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Meet the Artist: Phoebe John | Sbri X AUB

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Last summer we were invited by Arts University Bournemouth to work on a project with their exceptionally talented textile design students. Our founders Em and Tony set the students a live brief to design a new repeat pattern print for our leather accessories collection, inspired by the south coast's beaches and forests, and the students were given the opportunity to present their final pieces to us as part of a competition to design Sbri's next summer coin purse.

We were in awe of the talent and creativity of the AUB students, and it was a great experience working with them on their final projects. After a great deal of deliberation, final-year student Phoebe John was chosen as the winner for her beautiful hand-drawn illustration of the seaside essentials.

Phoebe's coin purse is now available to order and we think it's the perfect little bit of Sbri to take with you on your summer holidays and beyond (see for yourself at In the run up to the launch we caught up with Phoebe to chat about the inspiration behind her design, the artistic process, and the small moments that bring her joy.

Congratulations on winning the coin purse design competition! Can you walk us through the inspiration behind your winning design?

Thank you! The inspiration sparked from being a student at AUB. Having the beach at the doorstep influenced the creativity behind this piece. I thought about the essentials one would take to the beach and integrated those elements into my design.

How did you approach incorporating elements of summer into your design for the coin purse?

When I think of summer, I think of sunshine and beaches. Therefore, I incorporated illustrations of beach essentials like beach huts, bikinis, trunks, flip flops, deck chairs, beach bags, and beach umbrellas into the design.

What materials and techniques did you utilize to bring your design to life?

Within my group, I was fortunate that one of my peers had leather donated by Pentland for her project. We used these scraps and upcycled them for our leather accessory purses. I chose a blue shaded leather to contrast with the blue tones in the pattern. Additionally, I showcased different functional aspects of leather accessories, such as alternative opening and closing mechanisms like loops, buttons, or poppers.

Our brand name, Sbri, is a Welsh word meaning 'fun' and we love to celebrate the small moments of joy that add a little *extra* to the everyday. What little things bring you joy?

Sunshine always brings me joy. It’s those sunny days which make everything seem a bit brighter and more enjoyable.

    Phoebe's coin purse is available to order now, and you can find more from Phoebe on Instagram or her website.