Last month I ran a few blogger workshops, and was very lucky to have the O Bag Store (formerly O Bag Factory) offering up their O Gallery space as a venue. Downstairs they have a really beautiful studio, and if you're looking to run an event or class in north London, I cannot recommend the O Gallery (below) enough.
Upstairs it's accessory city, and owner Marcia is the mayor! She saw how successful O Bags are in their native Italy, and bought the UK's first franchise. The first shop opened it's doors in leafy (and celeb-filled) Crouch End this year, and there's currently a pop-up shop in Piccadilly Station until the end of December. Who knows what 2016 will bring, but for now you can shop online or head to Crouch End for a unique experience with Marcia and her team. This involves choosing all the components for your very own O Bag from the size and type of base to the trim and handles. I have no idea how anyone would even begin to start selecting, but luckily there's lots of examples on the shelves for you to get some ideas.
All the stock comes from O Bag headquarters in Milan where O Bags are insanely popular. As well as many colours to choose from, there are also the styles and lengths of straps, and the type of trim – faux fur, tweed, leather, suede, wool, or maybe no trim at all? No wonder it's best to go in there and have a chat with an O Bag consultant in order to make your ideal bag.
Marcia has said that the bags have been popular for beach bags, baby changing bags, and gym bags, as well as everyday handbags and work bags (they do satchel styles perfect for holding laptops). If designing your own bag wasn't exciting enough, they have watches and bracelets too. I love these cute timepiece necklaces (below), and the fun watch faces that you can select before choosing a colour and style of wrist strap.
I think anything in the O Bag Store would make a really unique Christmas gift, and you'd have a whale of a time choosing the right gifts for people. Or you could gift a trip to the O Bag Store for your loved ones to go and make their own dream bag or watch. Make sure you're following O Bag Store on Twitter as they have regular fun events in the O Gallery, and online competitions. You can sign up to their email mailing list to stay in the loop too. This is such an amazing concept, and I can see it taking off all over the UK. Make sure you can say you got your bag when it all started in Crouch End (and Piccadilly).