Tote Spotting on the Tube

  • Julia Gash
  • 7th November 2013

I'm somewhere between Leicester and Derby on a late night train to Sheffield.  Not quite the Midnight Train to Georgia and I'm not leaving L.A. but Kings Cross St Pancras London actually. And I'm headed home for a simpler place and time ... Sheffield. 

I've had mammoth day of meetings, five in all.  This is not something I would normally undertake in one day but when you're on a roll ... :-)  I've met with a lovely department store, a cool and creative, retail chain and a great online store to show them our SS14 Talented Totes Collection - that's Spring Summer 2014 to you non-fashionistas.  I'm currently selling AW13, just launched SP14, showcasing SS14 and am about to design AW14.  I don't know which way is up so I've designed myself a Collection Planner so I know what I'm supposed to be doing each month - otherwise I don't know if it's New York or New Year  I've shared it with my team so they know what season I'm in the mode for Spring or Autumn regardless of what month it is.

I'm all for organisation and came across a great quote this week by the US Leader of the House of Representatives: Nancy Pelosi "Organise, don't agonize!"  I've shared this with my team too.  I've also thrust some great, free online Planners upon them from a really helpful onine business called Productive Flourishing.  I've downloaded them, customised them to work for us at BIDBI and it's saving my life!  The Weekly Action Planner is a great tool for organising your week and makes interesting reading at the end of Friday when you realise what you have and haven't done against what you set out to achieve. A pattern quickly develops and you can see what drives you and what you avoid.

My other meetings were seeing two, separate, menswear brands that make some lovely men's attire and grooming products.  I met up with my colleague Amanda from BIDBI and we've been talking laundry bags, wash bags and mini-duffle bags for guys.  I have this big bag of bags with me, which weighs a ton. It started life in Earls Court then travelled to Victoria, Mornington Crescent, Camden High Street, Euston, Vauxhall, Earls Court, Olympia, back to Earls Court again, Lambeth North, Piccadilly and finally Kings Cross St Pancras.  My Oyster Card got a great work out today!  

The underground is also a great place for spotting totes.  I'm never satisfied until I've spotted a tote that we've printed for a customer. Today I saw a Hobbs NW3 bag that we made at Piccadilly. I don't have a photo of that but I do of a bag we made for lovely, Islington retailer Diverse at the Port de Versailles on the Paris Metro.

Diverse Clothing Bag on Metro

The reason for me being at Piccadilly was to be there for the launch of our Pop Up Shop, which is part of the Pop Up Britain scheme. It's a great initiative to give emerging British designers and retailers key retail space in the heart of London for one week only. Talented Totes will be there from 14 - 20 November with a collection of cool, canvas bags on sale in this prime location.

Pop Up Piccadilly

 The Duke of York was there for the launch. Here's the two of us chatting about bags and pop ups.

Julia Gash and Prince Andrew

I gave him a "Walkies" canvas bag, with a design that I drew of his mum taking her beloved corgis for a walk.  I hope he likes it ... and uses it!  With the 5p tax coming in next year on plastic bags, it will help him to save the pennies and then the pounds.  And if Beatrice and Eugenie end up fighting over it then he can get one from our online shop at Doodle Bag.

The train has now taken some god forsaken detour into the depths of Derbyshire and it really is turning into the Midnight Train ... An Entrepreneur's Day is never done.