The #buybritishthischristmas Gift Guide: Part III

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Good Evening!

Todays #buybritishthischristmas will be the final instalment, but please do not let that put you off using the hashtag! Hopefully, the suggestions which have been complied on The Mibber over the last three weeks, will have helped you decide what to get you're loved ones and with two weeks to go, will give you plenty of time to order in time for Christmas.

Last week saw, Small Business Saturday (another, and more welcome American import), so I hope it has encouraged you to explore your high street beyond the homogeneous destinations. I certainly have pursued the smaller stores in my quest for handmade and unique. My quest for Washi tape has so far proved futile though!

Ever the mixed bag, this weeks suggestions come far and wide!


I might as well be surgically attached to my brushed cotton PJs at this time of year, so much so, I attempted to persuade the boy to buy brushed cotton bedsheets. But even I admit, I may be going a step too far. So my first suggestion this week has to be this longer length brushed cotton night shirt from PJ Pan. Teamed with a luxurious cashmere hot water bottle as suggested by Jolly Lovely.



I'm a bit of a fitness nut, my sister is a bit of a fitness nut and a pretty sure all of my friends will miraculously turn into fitness nuts post Christmas. So for the sporty in my life, I love this yoga mat bag from Nomad Design who ethically source their Ikat prints and manufacture in England. My second suggestion comes in the form of new faves, Lexie Sport. From their new collection 13.3, these leggings (top or even the Norman Walsh Trainers) would excite any fitness lover.


If you're still struggling for your Dad, Uncle etc etc, how about these tweed print mugs as suggested by William Edwards available from Wolf & Badger. Alternatively, this bi-fold wallet suggested and by Holdall & Co would we warmly received.


My final gift guide suggestions this Christmas go to the prints. Perfect for joint presents, awkward to shop for, homeowners, they are gender neutral and I think the gift of print is one of the most thoughtful gifts to give... although maybe I should hastily add, if you get it right! The first print was suggested by Emma Higgins and is a lino cut coastal print. The second by and suggested by Toasted Crumpet is this wonderful illustration.

A huge thank you to everyone who got involved with #buybritishthischristmas, what was a whim has turned into an actually genuine hashtag, we can now haul out EVERY Christmas to come, so thank you so much for all your suggestion and helping me get it off the ground!

Read the rest of the Gift Guide here. Or follow it on Pinterest. Or Twitter. Or.. well just about anywhere else you can hashtag!

Merry Christmas, and I cannot wait to see all the wonderful gifts people will receive this year!


Andrea xx

The #buybritishthischristmas Gift Guide: Part II

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Another week and the hashtag grows! As the guide evolves into some more sensible order, I thought I would include my top picks and get some categories in the mix!

Don't forget, everyone has the chance to be included in the gift guide! Just use #buybritishthischristmas.

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GENTLEMEN

Let's start off with the boys and men in your life. I share a bathroom with two men, our 'shared' cabinet has more man scrubs, mattifiers, face masks, stubble softeners and manly man stuff that I can just about place a kirby grip in there. So for me it makes a lot of sense to buy them even more man face stuff. It's a winner. Something that recently cropped up in the cabinet is Scarmouche & Fandango, so when they tagged this Christmas Cracker I just had to include it.

Run & Fell have ran away with the tag (sorry, sorry, terrible pun). I really love this Organic Silver Foil Tee, but they have so many designs, I'm sure if this isn't your thing you certainly will find something for him.


The man in my life, like many, is a cook. Obsessive. So it's hard to ignore Netherton Foundry's vast range under #buybritishthischristmas. I would pick this smoker out for him. He's always wanted to give it a go.

My suggestions for the boys this week is this Dereks Everyday Backpack. Boys need bags too and this would be ideal for the commuter or adventurer in your life.

LADIES



I fell head over heels for these slippers from Arthur Sleeper. Shoes shouldn't be boring and when these appeared on my insta feed I had to suggest them. 

How could I pull together a Christmas Gift Guide and not include Stella + Alf, hurry though, there's only a few left of their Easy Tee.

If it's stocking fillers or gifts for the best gals then a budget selection seems necessary. We have Knickers by Kinky Knickers, Make-up bag screenprinted in England by Betty & Brice and a luxurious eye mask by Ayten Gasson.

I'm a little obsessed with these quirky Lou Taylor spider planter earrings, I know just the person. 

I bought a their poppy candle in Center Parcs and it smelt SO good we've already gone through it. So I'd be happy to spread the joy with a Christmas Tree Candle by Stonesglow. And you get some lovely seeds to sow. 

