Hackney resident Tinks Reding Moore’s Holiday Queen Beach Bags are perfect for summer outings
Holiday Queen originally started out as a personal travel blog about seven years ago. I love traveling but having been freelance for years, work always got in the way. I realised that the only way to get out there again was to bite the bullet and just go, so the holidays began again and as frequently as I could manage them.
A photographer friend kept seeing my photos on Facebook and said ‘why don’t you write a blog?’ I like a challenge so I set up Holiday Queen, travels with my flip flops. The Holiday Queen name came from a colleague who said I was always on holiday. The blog has been going well and to date has had over 40,000 views.
The beach bags came about by a simple need to find a bag that would suit my needs. About a year ago I decided to have a look online and buy myself a new one as I had a beach holiday coming up. I’ve had all sorts before; canvas, leather, baskets, etc. and they were all lovely but if you’re on a beach that has wet sand, or by a pool, the bags can quickly get wet (including the contents) and baskets tended to damage fabric if it rubbed against it. Somehow the idea of neoprene stuck in my head and, try as I might, I could not find anything I liked. They were either cheap and shabbily made or prohibitively expensive and over the top.
A light bulb went on and I decided I could make one myself. I texted a friend and told her, ‘I’m going to make beach bags in neoprene’. I had no idea how I was going to do it, or even where to get neoprene. She told me there was a local supplier – what a coincidence – so I bought a metre of fabric and took it back to her house to put one together. We spent the afternoon testing stitches, working out how the fabric would look and then I took the plunge, cut one out and put it together. I was so happy with the result that the next day I went back to the fabric supplier and bought more fabric.
I then invested in my own machine and threw a few bags together. A quick trip to Camber Sands for a photo shoot and I put the images onto Instagram and on my Facebook page, Holiday Queen. A local boutique, Sublime, bought some and I sold the rest of the stock I had. I also made some bags to order in the colour combinations chosen by the buyers, both men and women.
Neoprene is the perfect fabric for the beach. Wetsuits are made from it as are a multitude of other products. It’s lightweight, sand-resistant, keeps all your belongings dry and the colours are bright and summery. The straps are very soft and comfortable on your shoulder, even on bare skin. Each bag comes with a pouch for your suntan lotions, or your iPad, kindle etc. The bag holds everything you need for the pool or beach – towel, water bottle, lotions, kindle/book, iPad and camera. You can also purchase an extra pouch, which can be quite useful. Personally, I like a small pouch for lotions etc. and a slightly larger one for wallet, iPad and keys. I leave the bag on the lounger by the pool and take the pouch with my valuables to lunch. It works a treat. This year I have added another item – a swim bag – that can be used for your wet swimsuit and beach shoes. I also make a slightly deeper bag.
WHERE CAN I GET ONE?
HQ Bags are available at Sublime, 225 Victoria Park Road, E9 7HD and 128 St Johns Street, Clerkenwell, EC1V 4JS; also online via the Facebook page.
HOW MUCH ARE THEY?
Medium bags with pouch: £65 Deeper bags: £70
>With extra pouch: + £10
With swim bag: + £20
Tinks Reding Moore is a make up artist for Sky tv and has lived in Hackney for more than half her life. She makes the beach bags herself in her spare time as well as writing a blog about her travels, London life and beauty tips on the go.