FK chats to Perth lady Liz Brown about her accessories label, Truso
Tell us a little about your label Truso and what we can expect to find?
Truso is all handmade wallets, clutches and handbags. I use recycled and new leathers and printed fabrics to make unique, one-off or limited run accessories. I have a strong emphasis on using materials that reduce the carbon foot print Truso has on our in environment, so I often hit up the all the Op-shops around Perth to find leather garments, or great pieces of fabrics to utilize. I try to minimize the new materials I use, but I can’t resist the urge to use some antique brass hardware, and the leather straps on the bags are made from local cowhides.
How would you describe the style of your work?
I know there is a strong retro/vintage style in my work, but with a contemporary edge. All my accessories have a timeless feel to them, the printed bags are bright and the leather bags are more subtle tones. I love to mix textures and different prints to make sure my products remain very unique in the market place.
Have you always been a creative soul and how did you get into working with accessories?
Yes, I most definitely have! I remember pretending to be sick to stay home from school when I was very young so I could go to my Mum’s pattern making classes with her. I think there was a secret hope that they would show me how to make a pattern for my Barbie doll clothes! I used to think my Mum’s box of fabric was a treasure chest, then there was her jar of buttons, I would play with those for hours as a child. I think creativeness has always been in the blood, my grandfather had a women’s lingerie label in the 1950/60’s and it was called ‘Trousseaux’s Treasures’. I adapted my label name from that. I first started making handbags in year 7 at high school, I really wanted one of the camping disposal store over the shoulder satchels, but the pocket money wouldn’t stretch that far! I somehow acquired a giant roll of cargo fabric for free, so I made myself a satchel. I wore it to school and had so many requests from the other kids for me to make them one, so I started selling them for $5 a bag, and the rest is history!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
One of my favourite past times is collecting fabrics, especially printed fabrics of which I have such a large collection of. Whenever I find a piece of fabric or leather I immediately have an idea of what I want to create from it. The appliqué designs on the wallets and leather bags are inspired from the fabrics. I may mimic the print with the leather appliqué or use the colours from the fabric from the liner to create the external design.
Where are your favourite spots in Perth for creatives?
Perth has such a large creative community, and they seem to congregate around certain areas. Fremantle is always a hive of activity and events, and it’s such a beautiful area it’s hard to resist any opportunity to take a visit there. Mount Lawley and Leederville are 2 inner city suburbs that boast great atmosphere, and I’m lucky enough to live in one of those suburbs. There are some great boutiques in both that show off local design talent, and an excellent café and small bar culture that compliments the creative vibe in those parts.
What are some valuable things you have learnt along the way, and what advice would you give to others starting out?
The most important thing I have learnt along the way is I never want to ‘work for the man!’ I started working for myself quite young. I love the freedom to choose my own hours but it does require a lot of discipline to make sure I continue to grow my label. I’m so lucky to be able to make an income from my passion! Persistence is imperative if you want your craft to become you career. Be prepared for a lot of hard work and some sleepless nights! Take any opportunity that comes your way, and don’t forget to make your own opportunities!