Finally why not Personalise a Milk Token by Brit-Stitch. Carry your public transport pass of choice in style.

home


If, like me, you and all of your friends, are starting to buy and rent their own space, homewares becomes a much more welcome present. As suggested by Wyckoff Smith, the perfect spoon for the ice-cream lover in your life. Suggested by Beyond the Fridge, for the sewer in your life a appropriate notice board! A recent follower, Cornishware offer classic style, and I'm sure would take pride of place on many of my friends kitchen counters. My choice for home would be this Tori Murphy wide striped cushion to adorn mine or any of the sofas of the houses I frequent.

Finally, some festive suggestions to get you and your home in the spirit. Like this throw by Chapman House and some festive bunting by Betty and Dodge.


Part III will be live next thursday, make sure you carry on tagging your gift idea with #buybritishthischristmas.

Andrea xx

The #buybritishthischristmas Gift Guide: Part I

Monday, 1 December 2014

Edit 01/2/2014
I had a few troubles with my ability to post my gift guide last week, a weekend condemned to work gave me very little opportunity to rectify, but the weekend that proceeded was Black Friday Weekend. Apparently named so because it’s the day of the year the brands go back into the black; a stolen tradition from the biggest consumerist on the planet, USA. It’s uncomfortable viewing. Scenes of brawls, fights and crowds, snatching items off the shelves. It’s made me question my own self, a temptation here, a temptation there (I resisted, I was working after all) but it’s made me wonder how we’re all wired. Wired with this almost primal instinct to grab a bargain, how and when did this happen. If I could take one thing to encourage you to shop this Christmas, if it’s not already too late, is not to over buy. Spend you’re hard earned cashed on the right people in the right places. Spend more time than money with your loved ones.

Cue epiphany from A Christmas Carol.
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When I incidentally hash tagged my gift guide tweet with #buybritishthischristmas, it hadn't even crossed my mind that such a saying wouldn't have been already utilised. Of course, it seems so obvious. I was just adding to the no doubt huge outpouring of tweets encouraging people to Buy British. But after a curious click I discovered it hadn't been tweeted out in over two years.

The synapses were probably not working up to scratch at 8 am on that Friday. But later on I had a light bulb moment. I'm a huge fan of hashtags. As in I actually use them. They’re like a filing system. You can find exactly what you’re looking for under a #. Numerous, if not the vast majority, of Made in Britain merchandise and brands, I have found searching the internet filing system. And whilst they are often abused (#girl #me #duh #yeah #pout #smile #happy #lfl), when used right, it’s like striking gold.

So I seized my opportunity to use a hashtag to create a collaborative modern day gift guide. All that was needed was a brand or shopper or wish-lister to tweet a link and or picture and the hashtag.  I could then easily find it and hey presto, gift guide.

What I wasn't, and rather na├»vely, anticipating was just how relevant the hashtag would be. It’s not just about pushing more consumerism down people’s throats. It’s about the livelihoods of the little guys, the makers, the doers, earning their living. Not just the bag makers, the clothes makers, the jewellery makers etc. Not all the pretty things I often wish upon on these blog pages. It's also about the farmers, the food producers and even the indie shop owners! There’s an awful lot more to Buy British This Christmas.

Anyway, every week, I’ll be rounding up the best of the hashtag gift guide, and sharing on The Mibber. All you need to do is tag your picture, product link and I’ll find it!


 The first suggestions came from Ink and Thread, an indie based in Derby but also have an (Online store, take a gander!). This Striped jumper from Nancy Dee would be well received wrapped under the tree. As too this wonderful Scarf from Karen Mabon, fun and bright, sure to cheer up those grey days we have ahead of us.

Knitwear really is a recurring theme and the lovely Hilary Grant hashtagged this print on Instagram.



For the beauty lover in your life, perhaps not the most obvious answer, how about a hand-woven face mitt, from Minor Goods, I know, what am I suggesting? But seriously, any beauty nut would love a decent first step in the routine, it’s all about the double cleanse these days, and you can’t move for hot cloth facials. So you should probably get them a luxurious clensing oil too, like this one from AS.AP via Content Beauty.



Jewellery as a gift for Christmas is as essential as the box of miniature chocolates, so these delicate heart earrings by Nicola Hurst are a great choice and at a greater price point too. Alternatively this ceramic necklace from Luna and Curious would be a lovely addition to anyones jewellery box. 


