Finding My Calling
Founded in 2018 the principles of sustainability and taking inspiration from nature and culture Willow & Hive was established. Willow and Hive is all about having a personal touch to the accessories you use every day. Having an extensive background in design with a BA and Masters in Fashion Textile Design and having worked over a decade as designer for a leading high street fashion brand, when questioning the waste of the fashion industry I became interested in trying to use off cuts of leather.
After my initial foray in making leather goods, I quickly realised the joy in working with this medium the extensive variety, texture, tactility, and durability it provided. It was during a trip to Latvia (my family roots, hence the unusual name Anda!) that the first envelope purse originated. It all began with the need for a small compact 'something' purse to pop my phone, a few receipts, a bit of money and couple of cards. I needed something simple without all the fuss of purses that where on the market at the time.
It was on the return from Latvia that this idea developed, whilst on maternity leave, I started to connect with the land and re-think about the way we treat the land, with sustainability being a key aim. Having visited British leather suppliers and understanding the extensive waste of leather remnants was the catalyst that propelled the business forward - there was so much potential in ‘waste’ all these beautiful leathers in various colours, textures that wasn’t being utilised or for people to use and enjoy.
As a designer and maker it was stepping back to understanding the process and the appreciation of the journey that resonated. From sketch on paper to hand cutting to glueing, stitching and embossing, making mistakes but recognising the first try may not succeed but to persevere is the foundation of my work. Consequently every piece from our studio will be characterised by the ethos of timelessness and minimal simplicity, that reflect lifetime pieces that stand the test of time.
The way the products are constructed are functional yet simple with clean minimal lines often with raw cut edges and bags left unlined, or with carefully hand painted edges.
All the leather materials use to make Willow & Hive products are chosen responsibly with the core values considered always. Respect for nature and an understanding of environmental impact so the leathers we source have longevity and are not wasted but reused as a by-product of the food industry. The focus on full grain naturally-vegetable dyed leather goods are paramount, with the natural characteristics made to last, growing patina with each passing year. Willow and Hive pieces are designed to be with you for the journey.