Annie with Alex has all your carrying needs in the bag

Whatever you need to carry – and wherever you need to carry it – there’s a bag for you from Hertfordshire-based mother and daughter company Annie With Alex. The Game Fair Trade News found out more from Alex Minzey.

The Game Fair Trade News: How, when and why did you start the business?

Alex Minzey: Annie and Alex are not only the founding members but we are also a mother and daughter combination, which makes this even more important to us.

We are part of a long line of creative bag makers and the story starts with Annie’s dad, Syd.

Syd was a sailor and loved making items, whether this was a handmade boat in their back garden in Dundee, Scotland, an art studio in the garden or making a bag out of a boat sail and rope. He was always busy (a little like us!)

The Annie with Alex journey officially began in 2017, when we took the decision to share our bags wider than friends and family.

Our first collection was inspired by one particular accessory, which has been a core staple in Alex’s family for many years. This drawstring bag was designed, created and made by Annie for her granddaughter, Isabelle.

Like most families, we have many bags of children’s “tat” around the house, which keeps her busy when out and about, however when we are running out of the door we can never find a bag containing all of the core essentials to keep little ones busy AND which either parent is happy to carry (think bright pink!). With this in mind, we designed “The Pub Bag”.

TGF: What inspires your products?

Alex: All of our bags are designed and made with specific items in mind, giving you the perfect size and shape for lots of different uses! But we don’t stop there! our material choices on the inside and the outside also complement the uses!

For example: our classic small waterproof bucket bags that can be used as a pencil pot in the office, toiletries for the bathroom or small plants/ small flowers from the garden and, for a completely different look, you can reverse them!

Why clutter your home with three bags when one will do?

As well as our items being handcrafted by us in Hertfordshire, we have a unique Annie with Alex twist, as our zipped bags and handbags contain a vintage key. Each key is unique and must have a story to tell, which is a little like us!

TGF: Which products would you say are your bestsellers?

Alex: You would assume that we would have one best seller but, as our range is so practical and diverse, we actually have three which have sold the same for the past two years!

Our Classic range of homewares is in the top three – being made from waterproof fabric they were designed for the bathroom, they have handles so can be hung up but also carried. However, you can also use them as a beach and pool bag!

Our summer tote is designed as an everyday bag but, as it can be reversed, you have two different looks in one bag! Carry it to the coffee shop, the grocery story (it has room for the key essentials – load of bread, milk and a cheeky bottle of wine) or even to the beach.

Our 2022 product, Dinky, rapidly rose to a top three in its first year. Made from premium waterproof canvas (it’s actually tent fabric), it was designed for a phone, wallet and keys. So when you get out and about you have your essentials right by your side. We are often told that it is a perfect multigenerational, multigender bag… and who are we to argue?!

TGF: What makes your products so special and unique?

Alex: We believe in practicality, so all of our bags are made out of cotton so you can easily wash them, but there‘s also that little twist with our zipped bags and handbags, which contain a unique, vintage key.

TGF: What can visitors to The Game Fair expect from you?

Alex: Our visitors can expect to see our full range of natural colourways (we are often called the ‘Farrow and Ball of bags’) and an understanding of how you can use our bags every day of the year and for multitudes of different occasions.

TGF: What are you most looking forward to by exhibiting at The Game Fair?

Alex: We love chatting to everyone so we can’t wait to spend time talking to visitors and, before the show opens, perhaps a little bit of quiet shopping!

www.anniewithalex.com

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