I discovered Bahru at the last Perth Upmarket event, where designer Fliss Brophy had a stall selling her amazing leather bags. The designs, colours and quality were all exceptional, and I invested in a soft, silver clutch that I take everywhere. With the spring edition of Perth Upmarket coming up this Sunday 13 September, we caught up with Fliss to find out more about her life on a farm in south-west WA and all things Bahru.
When did you start making bags?
Bahru was ‘born’ in Singapore in 2007. I had been working there up until my first baby was born and instead of returning to work I started designing bags and pouring over leather swatches!
Where does the magic happen?
After 15 years of living overseas in Asia and Europe, we have returned to Australia and live on our family’s farm in the south-west of WA. It’s a magical place very close to the coast and a large forest, with plenty of animals – livestock and pets. We have been working on restoring an old building on the farm to allow more space for Bahru.
Take us through a day in the life of Fliss:
We have three young children so I’m mostly running about with them! I love popping into our local café, Capelberry for a coffee before a run to the post office to send off Bahru orders. I find it really lovely to live in a relatively small community where you know many people by name and can have a chat while you go about your day. I wish I had more of a routine but my day varies between family, animals, the gym, the farm and Bahru!
What do you love about living in Capel?
I love the space and sounds of living in the country with an easy proximity to Perth.
What must we do when we’re down your way?
I’m a huge fan of the Donnybrook Apple Fun Park – for obvious reasons! If you haven’t been, and you have kids, it is a massive outdoor playground which is free, fabulous and there is a café just across the road.
Busselton has a great new place called Mono Store which is a cafe and gift shop, and they run awesome creative workshops. It’s tucked away down a lane off Queen Street.
Also in Busselton is Laundry 43 which does amazing food and cocktails in a building which was formerly a laundromat.
What would you consider the must-have from your collection this summer?
Barcelona is a new larger tote which is perfect for throwing everything in you need for a summer day. The Berlin works overtime as a clutch and wallet which you can use in a larger bag like Barcelona or Paris, or solo if you’re traveling light.
I would find it hard to live without a Florence which is a fairly small bag with an adjustable strap so you can whip around town barely knowing you are wearing it, yet you can fit more than the essentials inside.
Which other Upmarket exhibitors are you keen to check out this weekend?
June was my first Upmarket and I was so busy I barely had a chance to have a look around! I love everything from The Little Bakery – they make the most delicious cupcakes and always have a new product to try. Beau Est Mien is a new favourite after I was gifted a calendar for Christmas. I love their treehouse cards and large prints. I’m hoping this time to visit Song Textiles who aren’t far from me and Ginger and Lucille who I missed in June. Fliss
You can browse and buy from Bahru’s lovely selection of leathergoods on their website, but to see them in person and chat to Fliss, stop by her stall at Perth Upmarket this Sunday! Entry to the market is free, just head to Winthrop Hall at UWA between 10am and 4pm.