Willow trees are known for their beautiful lines and elegant appearance - so it's no surprise that Willow Tree Bags have those same qualities. They're handmade in Cape Town by the lovely Claire (who's pretty darned elegant herself). Team HP is obsessed with her range, so we decided to take a peek behind the scenes.
- Hello Claire! Tell us a little about yourself.
As long as I can remember, I have enjoyed dressing up and co-ordinating outfits. So it was a given that the Fashion Industry was my calling. I have worked in the rag trade for over 15 years, in manufacturing and retail. I have had wonderful opportunities to travel and live abroad. Although always involved in the creative process, I yearned to see my designs and ideas transformed into beautiful end products, from start to finish. And so Willow Tree was born.
- Why did you choose the name Willow Tree?
Growing up, we had a willow tree at the bottom of our garden. I would gaze out my bedroom window or lie under the enchanted tree’s softly swaying branches and imagine what the future held. I suppose you could say that I pinned all my hopes and dreams on the branches of a willow tree.
- I had a jasmine creeper outside my window as a child and to this day it still stirs up memories. What are some other things you find inspiring?
I love the smell of cut grass; the sound of falling rain; exploring new places; old things that have a story to tell; my son’s little arms that wrap tightly around my neck; my husband’s unconditional love and support. I am constantly inspired by nature’s textures and surfaces. I am fascinated by the diverse use of prints and patterns that vary across cultures, in South Africa and around the world. I have a love for textiles and can’t resist mixing patterns; plush surfaces and textured raffia with leather to create something unique.
- Tell us more about the lovely pieces from Willow Tree.
Willow Tree is designed, sourced and crafted in Cape Town. I am passionate about keeping things local. We have so many talented people in our country and it is vital to grow and nurture the industry. Our aim is to create stylish, functional accessories that will last throughout the years.
- Favourite "Willow," and why?
Willow Pattern (Ed. note: like the crockery). I am a hopeless romantic and love the fable of the forbidden lovers. May love always prevail.