It’s no secret I love Rianna Phillips use of print and it's has expanded to include small tech accessories. An abstract iPad case is ideal for fashion techy people. Yes, that’s a type of person. In contrast, Grace Gordon suggested this fab pinky nude backpack, clean lines and simple design add class to the school style shape, elevating it to a must have and we all know how practical one is.


The only suggestion this week for the men comes from Sweater Co. Their Trinity Sweater  made from cotton is affordably priced and comes in a variety of colours.

Finally, the other Gift Guides! Let’s face it, I am cheating, little leg work from me, so it seems only fair to link these great Made in Britain guides. Make it British, has something for everyone you could possibly need to buy for. Although not strictly a Christmas gift guide, Being Content, a beauty boutique, round up their MIB faves here.

Make sure you follow my Pinterest board which I'm updating daily with hashtagged suggestions and my own wishlist. And don’t forget to use #buybritishthischristmas. Please buy as much British as you can this Christmas. Next post goes live on next Thursday (EDIT as in 4th December!)

How many times have I said hashtag in this post.......

Andrea xx

#buybritishthischristmas

Friday, 21 November 2014

I was going to do a simple gift guide this year. But by pure accident I'm using a under utilised hashtag, #buybritishthischristmas, to collate the Ultimate British Made Christmas Gift Guide to peruse at your leisure. It's simple, just search the hashtag on Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter and (hopefully) you should have a wealth of suggestions, direct from the brands making stuff, or the people eagerly eyeing up British made.

To get something included simply tweet/instagram/pin a link orpicture and where it's from with the hashtag and it's in the running!

I want it to be used by all to promote their products (so NO need to include my handle @TheMibber), and as interactive as possible. I will be collating every suggestion on my new Pinterest board, aptly named, and I would like to invite you to share your British made gift suggestions to your social media channel of choice and each week I'll be rounding up the best on the blog. Although be aware, I do not have access to Facebook!

I think in order to have a cohesive guide, I'll attempt to theme each week for the post, but feel free to suggest as and when, and I'll do the rounding up. Themes will be Her, Him, Children and Secret Santa/Stocking Fillers. But these will be as broad as they can be encompassing everything from knick knacks to luxury items.

So go forth and suggest to your hearts content, what's on your wishlist this Chritmas?

Andrea xx

The Forest

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Until last year, I had never been to a holiday park of any variety. So my first experience was Center Parcs and I loved that holiday so very much. To be no more than an hour and a half from home but to feel like you were in the middle of nowhere felt magical; lots of things to do and the privacy and freedom of your own space in the forest.

With the prospect of a week off and little to do we booked a very last minute trip to the brand new CP. An 8.30am booking for day of arrival. We panic packed what we needed and got in the car and we drove. Living in East Anglia, our landscape is quite literally flat. Our drive there was a surprise, blind spots and inclines, now I know Bedfordshire isn't known for it's hilly landscape but this was enough for us to breathe a sigh of "we're on holiday" relief.

The new facilities are excellent and well thought out. We stayed in an apartment which was perfectly positioned in the fun but we were still able to cook and enjoy our privacy. For once we didn't hire bikes as everything was more than accessible on foot.  I would recommend a short break to Woburn Forest, it wasn't as equipped as say Elvenden, but the brand-spanking new facilities certainly made up for it.

For someone who doesn't get much forest, it's a lovely little break.


Andrea xx

Nothing Days

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Those magical rare days.

The ones where you managed to lie in till whenever because you didn't set an alarm.

You have no plans, prior engagements or need to do anything. 

The laundry is done. Even the fridge is stocked.

It's a day for leisurely doing nothing. It's probably a Sunday.

You rejoice that your first task is to read ELLE with a cup of tea and a slice of jam toast. 

You purposefully leave your phone in a different realm to avoid distraction.

It's the kind of day you start with a luxurious bath. Because quite frankly, why not?

And then you pull out your comfys. Your nothing day staples, is there anything more of a modern day luxury than purposefully buying clothes to wear for these kind of days? 

Today is probably the last justifiable nothing day in the calendar before the Christmas/NYE frenzy really begins. Enjoy it, take time out to do nothing and be grateful that such a day exists. 


