Did someone say….handmade, upcycled, waterproof wetsuit bag? That sounds right up the Salt Gypsy alley….
Thanks for taking some time to chat with us Toyah! How long have you been in business and what is the concept behind Bagabond? Bagabond started up in May 2012 kind of by accident! I wanted a bag or a sock for a new retro board I had purchased but could not find anything to fit it. The only thing I could find was really boring and grey. I happened across some really cool vintage fabric in a shop in Newquay, Cornwall, that matched my board and I had the idea to make something myself. It came out really well and a few of my friends were really into it so I made a couple more. A local surf shop was keen on stocking them so I thought I had better come up with a name and Bagabond was born!
The wetsuit bags sort of came from the same place as the majority of surf accessories are all with men in mind; plain, simple and not really very interesting. My boyfriend has one of those typical big black wetsuit bags and I really wanted one but something that would double as a cool beach bag.
At the moment the two main products are the board socks – for any size and shape of board, and wetsuit bags. The main concept for me is to reclaim fabric or use unwanted remnants so each item is unique and also trying to do a bit of recycling at the same time. The majority of the fabric I use is vintage as some of the prints are beautiful. The socks all come fully lined and with padding in the noses to give the board that extra bit of protection. The wetsuit bags are fully waterproof and hold up to two wetsuits so are pretty big but have padded shoulder straps to make sure they`re comfortable to carry.
I have also started to put together some bikini designs with a retro feel to them but still trying to keep them quite current. This was more about creating a bikini I would feel comfortable to surf in that would stay in place and allow me to move. These are still in the early stages but hope to have them ready for next summer.
So how can purchase our own Bagabond piece of radness? The Surf Girl Boutique by Surf Girl Magazine (UK) is a stockist otherwise I make socks to order and any of the socks or bags on the blog or facebook are for sale. I`m setting up an Etsy shop as well so watch out on the blog!
Where are you from and what`s the female surf community like? I live near Newquay in Cornwall. The female surf community here is quite small but there are a lot of dedicated female surfers who are in the water all year round, even when it`s snowing in winter! There`s a great vibe and the guys are always pretty friendly and welcoming so it`s a good place to be and there are so many surf spots we are spoiled for choice. I moved away from the beach for work for a few years and am glad to be back as there is no place like it in England.
Words you live by…No regrets! I am a great believer in doing what makes you happy and trying new things. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it does not but at least I can never say, “What if…”
Your favourite surf spot…It has to be Hossegor in France. I go every year for the Quiksilver Pro comp and have been there for 7-8 years running now. I have never experienced a surf culture quite like it and the waves are my favourite in the world (so far). I learned to surf in Hossegor so will always be fond of it and probably know the breaks there better than I do my own local. Even if the surf is blown out in Hossegor it is perfect driving distance to the Cotes de Basques or even across the border to Mundaka in Spain.
Top 10 essential surf travel items:
1. Sunscreen – can`t live without it. I even put it on the soles of my feet!
2. My iPad – full of music, films and books for long road trips
3. My dog – he`s a black labrador and loves the sea so a great surf companion
4. Red wine
5. Dark chocolate – great for a post-surf pick me up
6. My 6’6 flying fish – catches anything from 2ft waves to overhead
7. My Bagabond wetsuit bag of course to carry all my stuff in
8. If we`re surfing in England then a Robie to get changed under. That English wind is cold!
9. My GUL wetsuit – fits like a glove!
10. My camera – I take photos of everything so never leave home without it.