That isn’t an attention-grabbing Cindi strap line, that is the actual title that Lorna has suggested for this week’s blog.
I met Lorna and her husband Jim a couple of weeks ago whilst they were having a few days break and “doing a bit of a tour” of the West Country.
As part of their sojourn around Somerset, Lorna made a special pilgrimage (again her words) to the home of Owen Barry, here in Street.
For Lorna, the owner of 31 (and counting) OB bags, to have a full tour around the factory, learn about the skins and see our products being hand cut, made and finished was a bit of a thrill.
I’m not so sure Jim could see that much merit in it, like all fella’s he thoroughly enjoyed the manufacturing bit – but an hour into our natter about colours and shapes his eyes glazed over. Jim escaped to check the car and never returned – last seen, shaking his head at the cash point whilst watching the balance clicking down!! – JOKE.
Sorry Jim, but I was having a whale of a time talking to your lovely wife.
Lorna originates from Islay a stunning rural island off the wind swept West Coast of Scotland (known as Queen of the Hebrides), before moving south of the border after finishing university in Edinburgh.
I think it is because of Lorna’s roots in such a rich colourful landscape that she has a massive love and appreciation of colour, and that delight reflects in her fascination with toning outfits, and accessories.
Lorna is an amateur artist, making fused glass jewellery and enjoying landscape photography, and it is there that her collection of Owen Barry bags sit, amongst the art in her leisure come dressing room.
No storing bags in a wardrobe here, Owen Barry has become part of a fluid art installation, in fact, they have their own hand carved pegs (note I didn’t say hooks) these specific wooden pegs have been sourced and positioned to enable the change around of display and easy access, as Lorna explained to have all her bags easily available and interchangeable is part of the enjoyment.
Lorna does in fact change her bag daily, she only carries her essentials and the constant change over keeps her disciplined with the contents, a lesson I could certainly learn from!
The love of OB started about 12 years ago with a Large Z Top Sac in Apple Green, “which is just as good today as it was then”…..I promise, I have not paid any kind of backhander for these remarks.
Which styles are best? “Iggy, Z Top, Dudley, Puppie, Dillie all the signature styles, but then I do love the individual limited edition ones, I have a stunning one in Faberge that is very very special”.
When asked whether she received many as gifts, Lorna seemed quite aghast at the prospect, “NO they wouldn’t presume to choose for me” she remarked “the correct Owen Barry is very important, so whilst my family will gladly pay, I make the choice of style, skin and colour”.
Favourite? – no, Lorna won’t commit, but Iggy is “amazingly easy to wear”.
What is the best bit about OB? – British Made? Colour? Bespoke? Light weight? Life time guarantee? –
“All of those are important but the main thing is the quality, you know you can rely on OB, the quality is always there, year after year, without question, just look at my original Z top”.
So, cuppa finished we hit the shop, which bag did Lorna choose in Jim’s absence? – Mathilde, the back pack/shoulder bag combo, with all the walking they do around the South West Coastal path and carrying her photographic equipment – it seemed like a no brainer.
But, we just couldn’t decide between Mermaid or Cobalt Blue, so guess what…………. well it would be rude not to wouldn’t it ?
Ahhh – just one more thing, in case you are thinking Lorna is just a crazy collector – I asked, “Do you collect any other handbag brands? “ “NO, I only have 2 other handbags, they are Blondie Mania, which I bought years ago, but since finding Owen Barry, I have stayed 100% loyal”.
WOW – that’s all I can say WOW - Lovely lady with the best possible taste, it was so great to meet Lorna, we had such a good time.
If you have any anecdotes about your Owen Barry collection, I would really love to meet you and hear your stories – perhaps we could start a club ??