Sunday, 29 October 2017


Don't worry, we are aware that Halloween has not even passed yet, so this is not your usual end of October blog post centred around Christmas, gift buying and that sense of panic that the media loves to inflict upon us at this time of year where we inevitably feel tired, stressed and like we are not doing enough. It's completely normal - the clocks have been turned back, it's getting colder outside and those resolutions that seemed so achievable in January are nowhere near accomplished. Yet, although we may not feel like it, this is the time to pat ourselves on the back, treat ourselves before the crazy build up to Christmas and take time out to reflect on all the little things that have made the past year so memorable. This is why we are launching our initiative to add a little Pepper Alley twist to this season and accompany you right up to Christmas and 2018. Our aim is to #spreadthepepperalleylove and we would like you to do the same. How do you spread the Pepper Alley love? It's simple - by appreciating simplicity and quality, supporting your local businesses and finding the beauty in those everyday joys that make this time of year a little warmer and brighter. This season we vow to:

Use our wardrobe to combat the cold: When Vogue announces a #redalert , the fashion world listens and remembers to take notes. From pops of cherry and marsala, it's time to match your outfit to your Bordeaux. Our favourites include the romantic notes or fiery lady in red ensembles (images courtesy of Vogue). We will channel the colour of the year by warming it up with a dose of gold metal and letting a flash of ruby do the talking.

Eat out for a good cause: There is nothing that spreads the pepper alley love more than a winter evening, a table full of friends and a glass of wine in good company. However, when all of this is for a good cause and supports #cookforsyria amidst one of the largest humanitarian crises of our time, it is impossible to say no. We will be joining in on Thursday 9th November and we hope you will too.
(Visit Petersham Nurseries here for more information).

(Picture courtesy of Peterham Nurseries).

Support small businesses:  There is a quote, which appears very popular on Instagram, stating that when you buy from a small business, an actual person does a happy dance. We know exactly how this feels and following some overseas sales, we are thrilled to have our little space on the internet where we can connect with some many clients all over the world. As we know how amazing it feels to be supported, we vow to support fellow small businesses as this season is perfect to set 
 good habits to follow us right up until the Christmas period. We will begin by browsing for quirky products on Tictail, Not on the High Street and Easy which proudly sell our products and so many others which are handmade by creators and small business owners alike.

Embracing the Hygge: Nothing spreads warmth and good vibes like Hygge, the danish tradition of embracing the cosyness, warmth and little things in life. This word, and tradition, may have gone slightly under radar and certainly isn't as popular with bloggers and instagrammers these days yet it remains the best way to make the most of this season, spread the warmth and look after ourselves. This season, we will be lighting candles, enjoying a warm drinks and treating ourselves to our guiltiest pleasure - online shopping!

How will you be spreading the Pepper Alley love this season? Tweet us your suggestions @Pepper_Alley 


Pepper Alley HQ X 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Beauty of the Handmade

There is something about the Autumn season which inspires us to search for a sense of warmth, comfort and simplicity. It might be the weather getting colder or the days getting shorter but we find ourselves searching for cosy quality pieces in our wardrobe, racing home to light the candles to revel in their essence or simply relishing in the comfort of returning home after a long day of work to find homemade comfort dishes.

It is this quest for the simplest of pleasures which inspired today's post and an overall desire to share  images and details of our production process with you. A desire to go back to basics and celebrate our origins, if you will, or to simply enjoy the friendship we enjoy with our clients on a daily basis through our constant media channels and let you in on a behind the scenes process which is so very dear to us.

The Origins: You may know that Pepper Alley began through the simplest of quests. A fruitless search for a golden leather tote inspired our founder, Gillian, to visit a friend with a small leather workshop armed with a sketch and a simple, yet crystal clear vision. Nowadays, the original Clemmie tote is in very good company with clutch bags and pencil cases Flora and Edie. However, the original cocktail of high quality material, simplicity in design and continuous stream of conversation with our clients and friends alike continues to prove successful.

The Present: Our leather is sourced from Italy, in small quantities of high quality product. This not only gives us freedom to experiment with our greatest passion, colour, but also allows us to deliver excellence through our products in our signature bespoke Pepper Alley format. Minor differences in colour or finish are not feared but celebrated as they are testament of our commitment to producing each bag by hand in that very same workshop where it all started.

The leather is cut by hand and the bags are assembled one by one while our founder, Gillian, adds the finishing touches. An initial here, a secret word there and our bags are ready to be sent off - From London With Love, of course!

The Future: The beauty of the future is its uncertainty yet there certain values which will remain dear to Pepper Alley in the years to come. These include the commitment to quality, the innovation which drives the brand and pushes Gillian to source all the interiors from Liberty on Regent Street or the tiny fabric shops which line the streets of Soho and, most importantly, the countless conversations with friends laughing, sharing views and trying on countless totes, clutches and accessories.

