An Interview With Isla Rule

imageLadies, what do you look for when picking a bag?  For me, I look for spaciousness, sturdiness and it has to be stylish.  It needs to be big enough to perhaps carry a change of shoes, pack of baby wipes, make up bag ….and if it can house a technical gadget or perhaps a bottle of wine then I’m happy …and if each item had a compartment pocket so that I could locate my keys without tipping out the contents of my bag …well that would be heaven.  If that sounds good to you too, then you’ll love my interview tonight with the lovely Gisela of the bag company Isla Rule …plus she has a fab competition for you to enter to design your own bag.  First though, let’s welcome to the blog Gisela… Hi, Gisela!

Hi! My name is Gisela Rule. I’m the Marketing Director of an international company by day and an artist by night.

imageWhat inspired you start up your business?

My job requires a lot of international and local travel. Finding the perfect all-purpose handbag became the bane of my life. I either had to lug around several bags to cope with all the items I would need in a  day (change of shoes, cashmere wrap, 3 types of technology, make up and all the other handbag essentials) or I would compromise and hurl everything into one tote, only to spend the entire day fishing through the contents of my bag in search of a nail file/umbrella/mint/book. I shared my frustrations with my husband and he suggested that we have a go at designing our own range of luxury laptop handbags. And the rest is history!

imageWhen choosing designs/styles/colours for both your bags and your pashminas, do you go by popular styles, customer requests, fashion trends, your own tastes/needs or bits of all those?

I love classic timeless pieces, particularly when  it comes to bags. That’s why I design bags that will become wardrobe staples. Unlike most designers, I start with the interior of the bag. My philosophy is that you should love what’s inside.

imageI love the secret double compartment in the Hannah bag – ideal for housing baby wipes, flat shoes etc.  What did you envisage the use of the secret compartment when you first designed the bag – what would you store in the compartment?

I use mine to carry a change of shoes. I often find myself running through airports (ballerina flats are the best footwear for that!) and I then change into my heels en route to my meetings.

imageTo date, what has been your most popular item ordered from your repertoire?

Our flagship bag, the Hannah, has been a winner.

A bonus for handbag lovers is that every gorgeous bag ordered includes a free Isla Rule umbrella and a crystal nail file – 2 handbag essentials,how brilliant! Spill the beans, who came up with that idea for those particular items?

In discussing our initial designs with friends and family, these two items consistently came up as handbag essentials. In keeping with our philosophy of loving what’s inside, we wanted to surprise our customers with something extra when they buy one of our bags – hence these practical gifts with purchase.

imageOut of all the items on your website,what is or has been your favourite?

The red patent Hannah, definitely.

You offer 14 colour choices of pashminas – all gorgeous – although I am drawn to the bright Biscay Blue and Harvest Pumpkin. Have you a favourite colour?

I think I gave it away already, it’s bright red.

imageI am pleased to note that your pashminas are made from cashmere in a small family run factory in Nepal and not mass produced in large factories in China/Mongolia.  How important was it to you that your company adhered to fairtrade principles?

Very, very important. I would never want to build a business on the suffering of others.

imageAt the moment you offer bags, tablet and eReader folio cases, and pashminas.  Any plans to extend your range?

Yes, we’re working on several new designs at the moment.

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

Classic dresses and jackets are my go-to look.

imageDo you have any favourite shops or online sites?

I am addicted to the Polyvore app.

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

There is a Teal Rag & Bone blazer I have my eye on at the moment.

Boots or Shoes?

Boots for winter; shoes in summer.

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc so that readers can find out more about Isla Rule.

Thanks so much for chatting to me tonight Gisela and I wish Isla Rule continuing success.  

Linda x

Don’t forget to enter Isla Rule’s fabulous competition!  Go on… release your imagination and design the ultimate dream bag….

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Photo Credits: All photographs have been published with kind permission from Isla Rule.

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