I’ve been a big fan of designer Eddie Harrop’s bags since we met for a coffee a few years back, and she told me all about her nascent brand. She kindly gave me one of her beautiful Voyager bags and it’s since been all around the world with me, checked into the hold of planes, slung in the boot of cars and hauled onto endless trains, and looks as good as the day it arrived.
The Voyager (second from left) in the boot of the Aston Martin on our road top to the Cotswolds
Equally her new star print bag accompanied me to Thailand at Christmas and its double shell construction, sturdy zipper and comfortable handles made it not just the perfect beach bag, but a great aeroplane carry-on too.
Above – my luggage en route to Thailand at Christmas – Eddie’s star print bag in the basket top left.
But I’m not just impressed by her excellent, fit-for-purpose and beautifully designed bags. I’m always interested by women who manage to launch their own successful businesses, and run them for the 21st century, whether that’s by remote working, balancing the demands of home and work or finding ways to be disruptive in old markets.
So I’m very pleased that Eddie, who fits all three categories, is the latest in our series of Days in the Life from female entrepreneurs.
Over to you Eddie:
I set up the Eddie Harrop brand whilst I was living out in Saigon, Vietnam. I was travelling extensively around Asia and wanted to design a range of travel bags that matched the style stakes of your handbag. My label embraces the idea of ‘cool carry on’, and we’re now available to buy at Net-A-Porter and Harvey Nichols.
It has been a busy few years at Eddie Harrop, designing two collections a year; High Summer, and Cruise. We’re selling well Stateside so on the back of meetings already scheduled there at the beginning of the year, I decide to spend some time in LA designing the Cruise 18 collection. I am inspired by all things La La Land considering the relaxed travel vibe my brand encompasses. And who doesn’t love a view of palm trees when it’s winter at home?
No better way than to start the day than with Barry’s Bootcamp. They’ve just opened a bootcamp here in Venice in a vast, new space with high ceilings, which is so impressive but doesn’t make me go any faster on the treadmill sadly! It’s hardcore and today’s instructor is the wonderful Stephanie who has the perfect toned LA body – which after having my baby, looks impossible to achieve!
A Barry’s all day breakfast smoothie sets me up for the day ahead. I hop on my rodeo orange bike (which can only brake backwards!) and cruise back home much hotter and a little sweatier than when I arrived.
The sun is shining in LA whilst I plan the new designs. It’s good to have my travel head on when thinking of prints for our new canvas Voyager.
I’m also creating a new Cruiser bag, which will be a different shape but still in-keeping with the brand ethos of ‘cool carry on bags.’ I have a Skype meeting with my brother who is also my business partner back in London. He’s busy working on production for our High Summer 17 bags which are launching on Net-A-Porter this Spring. As LA is 8 hours behind London, the Eddie Harrop office is now running 24 hours.
There is a real tech subculture out here in LA and a work smart feel. The coffee shops are always busy with people tapping away on laptops. After the long call with my business partner I’m in need of coffee so head out to Gjusta, sister of the popular Gjelina’s restaurant.
It’s a cool, tucked away warehouse coffee-come-lunch hang-out where you can mix your quinoa salad with some serious people spotting. I love the style out here, which is super relaxed and functional but simultaneously sexy and cool.
I design my travel bags with this in mind, always wanting to add sass and colour to something that is often so average and plain. I’m excited about the High Summer launch of our new ocean blue leather with white stars. It’s the first time we’ve introduced canvas to the collection and I love its durability and ‘holiday’ feel.
I have lunch with a buyer at Little Beach House Malibu. It’s part of the Soho House group and I brush past Orlando Bloom as we sit on our table over looking the Pacific. Nick Jones’s establishments nail it every time, embracing their surroundings with matching style and incredible service. I’m always excited when I see customers Instagram posts of our bags at any of their hotels.
I love the inside-outside bar here and the amazing selection of art which works so well with the space. The meeting goes well and I head back to Venice feeling positive.
I cycle off to Abbot Kinney to meet my husband with my daughter Xenia. He’s working on a film so we’ve been tag teaming looking after her. She is only four months old but already loving her LA lifestyle.
We decide to meet at Tom’s Shoes where there is a coffee shop at the back. It’s interesting seeing how the shops and brands out here encompass a philosophy whether it’s by adding some interesting quotes on the wall or including lifestyle books in their shops. Tom’s message is a very strong ‘shoe for a shoe’ helping those in need and gives me an idea to work on a bag for charity soon. I think having a voice in the fashion world can be impactful and an ethical dimension to my business is very important to me.
Late afternoon I have an appointment at the A List in West Hollywood, an LA based agency specialising in influencer and social PR. It’s fascinating to see the significance of social media here and find out more about agencies set up to link brands with influencers. We plan to host a pop up event here in a few months time. The team is so kind and allow me to choose a couple of Under Armour gym items from their showroom as gifts. Looks like it’s back to Barry’s Bootcamp again tomorrow morning. This healthy living LA life is gruelling.
This evening I have managed to arrange a babysitter for Xenia. I find it hard to leave her and I’m still pretty new to it all, so we decide to keep it local, short and sweet which means my husband and I can still enjoy our first date night since she was born. We head to Wabi Sabi on Abbot Kinney and enjoy the most delicious sushi against a backdrop of brickwork and hanging baskets. I am reminded how much I love exploring the world. ‘Travel’ is at the core of my brand and the idea that wherever we are going, whatever new culture we delve into, we should embrace, enjoy, and appreciate it.
You can read previous A Day in the Life stories from some wonderful and inspiring female entrepreneurs, business owners and creatives here.