In 2008, Clare (originally from Suffolk) a packaging design specialist with a penchant for traditional textiles and clothes, had a ‘geisha makeover’ with a friend in Kyoto. During her first visit to Japan, she became intrigued by the precision and attitude of the Japanese culture to design and presentation.
In the following years she bought a few vintage kimono fabrics, hung them around the spare room at home, walked around in them, and generally, admired them a lot.
In 2011, and feeling brave, she decided to cut into one of the beautiful kimonos and introduce it to her sewing machine. The result was not so beautiful, but after a few attempts and after becoming re-acquainted with the art of sewing, results began to blossom, like the first ‘sakura’ cherry blossom of Spring.
Since the initial experiments, Clare spent many hours at her trusty old sewing machine (which has now been upgraded to a newer model) to meet the demand for bags.
From 2012 she has worked with development groups and social projects in SE Asia, were she lives, to build production capacity that can grow the business while supporting groups with particular social and physical difficulties.
Some of Moniko's beautiful hand and clutch bags are stocked in our gallery in Finchingfield and a selection can also be bought online below.