While I was busy surfing around the celebrity websites looking for gossip and articles to bring you about Marbella and celebrity news, I kept coming across the name, ClaireaBella Bags. So being the inquisitive chap that I am I started to dig a bit deeper to find our a little more.
Having covered lots of the TOWIE Marbella antics I noticed that many of the cast had these very funky bags. A little bit more research showed that they were actually ClaireaBella custom designed bags. The more I looked around Marbella when out and about, the more I noticed people with these bags. Then when I looked through magazines and papers I noticed more and more celebrities with these bags.
Having conversed a few times on Twitter it became clear that Claire is a gorgeous, talented and very nice person so below is my interview with Claire’s husband and business partner.
1) Your bags are amazing. What originally gave you the idea to start creating these custom bags?
Claire has always been very artistic and creative since she was small, doing dozens of drawings & sketches, especially outfits that her mum had to make when Claire was competing and performing as a figure skater.
Her natural flare for creating things has kept her busy over the years designing personalised photo albums, scrapbooks, birthday cards for many of her friends.
In November last year whilst having her nails done Claire saw a bag that the salon had in it with a custom design on it. Claire came home and thought that she would design a character on a bag that is based around herself, big boobs and big eye lashes with her head tilted as she is photo mad and we have thousands of photos with Claire and her friends in that kind of stance.
Claire ordered some plain jute bags and designed them for herself, our 3 daughters and our mums! Everybody seemed to love theses bags and more and more friends were requesting Claire design one for them which we started to do as well as t-shirts & photo albums/guestbooks. After making them for a couple of friends it became obvious that these designs would sell well for the general public to get a jute shopping bag personalised to them and the popularity of the designs was increasing as friends were constantly getting stopped and asking where the bags had come from.
We thought about it long and hard and decided to sell to the general public via the internet so that each bag could be designed to that particular person. In February a website was started claireabelladesigns.co.uk and went live at the end of March with the online shop opening at the very beginning of April. The rest is history!!
Each bag that Claire makes is a one off and individual to the customer, there are no set designs. The person decides on the name, eye colour, hair colour length and style, what clothing they want to wear, colours, whether they want to hold a glass of champagne, cocktail, beer, mobile phone, sunglasses, lipstick, mirror, balloon the list is endless and also whether they have their dogs or cats or in one case their micro pig!
They have the option of love hearts and butterflies and flowers around the bag and all bags come with lots of glitter and Swarovski crystals attached to them. There is also the black and pink ClaireaBella label on each and every bag
2) They seem to be ‘trending’ amongst the celebrities and I see more and more people in Marbella with them. Who was your first celebrity client and how did that happen?
Chloe Sims of TOWIE and regular visitor to Marbella was our first (and now most loyal) celebrity to order a bag (she now owns 3!!). Chloe was tweeted an image by Claire in March and she responded saying she loved it and wanted one and it all snow balled from there! Our other celebrity customers to date have included , Lauren Pope, Sam Faiers, Billie Faiers, Gemma Collins, Amy Childs, Jess Wright, Paloma Curran, Lydia Bright, Ellie Redman, Lucy Meck, Lauren Goodger and Frankie Essex (all from TOWIE) Francesca Hull and Gabriella Ellis (from Made in Chelsea) as well as Katie Piper, Katie Price, Nicola McLean, Vanessa White & Lisa Snowden!!!!
3) Do you have a favourite bag / design you have created?
Claire’s favourite design is the bag for Katie Price (although not been papped with it) as it was so sparkly and sticks in her mind, although my favourite is probably the bag designed for ‘Minnies’ as seen on the home page of the website.
4) Do you have plans to add other products to your range?
We have plenty of ideas of adding to our product range and have just recently added the small bag aimed more for the ‘Little Princesses’ of this world and the ClaireaBella pouch which can be used as a festival purse, sunglasses or phone case. Will be probably bring back the ClaireaBella t-shirt range and then other ideas that are top secret at the moment
5) How many bags have you now created?
It would be difficult to put a number on how many bags have been designed but the popularity of twitter and facebook speak for themselves.
6) So if someone wanted a custom bag what do they need to do?
Once people have ordered and paid for a bag through the online shop on the website, they fill out an ‘Order Details’ form from within the shop and complete with all their personalisation details so that Claire can design the order to their requirements. Because Claire is the only designer, there is only so many bags that can be designed at once so we limit the amount of stock that is released on the website and give notice that orders MAY take up to 28 days for delivery!
We will keep you updated with other celebrity clients both in Marbella and hopefully, around the world.