Hello, I'm Jennie, the founder and the driving force behind Barkworth Reeve. The brand was created at my kitchen table in the heart of a busy bustling, noisy, family filled home in Harrogate, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales.
At Barkworth Reeve we seamlessly combine country heritage materials with modern functionality, timeless proportions and Equestrian styling all within a single product.
We passionate about creating and delivering purposeful products with a timeless aesthetic; products which will work hard and can be relied upon. Inspired by our love of the British countryside, mixing practicality with enduring style and solid craftsmanship. We make investment products which will last and remain relevant for the long-term. We are non-seasonal. We pursue perennial style and don’t chase fast fashion, ever changing fickle trends.
All our products are loaded with little references to assure you they are the absolute opposite of mass market design. Every element is considered, refined and is there ultimately to make your life a little bit easier.
This isn’t a corporate venture, its not a ‘stack them high and sell them cheap’, it’s a love letter to the women whom the brand is named after. Its personal, it’s me, a Mum wanting to help other women by providing beautiful and functional accessories, which look good and don’t date.
At Barkworth Reeve, we set, what we feel is a fair approach to pricing. It's simple – we consider the materials and craftsmanship, and set our prices accordingly. There's no hidden magic, just a commitment to delivering genuine value. Sometimes mean we have to compromise a case of us accepting a little less in order to maintain one of our founding principles. We hope it reflects our unwavering core value, rooted in the belief that transparent and honest pricing is at the heart of who we are.
We only source leather from LWG certified tanneries. The Leather Working Group is the leading environmental certification for leather and means it is tanned in an environmentally responsible way. All of our leather is tanned within a mile of the family owned and run factory where it is produced and has a minimal carbon footprint. Our hides are tanned to order, reducing waste, and we use our handbag offcuts to produce our smaller gifting products
We use metal hardware which can be recycled when a bag comes to the end of its life, and we are working towards using YKK Natulon zips which have 100% recycled polyester zip tape – we aren’t there yet, but it will happen. Our bag linings are either LWG certified leather or Cotton.
The brand is named after, and beautifully captures the essence of two pivotal women I grew up with.
Barkworth Reeve is a homage to these two incredible woman who were so different but so amazing in their own ways (needless to say they never saw eye to eye!).
Barkworth was my paternal grandmother, she was glamorous and over the top she was larger-than-life with big hair and painted nails. She drank scotch whiskey and smelt of perfume (which my mum disliked) and elnett hairspray. She had an enamel powder compact which she used to carry her handbag and which she would whip out to check her lipstick in. She was always bedecked jewellery and accompanied by her beloved and grumpy Lhasa Apso dogs. She used to play Tom Jones in her car, loved rich food and had a dirty laugh.
Reeve was my maternal grandmother and she was the polar opposite! She was a homemaker, an amazing baker with snow white hair which had been jet black in her youth. She was a prolific knitter and used to make us bed socks in odd colour combinations. She was softly spoken with a gentle Sheffield accent. She never learnt to drive but loved her dachshunds, songs of praise on a Sunday night and loose leaf tea. She had an amazing garden full of roses and lavender with a huge vegetable patch which we used to steal carrots from! The garden had a stream running alongside it where we sailed home-made boats as children and she used to make us climb the apple tree in the garden to pick fruit for her to store. She made thick gloopy home made jam and use to give us flannelette sheets from her airing cupboard to make washing airer tents with.
Every element in our designs is considered and inspired by a problem that I have encountered, or a challenge I've been told about. I love creating products which have a personal touch.
The story behind the shape of the branded plate which you will see on all our bags is an example of this. I knew I wanted a shape which was clean and fluid, no strong angles. I had messed around sketching various shapes, Bertie kept jumping up (he wanted to be let out to chase the wood pigeons). Whilst stroking his velvety head it just clicked, I sketched out the shape of his little nose and the shape evolved from there.The plate shape was designed and Bertie's nose has ben imortalised!