Creative Industry Finance
Heidi Mottram is internationally renowned for creating beautifully designed bags and purses in luxurious eco-exotic leathers.
Art, design and fashion has always been a part of my life. I always excelled in art at school winning many local and national awards. After completing my A-levels I went on to complete a foundation course at the London College of Fashion and then a textiles degree at Central St Martins. It was whilst working in Fashion PR that I realised that I should really be working on my label rather than promoting others. It was at this moment I decided to leave my job and set up my own business. I have always thought that I would have my own line, be it clothing or accessories. My love for accessories won out.
I love textures. It is through this love of textures that lead me to explore exotic leathers due to their texture and patterns. I learnt about leathers discarded from the food industry and realised that the bag industry is really missing out. This became the focus of my business. We specialise in exotic by product leather accessories. We have used leathers such as eel, salmon, poulard (chicken foot) and wolf fish. We only use ethically sourced leathers. Not only am I designing luxurious bags and purses but I am also educating customers about the different leathers.
I applied for the Creative Industry Finance programme in order to develop my business through the guidance of a fashion sector business advisor and loan finance. My counsellor helped to keep me focused when I have what I term as ‘a momentary freak out’! It is great to have an outside opinion when you are so close to your own projects. The loan I received helped with cash flow challenges I was experiencing. Many big stores want discounts and credit and are often the worst payers. This can be highly challenging and stressful as I still have to pay for production of their orders and then have to wait months for payment. Unfortunately in this current financial climate this is a risk that a lot of designers take.
The label has received awards such as the Blue Butterfly Award of Positive Luxury and has been invited to be a member of the Ethical Fashion Forum Fellowship 500. I am aiming to grow the brand more globally as well as locally. I am constantly looking for more by-product leathers to bring to my customers. Great accessories will enhance any outfit as well as reveal a little about its owner.