Complete coincidence that The Mibber faves (what a babe) Stella + Alf have just launched their Loungewear collection. Affordably priced and made not only in Lincolnshire but also from British fabric. Shop the collection here. And for those finishing touches how about these:
Candle, Hopscotch; The Take Off And Landing of Everything, Elbow; Mug, Emma Bridgewater for Liberty; Emma, Anthropologie; Scarf Blanket, Stella + Alf; Chocolate, Pump Street Bakery; Bath Oil, Neom; Eye Mask, House of Hackney; Magazines, both available from WHSmith.
Andrea xx

Coats, Coats, Coats!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Pop Coat, Edina Ronay; Fur Pea Coat, Paper London; Duffle Coat, Gloverall; Fluffy Coat, Topshop;  Cocoon Coat; Marks and Spencer; Wrap Coat, Jaeger.
After facing our first bout of almost ground frost this week, it only felt appropriate to round up the best that British craftmanship has to offer. 

I deliberated for a long while because I was on the hunt for a women's parka, a shape I felt was quintessentially British, yet, I couldn't find any, not even close. It seems brands think all women want is wool. Men however really get the pick of the crop as per when it comes to fashion made in Britain *sulks*. So I haven't strayed too far from the trusty wool coat, in fact at all! If you know of any women's Made in Britain parkas.. PLEASE let me know. 

On a happier note, I really love this selection from the on trend sheepskin fur collar to a blanket wrap and that lovely fluffy wool effect. From fun and bright to investment-worthy and classically stylish.

On the plus at least I have found plenty of lightweight women's jackets for S/S. 

Andrea xx

Remember, Remember..

Monday, 3 November 2014


I think it's safe to say our thing is Bonfire Night.

Last year, I was enjoying the display at Centre Parcs. This year, I'll be by a lake. I love everything about BFN. Gathering with your nearest and dearest, taking your first sip of mulled wine or a struggling with a ridiculous hot chocolate and tucking into a hog roast. All wrapped up and excitedly waiting for the fireworks to begin. It really marks the start of the festive season.

So in light of this I've put together a few bits and pieces I would love to wear to watch a Guy being toasted. Bit weird when you put it like that. Traditions, eh?
Gloves, Dents; Personalised Cape, Selfridges; Shirt, Silken Favours; Gilet, Lavenham Jackets x Fred Perry; Ear Muffs, Celtic and Co; Socks, Perilla; Jumper, John Smedley; Boots, Trickers; Skirt, Topshop Boutique.

Gloves are the first thing... I always forget. Hopelessly clutching a warm beverages in the hope my fingers won't develop frostbite before the nights out. I've always found leather gloves, a bit weird, a contradiction I know as I have shoes and bags and I am by no means a veggie. But a second skin is all too much for me even when Leather Trousers are on my A/W wishlist. But if I had to go leather I of course would go Dents. And I was delighted to find some Cashmere Lined leathers!

Instead of a scarf this year, I think it's all about the cape. Thanks Burbs! Belted or layered it pulls the whole ensemble together. This Johnstons one can be personalised with your initials and is made in Scotland! Yes please!

As an honourary member of the Hair Bear Bunch hats have always either not fitted my head OR trapped too much heat leaving my body causing a sweaty mess. So I really do have a genuine love of ear muffs. I found these once thanks to google and I've got to say they are pretty much spot on.

Practicality wise it really is about a good skirt and tight combo in winter. Nothing worse than soggy trouser legs. NOTHING. That's something that's stuck with me since school. So this wool skirt from good ol' Toppers will keep you nice and warm, a decent length and like everything boutique, oh so stylish. Teamed with a light knit from John Smedley in this lovely rose goldy tonned jumper and a beautiful print on a Silken Favours shirt. 

You'll instantly see a coat missing from the line up.. I'm being brave. I'll live to regret this. So relief when I found this padded gilet from an awesome collab between Fred Perry and up the road from me Lavenham Jackets, sure to keep me warm.

Of course the other horrible thing about the cold is ice cube toes, so some British Alpaca socks and some sturdy boots by Trickers will solve all your woes. 

I hope you all have a lovely night.

Stay warm, stay safe!

Andrea x

The Mibber Vlogs

Friday, 31 October 2014




So here it is.

My first ever attempt at a YouTube Video.

Back in September I went to see my favourite swedish duo at the Royal Albert Hall. I though it was the perfect opportunity to venture into the land of YouTube.

I filmed it all on my iPhone so the quality is so-so. But considering I have never done anything like this before I'm pretty pleased with the outcome. And I've only just learnt how to edit videos!

I found filming a video FAR less cringe-inducing that taking photos. I'm not one of *those* bloggers. Although you can see the look of uncertainty and smirking throughout - but I think it was just the novelty and the awkwardness of trying something I've never done before.

Of course, everything I wore was Made in Britain. 

