Katie Ledlin

Three Bags Mine | Email | Website

Where and what did you study and what year did you graduate?
Bachelor of Architecture Honours (First class), 2006, University of Sydney.
Bachelor of Design (Architecture) 2003, University of Sydney.

Where did you head after graduating?
I worked for architecture firms part time at university. I now work as an architect with GLA on high end residential projects, retail fitouts and commercial interiors and design for Three Bags Mine after hours!

When did you launch your own business?
Three Bags Mine was officially launched in my final year of university in 2006.

What motivated you to start your own business?
As a struggling uni student, I started making bags as birthday gifts for close friends. The feedback and huge amount of encouragement from them inspired me to believe that I could establish my passion in a small business .

How would you describe your business to someone who didn’t know you?
A high end, luxury handbag label targeting a very niche client market.

How would you describe the products you design to someone who hadn’t seen them?
Portable art. All the pieces are one-off originals, designed and handmade by myself. It involves quite a laborious process to make but the end result is a highly detailed, well finished, quality piece that should be yours to use and keep for a lifetime.

What are the most challenging parts of being a designer running a small business?
Learning to plan for the downs as well as relishing the highs. Retaining the passion and staying on course when things don’t go your way is a challenge, but essential to making that success.

What inspires your design projects?
The first bag I made was inspired by a collection of paisley silk scarves I inherited from my grandmother. The use of rich, textured and opulent fabrics has always inspired my designs.

What are the next steps for you?
I think it’s important to establish a strong identity in Australia before venturing to an international stage, so my focus during the next two years will be to broaden local brand awareness and reach more of that niche market here.

Published 15 July 2008.

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