The next instalment in our interview series 'Meet the Maker' which aims to look behind the scenes of our treasured suppliers, comes from  Flavia who is the founder and designer of the gorgeous handbag brand Pessoa. Flavia's unique handbags have graced our shelves since we opened Sissa Sorella, and every season she delights and inspires us. Flavia has a wonderful story and has kindly answered some questions we put together for her...
Did you move to Australia, when and why did you make the move?
I arrived in Australia in June 1996. I came to travel around and to learn English.I didn’t know anybody and couldn’t speak a word of English.
When did you start 'Pessoa”?
Pessoa started officially in 2016.
Why the name?
Pessoa is my Brazilian surname which means person in English. Each bag is unique, bespoke with different linings, so just like each person is unique.
Where did the idea come from for your business?
I started a sewing course long time ago when my kids were little. I always like to create new things; I started with handbags and fell in love with the process and the endless possibilities.
What is it that drives you each day to create beautiful pieces?
Textiles are a dream world for me, my creativity flows and I love the smile on people’s face when they see the end result of my creation.
What is your favourite part of the creative process in Pessoa?
Searching for unique fabrics and leathers. Trying to put together pieces that I fell in love with.
What is most important to you when creating your collection?
To know exactly where the fabric and leather came from and the bags are made in Sydney in very small batches.
How has Covid19 affected you, your state of mind, and your business?  (i.e. has it been difficult, or challenging, or have you found it has forced you into a positive space??)
I used to hand pick the leather in Brazil from big factories where the pieces of leather were going to be discarded because of their relatively small size. Now with the travel restrictions I can’t do that anymore. I source the leather here, which comes from Italy, so I had to increase the prices.
In a positive way, I have been learning and investing more in marketing, social media and website. It’s quite amazing how we can think outside the box to reinvent ourselves.
January 17, 2021 — Kate Dawson

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