Let me know what you think. I hope this won't be last video.

Enjoy!

Subscribe to my channel here!

Andrea xx

Mix 'n' Match Halloween

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Doesn't Halloween seem like a proper thing this year? When did this happen? So I'm jumping on the bandwagon Mibber style! So if you're feeling a bit spooky or just in the mood to embrace the darker side here are some outfit inspo made in Britain! From the out there to the subtle nod. Or a bit of both.

Playsuit, InLoveWithFashion; Black Dress, Cabba; Tiger Dress, House of Hackney.
Star Tights, Pretty Polly; Neon Tights, Marks and Spencer; Animal Tights, Pretty Polly.

Heels, Yull; Boots, Dr Martens; Jellies, JuJu Jellies. 


Veil, Rock N Rose; DIY Cat Ears, ElleUK; Witches Hat, Crown and Glory; Skull & Bones Clips, Crown and Glory.





Tooth, Bloody Mary Metal; Custom Name Necklace, Tatty Devine; Anatomical Heart, Strange Fruit at Wolf and Badger; Sugar Skull, Tatty Devine; Pentacle Necklace, Bloody Mary Metal.


Crossbone Ring, Bloody Mary Metal; Spells Tee, The Orphans Arms; The Heebie-Jeebies, Hoxton Street Monster Supplies; Handmade Mask, Masque Boutique; Leggings, Mona Swims.

Happy Halloween

Andrea X

OOTD #6

Monday, 20 October 2014


The Leather Trousers, Jaeger; Stole, Helen Moore; Coat, Gloverall; Trainers, Neon Footwear; Jumper, & Daughter; Bag, Mulberry.

I've been dreaming of MIB outfits again. (twice in one week, I spoil you, I know!)

When I saw the new style Gloverall coat on Thoroughly British last week. I was smitten. Then to discover it came in Burgundy... how could it not make an appearance on The Mibber?

Of course you know my love of Helen Moore and this season faux is errrrywhere. This fun colour way takes this minimalist outfit closer to the realms of Prada and Unique at a snip of the price.

The leather trousers, are surprisingly enough from Jaeger. And yes, MIB. Skinny leathers are a style staple. And super versatile.

As seen in ELLE, everyones favourite knitter du jour, & Daughter, actually manufacture in Scotland. And their super luxe knits can layer keeping you warm and sophisticated without the Michelin man resemblance.

How did I manage to go all this time without shouting about the Mulberry X Cara Delevingne collection which is proudly stamped 'Made In England'. This mini is super versatile (and should be for the price) wear in the crook of your arm, alter the strap to wear on your shoulder or as a backpack.

Finally, Neon Footwear, I've loved the simplicity of these trainers for quite sometime and they're ready for release. Become an early adopter of these super comfy and stylish trainers and get over £50 off the RRP by pledging to help "Kickstart" their manufacture. They have just over three days to hit their target. Find out more about Neon Footwear or pledge here.

Have a lovely Monday. What are you wearing today?

Andrea x

OOTD #5

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Top, Yolke; Skirt, Stella + Alf; bag, Rianna Phillips; Shoes, Ronnie Northampton.


I told you I was back!

I bet you almost didn't believe me. I put together something of the things I have been coveting recently for todays OOTD. 

I often rave about Stella + Alf, and of course love their Twenty collection. But having a gander at their AW14 main line and there are some beautiful pieces. I adore this mohair skirt. A simple shape, a beautiful fabric, a stunning outcome. 

Yolke are masters of silk. This Art Shirt is perfect addition to an AW wardrobe. The slightly higher neck line; the long sleeves and loose shape and of course those pockets. 

This isn't the first appearance of Rianna Phillips on The Mibber, it probably won't be the last. I love the practicality of the shape of this bag. ASHISH and Margiela have both used the trusty carrier bag for inspiration and Rianna has elevated this with her classic use of abstract prints. 

The final shout out goes to Ronnie Northampton, a brand discovered on trusty Instagram. Although this is a graduate collection, I hold high hopes for this young designer. My idea of heaven, heritage and fashion. Taking the classic shape of goodyear welted and adding those small touches of hardwear laces and laser cut detailing really is a game changer.  Nice to see young blood and innovation in such a traditional game. 

Have a great Thursday! What are you wearing today?

Andrea x


Neglect

Tuesday, 14 October 2014


Dear readers of the Mibber,

WISH YOU WERE HERE.

Ohhh It's been a while. I have neglected The Mibber. I have been a bad blogger. Sorry.