We are thrilled to see that some of our products have been featured in this months' Tictail edit and we are equally happy to be a part of the Etsy London Local Team - the future, and this Autumn, are looking rosy for Pepper Alley and we can't wait to share the Pepper Alley Love with you! Race you to Christmas?


Pepper Alley HQ X 

Friday, 29 September 2017

The Art of Power Dressing

Dressing for work is, for some, one of the greatest mysteries the world has to offer : How corporate is 'too corporate?' ? How 'revealing' can you dare within office dress code boundaries? And how can those who work in male dominated industries find a compromise between a love for fashion and the right to be taken seriously? In a sense, it is surprising to be having these sort of conversations in 2017, but there is power in confidence and a little attention to detail can put the 'girl power' in power dressing and give us that extra boost when going about our day and smashing glass ceilings (no biggie!).

After all, power dressing is no surprise or new fashion fad ; some of the most successful women in the world (think Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Sofia Amoruso, Beyonce or journalist Arianna Huffington) have made an art of power dressing not as something detracting from their message or work but, instead, adding to it and reinforcing an ethos or branding of strength, resilience and fearlessness. 

Our power dressing inspiration? The AW17 catwalk of course which mixes masculine details and rigid tailoring with ultra feminine details and touches with remind us all that a woman's place is wherever she wants it to be.

Suited and Booted

Suits have dominated the catwalks this AW17 ; emphasis on shoulders with a slouchy feel on the bottom half up the emphasis with a clever game of contrasting which can be carefully offset with minimal make up and sticking to monochrome palettes as seen as Calvin Klein and Christian Dior. (Pictures via Vogue).

Our extra tip? Pair a suit with a slouchy tote to keep the look minimal and fuss - free.

Similarly, a clutch in a pretty pastel colour is an interesting contrast and ideal to add an element of glamour to an evening look. 

And the ultimate stylish way to keep your office essentials together? One of our luxury pencil cases of course!


Pepper Alley HQ X 

Friday, 1 September 2017

Hello September - an Autumn Checklist!

Autumn is one of our favourite seasons ; the new fashion, nature and the city scape changing all around us, warm drinks and concoctions returning to our coffee shops and the slow chase towards Winter inviting us all to embrace reflection, gratitude and mindfulness are only some of the factors making this season so remarkable. Perhaps, it all comes down to the youthful mentality of the brand and a childhood reverie sweeping the whole office taking us back to those first days of school, the pride in unpacking our new stationery for September and ultimately, the promise of a season to embrace change and truly give our deepest desires a shot.

In no particular order, this Autumn we will be:

Buying Into the Back to School Mentality (Literally!)

New shoes, new uniform, new many of these things did you look forward to as a child before the beginning of the New School Year? This year, we will be sticking to stationery and treating ourselves to all the office goodies - gorgeous pencil cases included!

Spreading the Pepper Alley Love

Yes, the rumours are true, by joining our exclusive mailing list you will be able to receive a 10% discount from your next purchase on the website. Think of it as our little September gift from us to you - oh and do excuse us while we tell all our friends about it!

Escaping the Autumn Rain & Appreciating All Things Indoors

While the Autumn weather in London is not necessarily something to celebrate, all the excuses we have to be retreating indoors certainly are. This Autumn we will be enjoying drinks in Covent Garden (picture courtesy of @charlottesimone) and visiting the Electric Cinema in Soho for some well deserved shelter from the rain (picture courtesy of @seryfortu).

Embracing Autumn Fashion

From the art of power dressing (blog post coming very soon!) to leather being back in (as if we need an excuse to wear more of it!) , we will be wearing and documenting all our AW17 favourites! Oh and if the run up to Bonfire Night means we will have to embrace our inner magpie, we will do so with our gorgeous metallic clutches.

Trying (and hopefully succeeding!) to Be More Mindful

Excuse us for thinking a little too far ahead on this one but the run up to Christmas / End of the Year always makes us stressed, completely exhausted and burnt out. However, this year, we vow to do things differently and remember to take some time off to ourselves from the start of the season. A solo coffee here and a yoga session there will remind us to grab some mindful moments and will make the end of year festivities easier to manage and all the more enjoyable.

What is on your to - do list this Autumn?


Pepper Alley HQ X

Friday, 11 August 2017

Catching the Last Glimpse of Summer!

Nothing like the end of summer has the power to provoke a curious mix of bitter sweet melancholia and deep promise for what lies ahead. On one side, we're busy fishing out jumpers and coats from the attic, revelling in the joy of Autumn fashion trends and anticipating the changing of the seasons yet on the other, we wish we could trip up the watch hands just to enjoy another summer lunch, a dip in a blue pool and a glass of wine overlooking our city's sunsets. 

