A DESIGNER and creator of high-quality, bespoke leather handbags and accessories has realised her dream 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.

The company’s new interactive website has just gone live and she is busy meeting orders from her workshop in the heart of the Lake District.

She said: “I am really excited about the potential of something new starting. In a fairly short time I have gone from having a vision in my head about what I’d like to achieve to learning from experts how to start a business to the point of now being up and running with an online store.”

Ms Duclos attended Cartmel Priory School before taking a two-year BTEC National Diploma in Art and Design at Lancaster and Morecambe College and then a four-year Cordwainers Product Design and Development degree at the London College of Fashion, specialising in leather handbags and accessories.

Her skills were honed in Australia while working for a company on the Gold Coast, which made traditional Australian cowboy hats, and for a company in New Zealand, which made small leather goods, such as handbags, holdalls and wallets.

She returned to Cumbria in 2018.

Ms Duclos said: “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."

She created a workshop at home and started making leather purses, pouches and handbags for friends, often incorporating an individual’s wishes about a type of strap or a specific colour they had not been able to find in high street shops.

“I realised that stepping into my workshop was what made me most happy and that I could turn this into a business."

Duclos was launched earlier this year, selling bespoke handbags and small leather accessories, such as purses, pouches, straps and cardholders.