In the hazy sunshine of the dying summer I had so many ideas and posts planned for A/W. But then actual life got in the way and it has been far too long since I last posted that I looked at my notebook and struggled to pull together anything vaguely cohesive to post about. Missed follow-ups and leads, no clothes bought (yes, really), and nothing worthy of sharing (on this domain anyway).

I did however have a cracking September and lots of exciting life stuff happened that wasn't to do with shopping for fashion made in Britain and probably isn't very exciting at all to you.

I was even more gutted I couldn't attend Best of Britannia. Which I had planned to, but alas, that normal life just had to bust in and ruin it.

Essentially, I've now returned to a routine and I am able to function once again. Therefore I'm BACK. Until the next thing happens. LOL.

The Mibber, and I feel terrible for apologising, really is just a hobby and a place to document my weird shopping habits and desires. I of course love to share everything I find and share designers and emerging brands doing wonderful Mibbing. But sometimes, I think, I'm not just a faceless website, I am a person, and I do the majority of the time when I look down, wear a British-made something. I probably can create more content from this than I give credit.

ANYWAY

This is leading up to a recent blog-worthy trip, when I recently went to see First Aid Kit at the Royal Albert Hall, I consciously made the decision to wear everything made in Britain (see above!). And instead of photographing this (apart from the above). I filmed it. I have edited the footage together and will be in the next couple of weeks sharing this. Once I'm back in my blogging groove. Exciting! You can subscribe to me on YouTube here.

I have also (because, I think it's important to separate my personal and Mibber life so that there is relevant content thrown at both) created an Instagram account for the Mibber where I will be sharing OOTD's and instant buys and fitting room conundrums and other stuff which I think you'll find interesting but my amigos and family probably won't. You can follow my new Instagram account here!

In summary, I'll occasionally upload to YouTube, probably upload to Instagram often and be a better blogger. And I'm sorry that I'm not sorry. I also love parenthesis.

Lots of Love,

Andrea x

p.s. glad to see everything has been ticking over OK.

pp.s. And YAY Scotland, I love your beautiful country.

Emma Cornes

Thursday, 4 September 2014


As my blog reaches new corners of the internet, I am regularly introduced to new British made goods. And I love discovering all the great and the good that our little country creates and makes. One such corner I reached was that of Emma Cornes, a bag manufacturer who not only makes bags in Britain but also using fabrics and materials that are made here too. 

Emma Cornes, bags are practical and stylish. Using beautiful tweeds milled in Scotland for added authenticity. 

I asked Emma to answer a few questions to get to know a little more about her burgeoning brand.
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HOW AND WHEN DID EMMA CORNES START? 
Emma Cornes started almost two years ago today at our dining room table. I could never find the bag I wanted and I loved the cloths woven in the Scottish valley I grew up in. I thought I’d have a go at combining these two things. First I had to teach myself to sew.

HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO MANUFACTURE IN THE UK?
It was never really a decision to make – I’d never considered having my bags made anywhere else. That’s not just for sentimental reason. I genuinely believe Britain is the best place to get my bags made from a quality and speed of manufacture point of view.

WHAT IS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE YOU FACE RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
Having to do everything. At least I no longer have to make all the bags myself – I was starting to go grey very quickly. But at the same time it’s the variety that I love.

WHAT GOES INTO YOUR DESIGN PROCESS?
We’re only small so we can be pretty flexible – if I have an idea I draw it, then try to make it. 

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE FROM YOUR COLLECTION?
I’m currently using a Special Edition Dashing Tweeds Hopper. I like cross-body bags. And this one’s small enough that I don’t accumulate too much rubbish inside it.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE EMMA CORNES?
We make simple, classic bags from heritage fabrics, but we like to keep it fun.


WHO IS YOUR CUSTOMER?
I guess they’re like me – a bit of a grown-up tomboy. Someone who has loads of interests, but never has time to shop for the perfect bag. They value nice things, but like me they’d much rather be out exploring a hill than the high street.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO FOR AUTUMN?
I can’t wait to get started with designing my Spring/Summer 2015 collection. As the nights draw in I get to think about snowdrops and daffodils.

WHAT'S YOUR STANDOUT HIGHLIGHT?
There’s been a few, but a few stand out:
  • Launching this year’s collection at the County Living Spring Fair. I only finalised the collection a month before the event then we had to make all our stock in a month. We did it (only just). We were so pleased when they sold so well – people loved them.
  • Winning the My County Business Awards in the Fashion and Beauty category – we’ve won mentoring from Helen Barbour, Vice Chairman of Barbour. We can’t wait to get started with her.
  • Finding a great workshop in the Midlands who can help us make out bags. When I collected the first batch of bags the sewed for me I was just so pleased – I’m the only one who can tell the difference between the ones they’ve made and I made.

