No-one, not my parents, family, friends, girlfriend, in fact nobody ever said to me, "You know what would be good for you Billy, why don’t you go and buy a sewing machine and learn how to sew?" I didn’t even say it to myself. It was just a lovely accident, but once I started doing it the world went from black and white to glorious Technicolor. Straight away. I never knew about ownership of myself until that point.
I don’t particularly follow fashion closely, I come from Rock n‘ Roll and the original freedom of that movement. I would best describe what I do as Western Chic, it’s got the romance and rebelliousness of the outlaw and The West, but with a finishing to that of the highest of European standards. There’s warmth there, it's escapism, pure and utter escapism. When somebody buy’s a handbag from me, that’s what I see them as buying, the romance of the adventure. They’re buying it because of what it represents, an alternative to the mainstream. Totally different. Totally independent. Anything but the humdrum everyday.
My style is steeped and history is steeped in the vintage look, so what better way than for handbags to look like that as well? I combine the old distressed leather with the new. Maybe a brand new Hair on Cowhide skin, brand new buckles and rings. You get a beautiful clash between the new and the old complementing each other wonderfully.
The motivation behind what I do now is about curiosity and it’s about the pleasure of just staying in the day. An appreciation and gratitude for the opportunity to be able to do what I’m doing. I have a fertile imagination. My head is open to all sorts of possibilities. On a creative point of view I’m constantly switched on and I think that a sense of humour and affection comes out in my work. This is not a dowdy, downbeat, grim product. It’s very much life affirming and cheerful. When people see my work, and I’ve seen this many times, the first thing they do is……smile.