Today we launch The Everyday Interview – a new series of ‘7 questions’ interviews with founders, creators, writers, entrepreneurs and big-thinkers making a name for themselves in the lifestyle arena.
We came across our first creator after spotting and ordering one of their beautiful monogrammed handmade leather travel bags. Matt Townsend, one half of the London-based husband and wife team behind Vida Vida – the fashion accessories brand specialising in beautiful leather satchels, laptop bags and luggage, is the first to answer our 7 questions:
What did you want to be growing up?
A farmer – I grew up in the countryside and had dreams of driving away from the church in my tractor on my wedding day (I was a strange child).
Where did the idea for Vida Vida come from and how did you bring it to life?
The idea came to my wife and I were on a very long bus ride in South America during a 2-year trip travelling around the world. We had come across some amazing artisans along the way and loved the idea of finding a way to work with them – combining our own designs and their expert craftsmanship to really create something special. This soon became a reality as we met some fantastic artisans and learnt Spanish so that we could communicate better, and within a week of arriving home from our trip we were on a stall on Portobello Road selling some of our first designs, which thankfully were a success.
Where did your interest in style come from?
There is so much beauty surrounding us all the time, particularly in nature. I think I realised this from a fairly young age and developed a sense of style from what I found beautiful or interesting.
What has been the greatest challenge to your brand/work?
I think the most difficult thing for me is to see one of my ideas through to the end. I’m a busy “Dad-preneur” and there’s always lots going on so sometimes it’s tricky to keep the momentum up to weather the ups and downs of developing a new range or idea. It’s so important to keep going though as you won’t know whether it’s a good idea until the very end.
Who was or is your greatest influence?
My Mum and Dad – cheesy but true. They did their utmost to raise a gentleman – they failed on the whole but I do still generally hold doors open for ladies. They also encouraged me to keep chickens when I was 10 and then I sold the eggs to friends and family – a key lesson in having your own business.
How would you describe your personal style?
Eclectic and mismatched, Hawaiians and flip-flops – generally bright colours – never looking to current fashion trends for influence – trying to go my own way.
7 words to describe yourself
Messy, fun-loving, calm, positive, impatient, bear-like and loyal.