Heart in Hands

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Top: Friends of Couture

Skirt: virtu

Shoes: Poetic License

Bag: Hart Bags via Kickstarter

The internet’s a marvellous thing, isn’t it?

Once upon a time, if you had a great idea for a product or a service you also personally needed the cash to get it off the ground, which meant taking out a second mortgage, or selling everything and moving back in with your parents, or managing to convince a bank that you were worth taking a chance on investing in.

These days, if you have a great idea for a product or a service you can take it to the people through crowd-funding networks like Kickstarter or Pozible, and invite them to help you make your dream a reality.

That’s what Lavina Joe of The Hart Matters did.

She had an idea for a product: a cute handcrafted leather bag in the shape of a love heart with a detachable shoulder strap, so that it could be worn as a clutch or a shoulder bag.

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She designed and produced a prototype over a seven month period, then when she was happy with the product listed the company The Hart Matters on Kickstarter, with the goal being to get enough funding to produce at least 100 bags – enough to launch the brand.

Tabs, a Frocks and Frou Frou reader, emailed me about The Hart Matters when she spotted them on Kickstarter, and I’m so glad she did.

I jumped on board immediately, choosing the $149 pledge, which (when, and only if the project reached its funding goal of $7,500) made me eligible to receive one of the large size bags in a dust bag, a mini coin purse, and a t-shirt.

Within two weeks Lavina had made her goal, and by the time the project had closed they had 174 backers who had pledged a total of over $20,000. The bags were definitely going ahead!

Over the next few months the backers were kept up to date with the production progress. Every step of the way from manufacture to shipping was communicated through blog posts, photos and videos – it was lovely to feel included in the process by which a product I had helped make a reality came to exist.

And then – bang on schedule in mid-July – a courier delivered a box stamped with the Hart Matters logo. My love-heart handbag had arrived.

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It’s a lovely piece of production, well made in good quality leather with a slightly textured finish. It’s definitely an eye-catching accessory, and I always get people commenting on it when I carry it.

It’s definitely not a workhorse of a handbag, and the amount I can carry in it is quite limited (given how prone I am to carrying everything but the kitchen sink, this is probably a good thing!) The gusset of the bag is quite shallow – about two inches wide – which means that it sits flush against the body, and the clean lines aren’t compromised.

DSCF2169The bag has a zipper fastening that I’m thankful for, but it does make the depth of the bag quite shallow. It’s basically the size of a clutch purse wrapped in a gorgeous, red, heart-shaped casing. I can fit my iPad Mini, my purse, my phone and car keys, some pens and a tube of lip balm though, and really what else do you need?

The interior’s well organised with a pocket for my phone, a zippered pocket for security, and a larger pocket for bits and pieces. it’s lined with a soft red suede, and stamped with The Hart Matter’s motto “Love Is Not Selfish”.

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The Kickstarter Project was so successful that The Hart Matters has already sold out of their first run of bags, and they are still in the process of opening up their online shop, so if you’re interested in getting one for yourself you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled on their website for updates.

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Floral Frenzy

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Dress: Ginger Tree

Shoes: Poetic Licence

Merry Christmas from everyone at Chez Lillipilli!

I hope you’ve all had lovely, restful weeks full of good food, friends and family. I certainly have.

The Sophisticate and I took a trip down to his family home, where we’ve spent the last five days being spoiled by his parents.

I don’t have any phone reception down there, and the internet is a bit patchy, so it’s always a really, truly holiday away from everything.

We’ve come back today with a bucket full of fresh-picked blackberries, so I’m in a frenzy of sticky-fingered jam-making. Though the stains around my mouth suggest to The Sophisticate that it’s a case of one-for-me, one-for-the-jam.

I’m wearing one of my many (too many, really) floral dresses and I feel very 1950′s with my apron and my home-made preserves.

I spotted this dress on a trek down Bridge Road a few months ago, but I haven’t worn it on the blog before. It was from Ginger Tree (no website, I’m afraid) and I seriously deliberated over buying it.

As you know, I have more than a few floral dresses, and more than a few of them look pretty much exactly like this one. But it was only $49, and on close inspection I liked the watercolour print A LOT.

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The fabric seems to be some kind of weird coated cotton. It feels almost like it might be waterproof (it’s not, obviously). It’s reasonably heavy and holds its shape well, doesn’t crease badly, and the dress is fully lined.

The bodice is probably a smidge tight, but I don’t really mind getting my boobs squished if the fabric doesn’t look like it’s straining. Sometimes (often) having larger breasts can be a burden, and having a outfit where I can pretend I’m a modest C cup rather than a flamboyant F is a welcome change.

Best of all, the dress goes PERFECTLY with my favourite Poetic License pumps.

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