TUSTING Collaborates with Young Designer Charlotte Elizabeth
Our workshop is always a bustling hive of activity; producing everything you can see on our website from chic tote bags to timeless luggage and smart briefcases. We’re proud of our history and are one of very few British companies which can boast a 5-generation heritage in the business of leather, always remaining close to our geographical roots.
However, what you may not know is that we occasionally also work with select brands and designers to help them create true British-made products that would otherwise be out of their reach. One such brand we’re delighted to announce a collaboration with is young bag designer Charlotte Elizabeth, who has fought through severe health issues to realise her dream of releasing a line of handbags.
Charlotte, who is 21 and hails from Hertfordshire, left school at the age of 16 following diagnosis of a heart condition which required surgery to correct. Following the operation however, her health deteriorated further, even leading to a period of paralysis, leaving her unable to complete her A levels or seek traditional employment. Charlotte now lives with two debilitating illnesses: Postural orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
However, rather than let her ill-health dictate her path, Charlotte looked to her creativity to start a business and chose the desire she and her sisters had for the perfect handbag design as her inspiration. It was from these roots that the founding style of her range, The Bloomsbury, was born.
Despite having no formal training within the leather industry, Charlotte attended a four-day Enterprise course with the Prince’s Trust and worked with her sister’s boyfriend to produce sketches of her 1960s-inspired design before sourcing a manufacturer for her concept.
As Charlotte explained to The Telegraph earlier this year, the thought of creating her own label was something that really pushed her forward through her periods of ill-health.
“I thought if I can create something through all of this I can do anything,” she explains. “That’s why my business is so special to me as it started at the absolute rock bottom. It has been with me through my worst moments.”
Gillian Tusting, Director of Marketing for TUSTING, explains why the family company was so delighted to help realise Charlotte’s vision: “The brands we work with on a manufacturing level are few – typically large organisations which are most often iconic British brands in their own right. Charlotte’s project was much smaller than normal for us but her story was very moving. We felt that it was a great way for us to give a little back, by reinforcing the faith that the Prince’s Trust evidently had in her enterprise. Charlotte and her family have been a delight to work with and we are very pleased to have become involved with the project.”
With a feature on her bags in The Evening Standard this past week, Charlotte Elizabeth really is one young designer to watch.