In a nutshell, what’s special/unique about what you do? VVA create functional and versatile handbags that allow our wearers to carry their life in style.
How important is sourcing British/local to you – and why? Fundamental. I never wanted to be designing handbags made in high volumes in far away places. I wanted full control over both my supply chain and my manufacturing. It’s the only way I can fully ensure perfect British products.