Viv Fletcher of FizzArrow
At college I initially trained as a domestic product designer, and started my graphics company Fletchers in 1991.
FizzArrow Handmade Leather Goods was established in 2013, when my graphics business went through a quiet patch and I decided to diversify, it seemed a natural progression because I love to make things.
I inherited my Nanny’s Singer 401G machine when I was 9, so I have always made things, when I started FizzArrow I bought old Singer sewing machines. (I still have 5!) 3 years ago I invested in an industrial Juki, on which I am able to produce better quality stitching.
I am self taught. I love the pattern process, finding a solution to the challenge, thinking in 3-d, working out how something looks in pieces before it is made. It is like a Jigsaw puzzle, you just need to know where to put the pieces. The process is discussing the brief, asking lots of questions, then designing the product, making card patterns and often prototypes, to ensure everything works.
Leather is a fabulous product to work with and the more you practice the better you become. The smell is intoxicating, it is so tactile. The leathers are natural and I love the scars which just add to the look and the fact that the leather improves the more you handle and use it.
I started off making small, simple items, which I sold at trade & craft fairs. I have a small online store. Seven years on and the range is developing, the more I make, the more I want to make. New ideas always flowing, I am inquisitive about how things are made, and I love a new challenge, the pleasure is seeing the person unwrap the leather item, or receiving photographs of them using the FizzArrow product from all over the world. #MyFizzArrow*
Typography and quotes play a part in some items, which makes the gift more pertinent somehow and links to my graphics background.
You never stop learning in life, learning new skills, makes me want to improve all the time and producing new things, expanding the boundaries and keep new ideas flowing.
I am working hard at developing my skills into the items I make, I also love to repair old loved leather items, bring them back to life where possible instead of being thrown away.
The business is evolving, I also make small quantities of corporate goods & more recently bespoke one off designs for my clients, making them something unique. I get asked to make all kinds of items, that’s what makes it interesting, you build a relationship with clients to understand what they require and hopefully ask enough questions, to ensure what you make for them, is what they want.