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Barnsley man bags great business

By Ed Elliot, Penistone Reporter Friday 16th May 2014
Simon Brock

TUCKED away at the back of semi-detached home in Silkstone Common is a tiny conservatory which has been cleverly converted into a workshop for one.

An assortment of tools neatly line the right-hand wall of the machine-free miniature factory, next to a compact workbench that has witnessed the painstaking creation of numerous handmade accessories.

For hours a week the makeshift room is home to former Penistone Grammar School pupil Simon, who has built a business crafting bags from British leather.


He has his own website from which he sells 11 self-designed bags and a small collection of belts.

Bag spotters in Barnsley may struggle to see one of the 28-year-old's creations in the street, however, because the labour-intensive nature of his work means output is low and about three-quarters of his orders come from London and the home counties, while others have been bought by Canadians and New Zealanders.

He said: "Because a lot of my sales are to the south, I've never been in the position to be out and say: 'That's one of mine'.

"It's always nice as an artist when you create something from scratch and someone else decides they like it enough to want to own it. I think that's the main motivation for anybody making anything.

"I tend to try and avoid fashion really because obviously if I make something that's fashionable, it will go out of fashion within six months and the fact that it will last 25 years is irrelevant.

"I'm uncomfortable about the idea of trends because I think people should wear what they're happy wearing."

After completing his A Levels and an HND in furniture making at Leeds College, Simon spent three years restoring furniture before leaving that role and travelling 4,000 miles across the Atlantic to Alberta, Canada for a six-month stint as a shepherd.

CommentsClick here to add a comment...
Posted by dedatodd I Fri 16th May 2014 at 1:18pm

Would have been nice to given the Web Address

Posted by Helpfull I Sat 24th May 2014 at 10:56pm