Studio @ Cockpit Arts Holborn. Photo courtesy of Jenny Lewis

Studio @ Cockpit Arts Holborn. Photo courtesy of Jenny Lewis

A few of my favorite holiday memories growing up.  

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— Claire C.

About the maker

I’m Californian by birth with family dotted all over the Deep South of America and spend most of my holiday traveling the country on long road trips. On these long road trips I was able to see the country from small towns to big cities. Always the same set up; California to Louisiana cramped in the backseat of a Cadillac with my brother for 3-4 days on a trip to see family. On these drives I would read about Cowboys and Indians and we’d stop at all the site like the Grand Canyon where Native Americans roamed the land and lived freely.

 American history always interested me and the importance of traveling and migrations of different nationalities of people across America and what we all have in common. Being from a county with so many nationality and faith one thing seems to tie us all together, our determination to create a better situation. From a young age I was told stories of my family’s journey to find their place after the Civil War and the ending of slavery. These colorful tales about my Native American and African ancestors illustrated the importance of working hard, having a strong faith and being a loving family. In the 60s my parents decided to create their own path by moving to California to find a new life in a place that would accept them for who they were regardless of race.

 All the traditions from my ancestors have stay with me through out my life and my appreciation for working hard to achieve success is not completely fueled by the prospect of becoming wealthy, but having a pride in what I do to get there.

 My impression from a young age was if you’re not where you want to be, find the place you’d like to be. Which was pretty much limited to the American boarders. Luckily my parents gave me the opportunity to see the world and at age16 allowed me to take a school trip for 2 weeks to Europe (England, France and Spain). From the day I landed at Heathrow Airport in 1998 the world opened up for me and I’ve never looked back.

 I fell in love with London at 16 and at 20 I moved here to improve on my skills as a designer. I ended up taking a leather bags course and things slowly fell into place by learning a skill I never thought I’d get the opportunity to do. Being able to study in London has opened up a wealth of materials and knowledge to me as a designer. I’ve been able to learn from established makers and companies that have been trading in skills that have been handed down through generations.

 My design style is a mixture of my love of British culture and my American upbringing.