"K" Avery-Stallion "I must have been a Hans J Wegner chair in a previous life"
I strive to design well-proportioned, pared down, beautifully designed products for stylish men and women the globe over.
St Leonards was born after years of working for other brands and not finding the right niche for my design handwriting. Having sold my beloved Figaro convertible for £6000 to fund the first prototypes, I started selling my products to friends and family, getting them manufactured using contacts I'd made in the industry in India and China over the past 15 years.
As this seemed to go well I used the money made from these initial sales to research better quality materials and fittings and decided I'd like to manufacture in the UK, not only to support the languishing manufacturing industry here, but to enable me to have a more hands on approach to the work being made and simplify the whole process of getting my designs transformed into samples and then stock.I often manufacture products at Seaside HQ, East Sussex as well as collecting them by hand from the workshop in London so the carbon footprint's a lot better than having them imported from the Far East too.
Having eventually found a British manufacturer who understood my style and business aims, St Leonards was born and the first collection was launched in Nov 2010.
St Leonards and its location:
The brand is deep-rooted in its surroundings. St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex was the model town for the reowned Regency architect Decimus Burton. His elegant streets with far-reaching views of the sea created in the early 1800's was once one of the most elegant seaside towns in England. Much of that elegance can still be seen today but now it's very much mixed up with a bohemian rough-and-ready artistic community, many of whom left London like myself to enjoy a more relaxed pace and spectacular seaside living.
St Leonards is older than its years. It's been a sub-concious work in progress for more than 10 years and finally it's managed to reveal itself. Many of the products are named after streets or events that occur in its immediate vicinity, and it even has heraldic symbols full of precious meaning for the brand and its founder.
It's also rather poignant that St Leonards' grandfather, Robert Leonard Avery was trained by the Royal Legion in leather craft when he was invalided out of the army.During his convalesence Robert honed his skills and then started selling his collection of small leather goods at local markets in Hampshire. he was then selling his products nationally through the British Legion until the mid 1950's when he was recognised for his high quality products at a fair in Olympia, London. Little did he know that years later his grand daughter was to follow in his footsteps.
St Leonards is not about style over substance. It's all about substance and forging your own sense of style whether you're 8 or 88. It hates fads and loves longevity. It loves products that are androgynous too. The designs are for men AND women. It expects you to fight over them. Often.
St Leonards hopes you'll grown alongside this plucky British brand and return again and again, enjoying the products, the off-beat branding and of course the high quality customer service too.
The Shop:In July 2016 "K" appealed to her loyal customers, friends and family with a rapid crowdfunding campaign. She had just 3 weeks to raise the lease deposit to secure the ideal space on Norman Road. The shop opened and began trading on the 1st August as St Leonards Modern Goods at 70 Norman Road - it's a modern lifestyle store for men and women of all ages, not only does it provide the town with contemporary, well designed clothing, gifts and items for the home but it's the studio hub and production space for the online brand.