A Lake District designer and creator of bespoke leather handbags and accessories has made her dream a reality by setting up her own business.

Aimee Duclos, 29, of Coniston, owner and founder of Duclos, is looking to the future after launching her new venture earlier this year.

The company’s new interactive website has just gone live and she is busy meeting orders, which have come from as far as Australia and Kuala Lumpur.

“I make handbags and accessories that embody the modern individual, encouraging empowerment and individuality,” said Ms Duclos.

“My goods particularly appeal to working professionals aged between 25-45 with disposable income, and also, in Cumbria, to Lakes country folk, who have a lot of appreciation for leather.

“I ensure that all my raw materials are the best I can lay my hands on. I use a special leather called saffiano from Tuscany, the brass fittings are made exclusively in Italy for Duclos and the goods are lined with high-grade suede.

“Everything is made to order. Customers can go to my website and choose different components, colours and the type of strap they want. There are different fittings and clasp options and the opportunity to include a monogram using the customer’s initials. I like to maintain a conversation via email or social media with customers about their orders, including updating them with photographs, as their goods are created – most companies cannot offer that level of personal service.”

Ms Duclos studied a four-year Cordwainers Product Design and Development degree at the London College of Fashion, specialising in leather handbags and accessories, before honing her skills at leather goods companies in Australia and New Zealand.

Having perfected her craft she returned to Cumbria in 2018 to embark on her business venture.

“I decided the time had come to do what I had wanted to do for some time – to create and work on my own designs,” said Ms Duclos.

Setting up a workshop at home the designer began making leather purses, pouches and handbags for friends, often personalising items for individuals such as the type of strap or a using a specific colour.

“I realised that stepping into my workshop was what made me most happy and that I could turn this into a business,” said Ms Duclos.