Meet the Maker Sallyann Marron, Bag Designer and Maker.
Sallyann’s Handmade Bags are created in a small sewing room overlooking Doo Lough and the Atlantic Ocean in West Clare by Sallyann Marron. The bags are individual creations, each lined with recycled jeans, making every bag unique. Some of the bags are reversible, allowing the owner to turn the bag inside out, making the bags ideal for shopping, picnics, the beach, the gym or swimming.
To find out more about Sallyann and view her beautiful bags visit https://sallyannsbags.com/meet-sallyann/
What's a typical day in the studio like for you?
I start with a walk up the road with my dog, Poppy. We go the same route everyday, and I never get bored of taking photographs of the wildflowers that I see on my walk. They are the basis of my fabric designs and often make up my social media posts too. After my walk it's time for a coffee and admin: emails, processing orders, working out the day's priorities. Then it might be cutting denim (all my bags are lined with recycled jeans), cutting the outer fabrics, making straps, or ideally, making the bags themselves. I take Poppy out for another walk late afternoon, and depending on workload I will often sew for another hour or so before finishing up for the day.
What do you like most about your work?
Definitely the sewing. I get huge satisfaction out of taking an unloved pair of jeans, adding in some of my flowery fabric and making a handbag out of them! It's like magic. It doesn't grow old.
What do you like least about your work?
Some of the admin. It can be hard work wading through paperwork.
What's your favourite craft item in your home?
I have a beautiful lampshade I found in a craft shop in Kilkenny. It has a fox and a magpie on it. The colours of the shade are really rich. We have both foxes and magpies visiting our garden, so it is very appropriate in our household!
What other maker in your discipline do you most look up to?
I find I'm more inspired by the other craftspeople I have got to know through the markets I have attended, particularly locally. Clare Beck of Orinoco Fused Glass, Lorna Langenkamp of Wild Atlantic Silver and Kevin Lynch of Airmid Soap have all inspired and helped and provided valued sounding boards throughout the development of my business.
What advice would you give someone who is considering this craft career?
You need to really love what you do, and be prepared to do it over and over again! And it's important to be open to opportunities and new ideas and to take feedback from customers really seriously.
What's your favourite time of the day?
When we sit down for our dinner in the evening.
How do you switch off?
My family would say I'm not very good at switching off - it's the hard part of being self employed and having an online business. I enjoy gardening and love to spend time in the poly tunnel, fettling my tomatoes. I truly switch off when I go away for a few days - preferably to somewhere hot and exotic with amazing food.
How do you start your day?
Walking Poppy, our family dog.
What's the first thing you do when you leave the studio?
I've been learning Portuguese for the last year and a half, so when I leave the studio I open my Duolingo app and do half an hour of Portuguese.
"Interpreter of Maladies" by Jhumpha Lahiri It's a book of short stories which look at what happens when you move from one culture to live in another. The first time I read it, I read it cover to cover on one flight, and on landing I literally wanted to tell everyone to go and read it, but instead I had left it in the seat pocket on the plane, so I had to go away and buy a replacement copy!
Out of Sight
Best concert you have ever been to?
Nile Rogers & Chic at the Milk Market In Limerick. I was on crutches with a broken leg but had the best time
Anything Indian Vegetarian
Music when you're working?
What do you listen to?
All sorts. recently a lot of Huey Morgan's Saturday morning radio shows on playback, and the Fun Lovin' Criminals