INSERT SOMETHING INSPIRATIONAL...
I don’t normally go in for motivational quotes, but I do try to stick to the mantra of ‘do one thing well’. That’s why we stick with bags and bags only.
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Thank you so much Emma for taking the time to answer my questions. If like Emma, you would like to be featured on The Mibber then please do get in touch.

You can shop Emma Cornes Bags online at: www.emmacornes.co.uk. Don't forget to follow on Facebook or Twitter to keep up to date with all the latest ECB news!

Andrea x

Stella & Alf

Friday, 29 August 2014

Top, Stella & Alf.

Way back when, when I first started Mibbing, when 'The Mibber' didn't exist in it's current form but that of  'What She Saw'. I discovered Stella & Alf. It was in the olden days, I like to think back to the early days and remind myself of how hard it used to be to discover the good MIB, the REALLY good MIB (ok, so it was probably just over a year ago - I may be exageratttttting)

And that it was. I was instantly smitten with their aesthetic. The kind of effortless simplicity which is often reserved for super hip tumblr posts. Timeless and stylish. And since, the introduction of The Twenty, has added another string to their bow. If they couldn't get any better they have an ethos that makes guilt-free shopping possible. 

I asked Co-Founder, Paris, to answer a few question to help us to get to know Stella & Alf a little more. And tease us about upcoming pieces!

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WHAT LED YOU TO START STELLA & ALF?
Well both my parents are architects, I think just made it seem really natural for me to design, and has definitely influenced the type of brand I wanted to create. I studied Fashion Design at The University of Westminster, and throughout my studies and various internships, I found that I was always happiest in the design studio creating simple pieces, always with a focus on longevity and provenance.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO MANUFACTURE IN BRITAIN?
 I was always drawn to brands who were very open about the creative process, and who gave a clear insight into how they operated. We are a teenie-tiny brand and whilst this meant it was a natural way to start up (to start very small, close to home, and do everything in-house) I very quickly became really interested in supporting British made products, and this has become integral to what Stella+Alf does.

WHAT INSPIRES YOUR DESIGNS?
 I find this question really tricky, I think as a designer, much of what you create is the result of a culmination of so many experiences and influences. Having said that, much of what I design is based on feedback from our customers, and I absolutely LOVE Pinterest for keeping inspiring images all in one place.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE?
 Launching The Twenty, I get a buzz every time we launch a new piece, the reaction is always fresh and inspiring.

YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS HONEST DESIGNS, TELL ME A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT YOUR ETHOS AND SUSTAINABLE CREDENTIALS?
 I mulled over the word "honest" for a long time. For me it communicates not only the simplicity in terms of the design of our pieces, but also indicates how transparently our products are made- like I said, pretty much every process is carried out in our little studio in Lincolnshire, and that is so crucial to what I feel S+A should be. 

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE STELLA & ALF?
Our three key principles say it all- Honest Design, Beautiful Fabrics, Made in Britain.

WHO IS THE S+A CUSTOMER?
When I design a product, I imagine how my Mum, Grandma and little sisters would wear the same piece respectively, if it's relevant to them all, that's how I know a garment embodies what I'm trying to achieve.

WHERE DO YOU SEE S+A IN FIVE YEARS?
Hopefully doing more of the same- promoting British-made,small scale, handmade products, and meeting some great people on the way.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ITEM? PAST OR PRESENT.
Can I say future? I'm so excited for our new stripes to be released, and we have some gorgeous snuggly knits for winter.

I LOVE HOW YOUR "The Twenty" COLLECTION HAS MADE STYLISH AND SUSTAINABLE MIB FASHION ACCESSIBLE, WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE IT?
ANY SNEAK PEEKS AT THE NEXT ITEM?
The Twenty is really about making British-made fashion accessible, whilst also maintaining the luxury- gorgeous fabrics, and only twenty of each piece made. Next up - lots of stripes, some gorgeous textures for winter, and some branching out into new territory (ominous I know, but top secret!)

INSERT SOMETHING INSPIRING:
It's always the S+A story, the reason behind the name-

Alf was a trawler man from Lincolnshire. Stella lived on his street.
They married on the 1st November 1958.

