Hello! I've just joined so I hope that I'm following the community guidelines.
My name is Valentina and I'm a designer and bike messenger in London.
Storytelling is not exactly my strongest skill, but I enjoy writing about myself and therefore I decided to give you a little introduction about what I do and how I got here.
A little over two years ago I became extremely fed up with the process of applying for jobs online and having most of my work opportunities being "fully unpaid" and full time internships that not only I could not afford to take up on as a grown and independent adult, but also I did not want to participate in from an ethical standpoint (yes I am very opinionated on that topic, mostly because of the real life experience I have, but I respect others' opinions on it :) ). I always loved working on my own, in silence, sometimes even in a dark room...and I kind of knew that I would never be happy working for someone else for the rest of m life (not that I am anywhere close to that point yet or that I actually don't work for someone else myself! I'm just saying that I'm one of those who have a hard time working in certain environments and not being in full control of their schedule, that's all!). I thought to myself: "well, if I'm going to work for free to gain more "experience", I might as well work for something that I enjoy...". So I started a little project of my own, to give freedom to my creativity that had been suppressed for a few years by then, and I got back into sewing (my background is fashion design, but I never really worked in the industry professionally) from my little coffee table. I decided to start creating bags which I had never done before, partly because I was/am a bike courier and a cyclist but also because making "luggage" products meant that I could skip my most dreaded part of design which is fitting and sizing. I was sort of fascinated by inner tubes and how versatile the rubber that they're made of is, and I decided to focus mainly on that as the "base" of all of my products.
It was definitely a struggle to start my little business idea while also working full time, and sewing in a tiny London flat which was on the first floor and which had not so greatly soundproofed flooring....but it all turned into a big passion of mine and dare I say it's now even part of my identity, haha! A crappy first prototype of a backpack turned into a sturdy and durable final product, and multiplied into a myriad of other bike accessories and backpacks! :D The coffee table also first turned into a desk, and then into a "proper" sewing machine that could handle my workload :)
I've been running my shop on Etsy from the start, and the Etsy platform served me fairly well especially in the past year. However, I've also (finally, it's been long overdue!) developed my own webshop recently, and that's the main reason why I wanted to promote it over here!
Here is the link to my website, thank you for reading and let me know what you think! :)
These look cool, good luck!
Yeah these look nice.
Superb stuff. I had a look and think a couple of links on the website are pointing to the wrong page ( accessories goes to hip bags )
I’m definitely interested though.
They look amazing!
Ah thank you I'll double check the links :Dd
Love the colour! Would you do a discount if getting a couple of bike bags?
Cool bags mate.
Hello! You'll get a code for 15% off if you sign up to the mailing list :) (you can access the form from the popup on the homepage or by clicking on the banner below the slideshow)
top tube bag purchased, looking forward to receiving it
Ah thank you! You're the first from the website! :D
these are real nice! great work
these look amazing. I tried stitching a few old tubes into projects recently and almost destroyed my machine in frustration. kudos!
always wondered if this was possible and it is! these look great. Do you need some old inner tubes? / tyres? not sure how to recycle them but would love to donate.
Love this! Great stuff.
Hahah yeah...they're thick and sticky and when you have more than two layers machines go nuts...i myself have an industrial machine that can handle them but I also apply some oil on the surfaces so they move more smoothly even under a teflon foot! I used to have a domestic machine and it wasn't too bad, however I'd always end up with issues on the reverse side and it was just a pain to fix that 😅
Thanks!!! There's other brands doing similar stuff around the world and even in the UK, when I started I was inspired by this one called "nukak" (they're mainly in Spain). I get my tubes from a couple of bike shops around me in London, the supply is huge and it takes me a while to go through each Batch, haha. In case you could drop them at brick lane bikes and let me know on the day, so I can collect some of theirs and yours too and i wouldn't bother the guys who work there too much
cool thanks alot!
These are so cool. Putting an order in for a feed bag :)
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