So to keep the mid - summer blues at bay, we thought we'd chat our summer highlights and end of seasons plans today. Remember to check back for the second instalment of this series where we discuss all things Autumn and our AW17 aspirations and projects!

Pepper Alley in the Glossies

Yes, we know we have chatted about this long enough but this summer, our gorgeous handbags and clutches were treated to not one but two magazine features! Nothing can quite compete with seeing the products of your hard work featured in glossy spreads and having the opportunity to experience this twice this summer has made us even more motivated to spread the Pepper Alley love both inside and outside the office.

Crystal and Denim Success

For a brand specialising in colour and leather goods, a denim and crystal collection may not have seemed like the obvious choice yet we are so glad we took the plunge in this direction and merged it with another one of our great passions : personalisation. Spotting our friends and customers wearing these at festivals or simply to store their essentials has been wonderful and we continue to be in love with this collection which represents our laid-back and carefree philosophy at its best. 

London is always a good idea

The end of summer and, perhaps our lack of sun in the UK, always has us wishing for a one way trip somewhere exotic. However, to the joy of our credit card, our work and life responsibilities always limit such recklessness. As an antidote to the end of summer blues, we will be escaping somewhere more local but no less fancy. Our favourite spots? A speedy check in at Leman Locke Hotel because, sometimes, there is nothing better than being a tourist in your own city. 

(picture source : @lockehotels )

Last of the Summer Wine

No, we're not quite talking about our Wine Clemmie tote (although, what better way to carry your essentials at this time of year?) but our plans to enjoy late balmy evenings while the summer light is still with us. We will be making the most of this season by gathering all our family and friends round for a late summer supper, plenty of wine and the opportunity to discuss our summer adventures!

Wishing you a lovely rest of Summer!


Pepper Alley HQ X 

Friday, 28 July 2017

Pepper Alley in Inside Kent Magazine!

Not so long ago, we were inspired to write a blog post all about gratitude, celebrating the little victories and embracing the successes that come our way particularly in our professional life. It comes as no surprise, then, that we were delighted to spot another one of our products in a glossy magazine!

This month, our Clara wristlet was featured in Inside Kent Magazine in a holiday inspired fashion feature and we must admit that we may have done a little victory dance (again!) around the office on finding out the news. As we discussed in our previous post, such events are an incredible mood booster around our little office - they maintain our spirits high and keep us giving it our all whether that's in production, sales, social media or customer service.

Perhaps the reason we feel such pride in spotting our beauties in these features is because we know how difficult it can sometimes be, as a small business, to get noticed and spread the word about our products. In this way, seeing that someone else appreciates our work to the extent of suggesting it to others is a metaphorical pat on the back, the icing on the cake and that extra support that may not be vital but is incredibly rewarding nonetheless.

The other incredible bonus of putting our products out there is seeing how others interpret our designs and bring them to life in the process. We sure know our leather totes, clutches and wristlets are multifunctional but using our Clara wristlet to store essentials for a day at the beach? Well, that's a genius idea, cheers Inside Kent Magazine! In this way, the distance between us and our clients is reduced and we see our bags acquire a whole new dimension, one which gives them vitality and the possibility to express our concepts (colour, practicality, pride in beautifully crafted designs) through the fabulous women who wear them.

So, here's to our next magazine feature! Once again, thank you to Inside Kent Magazine - and if you were tempted to shop our Clara, you can do so here.


Pepper Alley HQ X 

Monday, 10 July 2017

Graduation Station

According to F. Scott Fitzgerald, 'happiness is relief after extreme tension'. We believe this notion is very relevant to all the students graduating from University this summer. If you think about it, three years (or more!) of lectures, seminars and hard work in a, more often than not, new environment with new friends and challenges is enough to induce even a little bit of tension in the calmest of students. This is why your graduation is an emotional time in recognising all that hard work but also acknowledging a phase in your life and the beginning of a new, exciting life as a graduate!

Finding the perfect graduation present is also a rather tricky endeavour. Finding something to mark such an important milestone whilst remaining useful and practical enough to use every day is no mean feat. The jewellery route is too personal and who wants another pen with their initials on? (FYI, almost everyone works on a computer these days!).

Luckily, we have the perfect solution in the form of an old Classic. You've guessed it, it's our trusty Clemmie Totes. Soft, buttery leather meets practicality in a design which is effortless enough to use every day yet is able to maintain that element of timelessness acting as a keepsake for a special occasion.

Perfect for men and women, the Clemmie comes in a variety of colours which you can shop here . After something a little more glitzy? Our clutch bags are the perfect companion for the first night out as a graduate. A pro tip? Ask us for our personalisation service to make the graduation gift extra special. 

Oh and if you're looking for a little additional gift, our Edie Pencil Cases are a perfect reminder of the fact, that in life, you never stop learning!

Congratulations to all the students graduating this summer!


Pepper Alley HQ X