Article: Brand Principles
Our Brand Principles are the guiding lights that shape and shepherd everything we do. Barkworth Reeve is named after two very special women, my Grandmothers, it’s a family brand in every possible sense, and the brand principles represent that. They are the core values of our ‘why’ and our identity. They are a reflection of our commitment to you, our customer, and to what we believe is product excellence.
Every touch point and brand interaction with the customer is an opportunity to create a positive and lasting impression. We always try to go above and beyond.
Our products are designed with the the needs of our customer in mind. We sit down and run through our customer feedback, what are the common frustrations that we hear again and again? We question our own frustrations and annoyances…. it all goes into a HUGE mind map! Then we sit down with our customer Muse mood boards (try saying that after a drink!) they get spread all over the table ( on a side note Fiona Humberstone has an amazing podcast about Design Muses if you want to learn more, I digress), we put ourself in our customers shoes…. How could we design these problems out of our products and provide a seamless experience? Maybe our customer muse is tall and she struggles with bags which sit too high, so she needs a strap which extends to the length she needs; our customer might be struggling to grab hold of a small zip pull when she has gloves on and its been raining, maybe she is out on a dog walk and needs to grab a poo bag - we can easily rectify that problem by making a zip pulls slightly larger, or a poo bag dispensing pocket… Perhaps she is prone to having back problem, or has a nerve in her neck which is a bit tender - adding larger than average cross body strap can sort this out easily without compromising the integrity of the product.
With the obligatory cup of tea, we sit down round the kitchen table and, with care (and shortbread) we identify which pain points we can address, how we can create solutions that not only eliminate these frustrations, but also make the whole product experience more enjoyable. Hopefully this translates into the products and you will able to tell, not by instantly looking, but by living with the product, using it day to day, deciding (even if you aren’t consciously aware of it) that this product doesn't have the niggling irritations which you have with other products, and therefore you default to it, time and time again.
Each product is lovingly designed with the goal of simplifying day to day life, freeing up time (and mental energy!) for the priorities. We have all had that moment where you are hunting around in the bottom of your handbag for your ringing phone, it's always at the most inopportune moment! When you are in a queue, the kids are getting grouchy and want to get home, and the incessant ringing from a phone which you cannot find! So the easy solution is have a pocket which is secure and designed specifically for your phone. This is just one example but I could give you lots more! Whether you're a busy professional, an ex busy professional who is now an overwhelmed mum or a serene grandparent, unflappable in all but the most testing toddler meltdown, our products are sure to make life a little bit more manageable.
We take ethical manufacturing very seriously. It is so important to us that our products are made to the highest standards, with responsibile manufacturers who believe in a happy working environment for the artisan makers they employee.
We are incredibly proud to work in partnership with a fantastic family-run factory, a member of the Leather Working Group (LWG). This means that they adhere to the most rigorous standards and best practices in the industry. The brothers who run the factory have a holistic approach to their employees, in addition the wage employee’s are paid, their children are provided with health care and supplementary education. The factory do not hold stock of, or use any pigskin in respect to their muslim employee’s.
They are lovely people whose ethics align with ours, so working with them was a no-brainer.
We are proud to say that the leather used in our products is a by-product of the meat industry. The tannery where the leather is produced is located on the same site as the factory, this reduces the distance that the leather needs to be transported.
We firmly believe that ethical manufacturing practices are crucial for the well-being of our planet, for the animals and people who inhabit it. By partnering with a manufacturer who shares our values, we can create products that are not only beautiful and functional but are also sustainable and environmentally responsible.
We want our customers to feel good about their purchases and we strive to produce products at a fair price which is fair to both our customer and our manufacturer.
If a product is practical, functional and works for your life, then people tend to stick to it. The more you use something, the more you develop an affinity towards it. We understand that cheaper alternatives are available, however, we take pride in our products. We passionately believe that the level of craftsmanship, the expertise of our manufacturer and our attention to design detail means that our products are lifetime investments. And like all investment you reap the rewards in the long run. Our belief is that a high-quality bag is not only a fashion piece, but its also a reflection of the person carrying it. It speaks volumes about their taste, style, and personality, what they stand for and how they want to be perceived by the world at large. It signifies that they prioritise and how they feel about themselves. We are confident that our bags will not only meet but exceed your expectations in terms of practicality, functionality and that you will appreciate the value they bring to your life in more than just aesthetics.
Is there anything better than a crisp linen shirt? A snuggly cashmere scarf wrapped up to keep you warm on a cold night with the smell of bonfires and with the crack of fireworks going on overhead? or that feeling of getting into fresh cotton sheets? I’m pretty sure no one ever climbed into bed between slippery polyester sheets and said ‘oooo, I love the crackle of the static and how it makes my hair stand on end’ errrr no. You don’t have to be an anthropologist to work out that we are grounded, calmed and soothed by natural materials. They are tactile, they have a solidity, and a quality which makes you want to touch them, to interact with them. These are just a few of the reasons that we choose to use as many natural materials as possible.
We want you to know that we have tried our hardest to bring you the best product and experience whilst having as smaller impact on the planet as possible. The paper that the bags are stuffed with is fully recycle-able. We opt to use brass zips rather than plastic ones, as the brass can be recycled. Leather is of course a natural material which means it will eventually biodegrade over time and eventually return to earth - nourishing the soil when it does. We don’t claim to be perfect but we are constantly striving to do better.
Classic proportions are never going to date, be that on architecture (have you been to Rome? you’ll know what i mean then), on women’s bodies, Marilyn Monroe’s hourglass shape is timeless, on danish pastries, the ratio’s of custardy creaminess to crunchy pastry.. Mmmmm, i’m getting distracted!! It’s all about how those magic proportions give a sense of balance and timeless style. We are not in the business of creating ‘high fashion’ shapes, high fashion very quickly becomes ‘dated fashion’, and then ‘out of fashion’…. not something which resonates for numerous reasons. Classic shapes stand the test of time, they transcend seasons and trends - and thats what we are about, quality, practicality and style which lasts.
Every so often, you encounter a product that seems to serve a single purpose but then surprises you with its versatility. Our founders are passionate about creating products that can be used in multiple ways, and this passion is evident throughout our range. For example, our bags are designed to not only be functional but also universally flattering, regardless of your size or shape. Moreover, our carefully curated colour palette is classic and intended to serve as a core building block of a capsule wardrobe, while also highlighting the beauty of the materials used. By opting for classic colours, you can be confident that our product will work with a multitude of outfits, and help you transition seamlessly between different occasions.