They had children. Nieces, nephews, grandchildren.
A ginormous dog. 
They worked hard, laughed harder.
Held hands, hugged big, shared sweets, smiled lots.

They were part of a generation who didn’t just wear clothes once, for one season, simply because they were in fashion.

Their clothes were selected and saved for.
Worn, repaired and recycled. Grafted in, worked in.
Cherished, loved, laughed in, lived in.

Paid for in units of time well spent.
They kept their feet on the ground and their imaginations in the clouds.

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Shop Stella & Alf online at: http://www.stellaandalf.com/ and be sure to follow them on Twitter to find out when the next The Twenty is released!

Andrea x

Second Hand News

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

As I type, I actually think it's been raining for a whole twenty four hours. I feel a twang of guilt thinking of Autumn, like I'm cheating on what's left of Summer. But how can I not dream of staying warm and layering up. I'm the coldest human being ever. I even wore my winter coat out yesterday. Not to mention, my day job which reminds me AW14 is very much in full swing. So I need to face facts: it's already happened, Summer has slipped away.

I mourned Summer for all of about 30 seconds before googling faux British made fur accessories! Ha!

Whilst I don't want to invest in a new winter coat - my MIB Topshop wool one is still very much a good'un - I do want to tweak it. Not to mention my new favourite phrase: "What Would Stevie Nicks Do?". And then theres that felt fedora I just can't stop thinking about.. and I'm not and have never been a hat person *monkey seeing no evil emoji*

Naturally, when the heavens open my first thought was faux fur, on reflection I have seriously questionable fashion associations. Probably the same reason why I should be banned from buying suede shoes. It's true when they say there is no bad weather just bad clothes - or in my case bad choices.

Helen Moore, came up trumps in my search. Already adorning the shoulders of Fearne Cotton (or is it Wood now?) and already being hotly anticipated as THE fashion week must-have, you can't really go wrong. The multi-coloured scarves, the pill box hats and the perfect addition to my existing coat - the peter pan collar, in Forest green no less.

And lets not forget their MIB credentials, with an impressive 31 years of British manufacture under their belts. Swit Swoo. They promote everything I love in a brand.

Whilst I can't bring myself to look at woolies, just yet, I can ask WWSND? She'd accessorise!


Scarf, Age of Reason; Hat, Christy Hats; Scarf, Helen Moore; bag, M.Hulot; Shoes, Arthur Sleepers; bg, Liberty Print.


A scarf layered with a scarf, you say I'm crazy. I say think Burberry AW14! Tie your Shawl with a belt at the waist and luxuriously layer your faux on top.

I wanted a black felt hat but a pop of colour and the feather detail on the band, I just couldn't resist this emeraldyblue shade.

Slipper shoes in tweed to add in texture and bring out the bluey tones of the accessories (even more). The new age rock n roll blue suede shoes. Ones I still won't wear in the rain.

And lovely, lovely, beautiful tanned leather. This wrap over clutch is perfect.

Check out my Pinterest board with lots of styling and inspiration for my new favourite look.

Andrea x


Birthday Haul

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Chocolates, Rococo; Custom Necklace, Anna Lou of London; Acrylic Necklace, i am acrylic; Top, Stella & Alf.

As you probably guessed from my recent blog posts, I've had a birthday. And as all my friends and family know: I only Buy British! The challenge was set and duly accepted. 

(I'm joking. I don't challenge my F+F!) 

I'm not one for birthdays and celebrations and attention being on me. Odd for a Leo, apparently. But I felt well and truly spoilt on the day and spent it in excellent company.

As well as the plethora of gift vouchers (not very exciting to snap!) I also received cash which I put towards this dreamy Stella & Alf top - a present from me to me via other peoples money! Can't blame a girl for getting what she really wants. I've worn it SO much. I wonder how I dressed without it before. 



As well as being greeted with an enormous bunch of flowers from the boy, I also received the traditional box of Rococo Chocolates (which were demolished before this picture was taken!!) a beautiful rose gold custom necklace from Anna Lou of London and tickets to go see First Aid Kit this September! I am beyond excited to see these girls and am already planning my nordic inspired outfit for the occasion. 


Finally, I received a few other little bits and bobs including the cute cloud necklace from one of the bests. I love Tatty Devine's wizardry acrylic but this necklace by I Am Acrylic is hand-cut! HAND CUT. How amazing and I am equally obsessed. Also, bought from my friends pop-up shop, I make fun stuff, specialising in local, hand made.. err... stuff.

Andrea x
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