the embroidered name of Emma Lomax

Anya Hindmarch's Be a Bag concept

Anya Hindmarch’s Be a Bag concept

For at least 10 years the personalised gift market has been exploding.

It all started with named stockings and monogrammed dressing gowns and there are now thriving gift companies who will, quite literally, put your name (or the recipient’s) on just about anything.  A door mat was one which caught my eye the other day.  Mr NO taste lives here – type of thing.

Emma's kitchen table full of her designs

Emma’s kitchen table full of her designs

But some designers do the ‘it’s mine’ mark really well.  When I turned 30 (shockingly more than a decade ago) some lovely work chums organized a brilliant present for me. Anya Hindmarch had just launched her ‘Be a Bag’ concept where you could send in a photo for her team to superimpose onto one of her divine bags.  I am sure this heightened the upper-end of the personalised craze no end.  Anyway, I carried around a gorgeous tote with a 1970s photo of little brother and I (then) aged 4 and 5.

And there is no better introduction now to Emma Lomax.  She is, in my opinion, the new Anya Hindmarch of personalisation.  Emma founded Sew Lomax just over a year ago and already Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols and many others are begging for exclusive designs for their stores.  Her range of gorgeously girly embroidered bags* can all have short messages (£5 per word) or initials added to them.  This morning I headed straight to her home in West Kensington to find out more about this 26 year old assistant teacher turned needlepoint artist.

vintage sewing 'basket' at Sew Lomax

vintage sewing ‘basket’ at Sew Lomax

Did you learn Domestic Science at school?  I didn’t unfortunately.  As I wasn’t academic, I think I would have benefited greatly by having a creative outlet.

Who inspires you? Mother is my biggest inspiration. She was an embroidery teacher herself years ago and so I was brought up with a needle and thread in my hand.

How long does it take you to thread up a sewing machine? I am not sure I have never timed myself, but it always say it takes me a lot longer than I would like it to.

Emma Lomax at her sewing machine

Emma Lomax at her sewing machine

What was the last item you made?  I am currently stitching rollers to make a bag for hair bits and pieces.

Do you dream in colour?  I dream a lot about my designs. When you are stitching a  design for a week or so the shape/object becomes transfixed in your mind.

Which is your favourite film EVER?  ‘Little Women’ for sure

Where would we find you taking some time out?  Probably on my sofa at home in front of a roaring fire with my dog on my lap and with a nice big cup of tea.

What irritates you?  When you just cant get a design to work and you cant figure out what is going wrong.

Who would you love to make a bag for?  I would love to make a bag for Anya Hindmarch, I know she probably has plenty but I would feel honored to just do so.

the camera pouch Emma gave me - with the Life of Yablon logo on the reverse - DIVINE!

the camera pouch Emma gave me – with the Life of Yablon logo on the reverse – DIVINE!  £28

What are you most proud of?I am currently doing some work with Fortnum & Mason beauty department which will be potentially be in store next month, which I am beyond excited about.

Which is your favourite London restaurant? I love a fairly new restaurant that has just opened up in Fulham called HONKY TONK with amazing ribs and cocktails. 

Where do you dream of being stocked?  I would love to go to America next – maybe Bloomingdales.

Have you always lived in West London? Yes I have. I first lived in Hammersmith and then never really moved far from there.

Tell us a sewing secret.  Don’t be afraid to mix types of stitches – it can create a really interesting texture.

Check out the full Sew Lomax collection here.

*  Each canvas bag is ethically sourced and is treated with Scotchguard™ to protect from stains





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